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'Launching' kids to the next level

Hughes said even the older students hold on to memories of the place where they got their first taste of acting.

"When I see former Launching Pad students, what they want more than anything is to reminisce and talk about their experiences and memories in Launching Pad. For most students, they are among the fondest memories they have of middle school," said Hughes. "To say that Launching Pad is a 'club' would be a huge misconception. To be involved in Launching Pad is to be part of something special and whether you plan for it or not, each production takes on a life of its own and you find yourself drawn to the 'drama' of it all."

Shaver said each batch of Launching Pad students strive to produce a show that's even better than the previous.

"Kids know over the years from growing up watching [shows] that we expect quality and they rise to that occasion. They want to produce something better than the year before. It's always a challenge and they always have that itch to do better," said Shaver.

The Ballston Spa Elks Lodge is at 10 Hamilton St. To make reservations, email ckohl@bscsd.org or call 884-7200 ext. 4305. Launching Pad's founders were teachers Jen Hughes, Sam Salamone, Fran DelSignore and retired Principal Dr. Helen Stuetzel.

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