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Albion graduates get sendoff for ‘incredibly exciting’ future

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 June 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Ryan Castrechino heads to the stage to get his diploma with some enthusiastic support from his classmates.

Eboni Taylor accepts her diploma from Margy Brown, the Board of Education president.

Alan Quintana Aragon gives a thumbs up to Principal Leslie Stauss during graduation.

ALBION – The Class of 2013 left a record of accomplishment and service at Albion, Board of Education President Margy Brown told about 2,000 people during commencement this evening in the high school gym.

The 158 graduates earned 800 college credits, passed 156 Advanced Placement courses, completed 29 vocational programs and amassed an impressive record out of the classroom. Students completed 9,000 community service hours, won 16 League titles in sports, 5 Sectional crowns and 27 awards through the musical program.

Brown told them that success is often not clearly defined in life. “Define success for yourself,” she said.

The graduates were addressed by Class President Joyce LaLonde, Salutatorian Alison O’Hearn and Valedictorian Michael Patterson.

Class President Joyce LaLonde addresses a crowd of about 2,000 in the high school gym.

LaLonde urged her classmates to spread their wings and go and do great things in the world. However, they should keep perspective and not rush to judgments about others.

She referred to eight giant crayons that line the entrance of the elementary school. She said her classmates would do well to live by the principles on those crayons: perseverance, optimism, honesty, respect, compassion, integrity, responsibility and loyalty.

Salutatorian Alison O’Hearn urged her classmates to seize opportunities.

O’Hearn told the graduates that every day is full of opportunities to do the right thing and make a difference. Graduation represents a new opportunity “to recreate yourself and to be who you always wanted to be.” She thanked teachers, parents and other student supporters “for helping to create opportunities for the Class of 2013.”

Patterson said the experiences shared by the class will be keep the group bonded forever. Those connections can stay strong in a world of Smart Phones, social media and the Internet.

Valedictorian Michael Patterson urged the class to stay connected and united, while using their freedoms to make a difference in the world.

The graduates share a hometown that gave them a strong foundation for the future, Patterson said.

“The world ahead of us is incredibly exciting,” he said. “When we leave this building we’ll have the freedom and power to determine our future.”

The senior chorus sings the National Anthem at the beginning of the graduation program.

Marquise Riddick walks to the stage to receive his diploma.