Some graduates quote Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell or Benjamin Franklin. In Jade Brewer's senior speech, she quoted Dr. Seuss.
You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself any direction you choose, she said. "You're on your own and you know what you know, and you are the one who'll decide where you go."
As Brewer delivered the second senior speech of the evening at the South Colonie Central High School 2008 commencement ceremonies, seats were filled in the Empire Plaza Convention Center with parents, teachers, friends and family, waiting to witness their loved ones move on to adulthood.
The program began with a video presentation of students in the class who sat facing the screen, recapping the memories and moments that made their high school careers. Next came a song by the symphonic orchestra, singing of the alma mater, a processional and remarks from administrators in the district whose jobs are to create an educational environment for students to grow from the day they enter kindergarten to the day they graduate from high school.
"We're very proud of what you've accomplished," said Board of Education President Tim Ryan.
During the commencement, Ryan spoke highly of Superintendent of Schools Michael Marcelle, who will be retiring this summer.
"It's been a pleasure to work with such an educated professional," said Ryan.
Then Ryan spoke of one graduate who stood out among the more than 300 there -- James Egan, an 83-year-old Coast Guard veteran, honorably discharged in 1945, who was unable to complete high school due to his military obligations. As part of Operation Recognition, Egan was able to receive his diploma on Monday, May 5, and be part of the 54th commencement ceremony for Colonie Central High School.
Concluding his remarks of praise for administrators and students in the district, Ryan advised the graduates to "have a wonderful, exciting life."