Thursday, 27 June 2024 14:42

Bon Voyage: Saratoga Springs and Ballston Spa Celebrate 2024 Graduates

Saratoga Springs and Ballston Spa High Schools celebrated their 2024 commencement ceremonies this week at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC). Photos via the SPAC live stream. Saratoga Springs and Ballston Spa High Schools celebrated their 2024 commencement ceremonies this week at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC). Photos via the SPAC live stream.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Springs and Ballston Spa High Schools both celebrated their Class of 2024 commencement ceremonies at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) this week, with the Scotties gracing the SPAC grounds on Tuesday afternoon and the Blue Streaks following suit on Wednesday morning.

Speakers at both events praised graduates for persevering through the COVID-19 pandemic and for giving back to the community. 

Ballston Spa

The Ballston Spa commencement ceremony opened with the high school ensemble performing an orchestral rendition of the Coldplay song “Clocks,” perhaps a nod to the young adults reflecting on the passage of time.

In a speech, Student Government President Catherine Miller praised her class for its open-mindedness. “The ability to question and appreciate the opinions and ideas of others made for a strong and respectful learning community,” Miller said.

“The changes coming will not be easy,” Miller added. “There will be days when you want to give up, but you won’t.”

 

 

Valedictorian Brooke Cearley echoed Miller’s comments about challenging but exciting times ahead for her classmates. “It’s time to be uncomfortable and face change and walk into the unexpected,” Cearley said. 

After all the diplomas were handed out to the Ballston Spa graduates, air horns and golden confetti filled the air in celebration. 

Saratoga Springs

Saratoga Springs showcased its talented musicians and singers as attendees filled the SPAC amphitheater on Wednesday morning. 448 students gathered for the 151st high school commencement ceremony.

Speakers emphasized the Class of 2024’s commitment to bettering their community. The graduating class donated more than 180 pints of blood to the Red Cross; and on Seniors Giveback Day, more than 600 hours of time was donated to local nonprofits. 

“Your school spirit and care for each other are what define you as a group of students,” said High School Principal Michelle Tsao.

Before diplomas were handed out, some students received special recognition. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Patton honored the six graduates who will go on to serve in the armed forces. Principal Tsao also awarded the 113th annual Yaddo Medal, which she called “the most prestigious award given by our school district,” to students Carlie Friedman and Adam Brown.

A moment of silence was observed for Anthony Stefanacci, a student who tragically passed away last month. Anthony’s tearful parents went up on stage to receive his diploma, as well as a medal honoring his civic engagement. 

After being presented with their diplomas, the graduating class tossed their caps into the air in celebration of their achievements. 

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