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Class of 2018 Commencement Messages: Graduates’ Choices Inspire

July 16, 2018


A teacher takes a picture of a group of seniors during graduation Families, friends and educators celebrated more than 260 graduates in the Class of 2018 during the 66th annual Queensbury High School commencement ceremony held in June at the Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls.


In his commendatory remarks, Principal Damian Switzer reflected on the inspirational and compassionate leadership that seniors demonstrated this year.


“Your class is filled with leaders of all types. Elected leaders who lead from the front as well as quiet leaders who lead by example and make a difference through actions, both big and small, that motivate and inspire others,” he said.


Superintendent of Schools Dr. Douglas W. Huntley told graduates he is proud of their willingness to explore new and challenging academic opportunities.


“In so many ways, this class, the Class of 2018, has broken the traditional mold for high school and found success as they ventured into unexplored, but relevant and exciting educational programs and experiences,” he said.

Graduates can have lives of meaning and purpose when they are guided by hope, “honesty, responsibility, respect, fairness and compassion,” promised faculty speaker Mary Tully, a social studies teacher and department chair.


Lauren White, Commencement Student Speaker

  • Where will you attend college?
    I will be attending Ithaca College, and I plan to study journalism.
  • What do you hope to do after college?
    I would love to become involved in journalism through media and communications, and have the chance to work for a magazine or news company.
  • What student leadership roles/titles have you held during high school?
    I held an officer position for Best Buddies for all four years of high school, including two years as the activities director and two years as the treasurer. I also was captain of the Varsity Girls Lacrosse team senior year, chairperson of two National Honor Society food drives and senior mentor of the freshman class for 2017-18.
  • What advice would you give to the Class of 2019 as they start their own senior year?
    Even though you have heard it a million times, senior year really does go by unbelievably fast. So...
    • Don’t take time off. Academically, your senior year is just as (if not more) important than every other year in high school.
    • Take advantage of every opportunity. Attend all of the school events because you’ll regret it once they’re gone.
    • Just because it’s your last year of high school doesn’t mean you can’t still try new things!
  • What does it mean to be a Queensbury alumna?
    Being a QHS alumna is very special because the school district is constantly involved in the community, so even after graduating I know I will always have ties to the school. It’s an awesome feeling to have completed all of my 13 years of school on one campus, and I’m thankful for every classmate, administrator and faculty member who helped me along the way.


Speech Excerpt:

Lauren White “Seven years ago, sitting in Mrs. Burton’s fifth grade classroom, I found myself mesmerized by the scene outside of the window. What was mesmerizing wasn’t only the impressive view of the beautiful Adirondack Mountains, but rather the students on the other side.


“As I looked out, I saw kindergartners parading towards the playground, and I reminisced about the countless recesses I spent spinning around with my classmates until I got dizzy, swinging too high on the swingset, and using up every ounce of energy I had. Not more than 50 yards away, I observed an 11th grade physics class leaving the high school to shoot off their homemade bottle rockets on the back fields of the campus.


“Even as a young student, it was easy to recognize how lucky I was to have the ability to look out of one window and see both where I have been and where I could go in my future as a Spartan.”


Julian Tushabe, Commencement Student Speaker

  • Where will you attend college?
    I’m attending Skidmore College as a double major in business and theatre.
  • What do you hope to do after college?
    I hope to start my own clothing store, and if possible, continue performing whether professionally or for fun while giving lessons to aspiring actors.
  • What student leadership roles/titles have you held during high school?
    I was president of Student Senate, the lead in the school musical and captain of Junior Varsity Soccer.
  • What advice would you give to the Class of 2019 as they start their own senior year?
    One piece of advice I have for seniors is to work hard this year. It’s easy to slip into senioritis, but the rewards for working hard to the finish are worth it.
  • What does it mean to be a Queensbury alumnus?
    Being an alum is a fact I take great pride in because I wouldn’t be where I am without my teachers’ and administrators’ support.


Speech Excerpt:

Julian Tushabe “Lastly, to my fellow graduates, today we accomplished something huge, and we deserve to take some time to congratulate ourselves, but keep in mind, the milestone isn’t a finish line. On the contrary, it’s the starting gate.


“Once this ceremony is over and we finish celebrating with all those close to us, we must realize that life’s challenges won’t get any easier. Our biggest problems today will seem like pebbles to the towering issues of tomorrow. We will not always be able to solve our problems with a simple Google search, or a glance at Wikipedia. We may begin to doubt our own abilities and set ceilings for ourselves. We might lose ambition and even consider giving up on our goals.


“But we won’t because it is in those moments that we should remember this day. Remember the feeling of fulfillment you feel right now.”


What’s Next for the Class of 2018?

Below are the future plans and diploma types of the graduating Class of 2018.

Future Plans

  • Four- or two-year college = 77%
  • Other post-secondary training = 3%
  • Military = 3%
  • Employment/undecided = 17%

Diploma Types

  • Regents: Advanced Designation with Honors = 13%
  • Regents: Advanced Designation = 45%
  • Regents = 36%
  • Local = 3%
  • CDOS/SACC* = 3%
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma Candidates = 13 students

* Career Development and Occupational Studies Commencement Credential/Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential