ALBANY, N.Y. -- Twenty-nine students from Tech Valley High School closed one chapter of their learning careers Saturday, but for each of them the next chapter of learning is right around the corner.
All of the school's graduates will turn the next page shortly after Saturday's ceremony, as 93 percent of the class is heading onto college and the remaining two students are enlisting in the United States Air Force to pursue careers as officers and pilots.
While their four years at TVHS was anything but a traditional education, Saturday's commencement ceremony for the TVHS Class of 2013 at the UAlbany Main Campus Center was filled with the pomp and circumstance that marks graduation days in schools small and large, traditional and non-traditional, across the country.
The students' accomplishment were celebrated by hundreds of family members, supporters of TVHS and school leaders, including education leaders Dr. Charles Dedrick and Dr. James Baldwin, district superintendents of Capital Region and Questar III BOCES, and Johanna Duncan-Poitier, senior vice chancellor for community colleges & the education pipeline for SUNY. Business partners David Gibson from XOS and Kelsey Kohler from Momentive Performance Materials were also part of the ceremony, as well as Assemblyman Phil Steck.
Gibson praised the students as risk takers and advised them to "to select risks wisely, serve others and have an adventure."
Duncan-Poitier likewise praised the graduates and Tech Valley High School.
"You aren't the largest school in New York State, but you are one the best," she said, adding "the sacrifice and determination they as students have made has paid off."
She also said she is working hard to expand the opportunities the TVHS Class of 2013 has enjoyed to students all across the state.
"I am so hopeful, because I know our society, our government, our businesses ... are in good hands. The best of hands. We can only imagine the significant impact you will have," she told the graduates.
She also advised the students that as graduates of a unique regional public high school, they have as a responsibility other graduates do not have.