FAIRFIELD  — In her valedictory address during graduation exercises Thursday night at Lawrence High School, Erzsebet Nagy, a state champion runner, compared the four years of high school to a big race.

The best strategy, she said, is to treat the experience like four separate laps in the race, each taken one at a time.

“Pay no attention to the speed of the other runners, keep a pace fast enough to maintain, but not burn out,” Nagy told the 181 other graduates of the class of 2013. “Do not let up. It will hurt, but you’ll become a stronger person for enduring. You are strong.”

The finish line — high school graduation — will be there in the blink of an eye, but it is also a starting line for all the new and wonderful things that await graduates when the final bell rings, she said

“As we leave tonight for our separate journeys, please remember to take each adventure one at a time,” she said. “Give it your all and run your own race.”

Graduation for students from Albion, Benton, Clinton and Fairfield was held outdoors at Keye’s Field, in Pete Cooper Stadium, home of the Lawrence baseball and football Bulldogs.

The main stage for school officials, teachers and guest speakers was set up in dead center field, around the 50 yard line for football.

Graduates — the boys in blue caps and gowns, the girls in white — marched past the football goal posts as the school band performed the standard “Pomp and Circumstance.” The time clock on the scoreboard read “2013.”

In her opening remarks, Principal Pamela Swett told graduates and their families that there have been some tough times and some good times during the last four years, but there is always something to smile about.

She encouraged graduates to make the world a better place by registering to vote and to be courageous enough to speak their mind on important issues. 

“Go live your dreams and always, always remember to show your Bulldog pride,” Swett said.

While introducing class of 2013 president Sawyer Letourneau, guidance counselor Skye Austin told each graduate to find their own “true north” and to follow their dreams.

Sawyer traced the years the class has spent together from the early grades, through junior high school to high school and finally to Thursday night — graduation night. He summed up the experience quoting Dr. Seuss, the popular poet and cartoonist known for his children’s books. 

“I am weird, you are weird. Everyone in this world is weird,” he said. “One day two people come together in mutual weirdness and fall in love.”

In his salutatory address, introduced by teacher Eric Brown, Matthew Saunders told classmates and their friends and families that several keys are needed to open the new doors graduates will find. Among the keys, he said, are passion, self-confidence and hard work.

“Stay classy,” he said.

Diplomas were presented to the class by Dr. Dean Baker, superintendent of schools, and Steven Grenier, the school board chairman. 

The class motto is, “Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367
[email protected]

 

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