LAC SARANAC – After two unique years of learning, the Adirondack Education Center celebrated the graduation of the class of 2021 on Monday and Tuesday.
The ACS trains 67 seniors in eight programs in four different school districts: Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, Tupper Lake and Long Lake. Each degree program received its own graduation ceremony. Five of the programs were celebrated on Monday and the other three were celebrated on Tuesday.
The decision to have separate ceremonies was made last year because graduation had to meet social distancing guidelines. This created a more personal ceremony that received positive feedback, so it was implemented this year as well.
AEC’s specific programs are designed for those looking for a hands-on learning experience in a specific area. It is part of the New York Board of Cooperative Educational Services program, managed locally by the BOCES district of Franklin-Essex-Hamilton.
“What’s special about BOCES is that we do more hands-on learning and get to things that we will do in everyday life. “ said George Farrell, an automotive graduate.
In Farrell’s classroom, students do about half an hour of class each day before entering the store for the rest of the morning. In the afternoon, they return to their respective schools.
This hands-on learning leads to rare opportunities. Students in the automotive technology class each received a two-year certificate upon graduation that qualifies them for entry-level employment in a garage or dealership.
The coronavirus pandemic, however, forced the school to go online last year, which is not ideal for those doing hands-on learning. Those who decided to take the program as it was online had an almost normal final year.
Parents of graduates were able to experience this hands-on learning during the graduation ceremony. After the formal ceremony, the students were able to show their class and demonstrate the different parts of the class.
“I am impressed by the dedication and courage of these students”, Principal Rick Swanston said during his remarks. “They would get up and work from home, which some adults struggle with. “
Assistant Superintendent Lori Tourville delivered the welcome address for all ceremonies using a message from “Work hard and be kind. “ The official ceremonies for each program were short because the school wanted to leave time for the demonstration period.
Working hard is something some students are used to as the school sets up work-study opportunities for students to work in the real world for around five and a half weeks.
This hard work will be transferred outside of the AEC, as some students will enter the workforce, some will enlist in the military, others will go to trades school or college.
Class of 2021
Automotive Technology: Reese Bolia (TL), Blake Callaghan (SL), Riley DeAngelis (SL), George Farrell (SL), Ryley Hill (TL), Dylan McCauley (SL), Tyler Miller (SL), Parker Oberg (LP) , Brody Savage (TL) and Dominic Whitson (SL).
Building trades: Andrew Arsenault (LL), Evan Cassell (TL), Bryce Dattoma (TL), Preston Duval (TL), Adam Ellithorpe (SL), Isaiah Gallagher (TL), Tanner Lanthier (TL), Steven Snyder (SL) ).
Cosmetology: Lily Beaney (LP), Amber Boudreau (TL), Autumn Fravor (SL), Hailee Garvey (TL), Edith Hathaway (LP), Elizabeth Howe (LP), Kaitlynn O’Connor (LP), Selestia Ordway (LP) )), Kylin Strader (TL), Anastacia Varner (TL).
Culinary Arts: Elyssa Ezumah (SL), Gabe Jones (SL), Raven Preston (LP), Rilley Wells (TL).
Healthcare professions: Jacey Burns (LP), Samantha Clark (LP), Alexis Johnson (SL), Monica Kennedy (TL), Jessica Mitchell (TL), Carly Savage (TL), Helena Tallman (SL).
Natural Resource Sciences: Logan Branch (SL), Warren Clark (LP), Samual Donaldson (SL), Jay Gagnon (TL), Cooper Grady (LP), Joseph Herzog (LP), Schyler Jordon (LP), Jack Lawrence ( LP), Patrick Manning (LP), Wyatt Martin (SL), Connor McMinn (SL), Isabella Rust (TL), Taylor Samburgh (SL).
New Vision game design and development: Lea O’Brien and Albert Bruso (SL).
New Vision Health Care: Isabella Armstrong (LP), John Brownell (LP), Colter Cheney-Seymour (SL), Andrew Fogarty (SL), Peter Fogarty (SL), Kailey Kipping (SL), Bryson Mariano (SL), Abigail Martelle (SL), Rylee Preston (LP), Alexis Staves (TL), Natalie Tavares (LP), Raechel Villani (SL).