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Long Lake Central School Class of 2014 Salutatorian Ranya Hamdan thanks the faculty and staff during graduation Friday evening, June 27, saying they allowed her to "push myself past just the minimum requirements of a high school education. This year my classroom was primarily Adirondack Medical Center, where I attended the New Visions Health Careers Program." (Photo/Pete Klein)

The Long Lake Central School Class of 2014 collect their thoughts and chill out for a few minutes before their graduation ceremony Friday evening, June 27, sends them off to new challenges and adventures. Shown are (from left) Ranya Hamdan, Jazmin Piraino, Somnang Mor, Shaneka Burch and Gillian Dahmiani. Classmate Thomas Torrens graduated in January, enlisted in the U.S. Army and has already started his career. (Photo/Pete Klein)

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Long Lake grads going places

Monday, June 30, 2014 - Updated: 2:41 PM

updated July 9, 2014 to add list of awards

By PETE KLEIN

Express News Staff

LONG LAKE -- For the Long Lake Central School Class of 2014, their graduation ceremony Friday, June 27, was a chance to celebrate their achievements and plan for even more while recognizing that learning from failures is important on the road to success.

This class is bound and determined to go places, and one was absent because he has already started his journey. Thomas Torrens graduated in January, enlisted in the U.S. Army and has already started his career.

Salutatorian Ranya Hamdan, who graduated with a Regents Diploma and will be attending Le Moyne College in Syracuse, spoke proudly of her time at Long Lake Central and the many advantages of a small school district.

Hamdan asked, "How many kids do you know outside of our area who run out of room on the activities section of their college application?" and went on to list the many activities beyond required classes from which she and her fellow students benefited.

She also thanked the faculty and staff that allowed her to take the road less traveled. "By that I mean they allowed me to push myself past just the minimum requirements of a high school education.

"This year my classroom was primarily Adirondack Medical Center [in Saranac Lake], where I spent the year attending the New Visions Health Careers Program."

'ONLY YOU WILL KNOW'

Valedictorian Shaneka Burch also graduated with a Regents Diploma. She will be moving to Tennessee, where she intends to pursue a Department of Transportation Certification in Welding.

Burch spoke of being true to oneself, saying, "What others see as success is not as important as what we see in ourselves" and "only you will truly know when you have reached your ultimate potential."

Burch gave special thanks to Technology Education teacher Duane Finch, saying, "Mr. Finch has taught me the most valuable skills I have as a welder, supported me though all my plan changes this year like joining the Army, wanting to be a veterinarian, saying I'm moving to four different states and listening to my constant drama and complaints."

Burch encouraged her fellow graduates to have the courage "to find what you need in life, no matter who doubts you and no matter what obstacles stand in your way."

OTHERS' PLANS

Gillian Dahmiani graduated with an Advanced Regents Diploma and will be attending SUNY Potsdam in the fall to pursue a career in math education.

Somnang Mor graduated with a Regents Diploma and will be pursuing an online educational program in media design through Full Sail University.

Jazmin Piraino graduated with a Regents Diploma and will be attending St. Bonaventure University to pursue a career in physical education.

Graduates, parents, family and friends enjoyed a video showing the graduates throughout their young lives.

BE YOURSELF

The guest speaker was English teacher Noelle Short, who urged the graduates to "be yourself...get out of your comfort zone and whatever your dreams, go after them."

Short said, "Imagine yourself with a blank piece of paper -- a little daunting, of course -- but with pen in hand, you're the author of your own story. No dream is too big and it's your chance to build yourself a great story."

Class advisors Short and Social Studies teacher Robert Reynolds handed out more than 30 awards and scholarships.

2014 GRADUATION AWARDS

The highest average and valedictorian/salutatorian awards are calculated based on the students’ averages at the end of the third marking period of senior year.

The awards for the highest average in English and Social Studies go to Shaneka Burch.

The award for the highest average in Science goes to Ranya Hamdan.

The award for the highest average in math goes to Gillian Damiani.

The award for the highest average in PE (boys) goes to Tom Torrens.

The award for the highest average in PE (girls) goes to Jazmin Piraino.

The awards for excellence in business/computers, technology, art, choral music and family consumer science go to Shaneka Burch.

The award for excellence in instrumental music goes to Ranya Hamdan.

This year’s recipient of the award for Salutatorian is Ranya Hamdan.

This year’s recipient of the award for Valedictorian is Shaneka Burch.

The Kopp Family Scholarship, donated by Barbara Black Kopp, a 1954 graduate of Long Lake Central, is awarded to students going on to post-secondary education and is based on academic standing and financial need.  This year’s recipient is Jazmin Piraino.

The Patrick T. Vartuli Jr. Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a student pursuing post-secondary education and exhibiting outstanding academic effort, hard work and extracurricular involvement. This year's recipient is Ranya Hamdan.

The Church of the Transfiguration Louise Lowe Award is based on outstanding citizenship and financial need. This year’s recipient is Ranya Hamdan.

The Delta Kappa Gamma Society of Women Educators awards a prize to the senior girl with the highest average planning to enter the field of education. This year’s recipient is Gillian Damaini.

The Katz Family Awards are presented to students with talent in the music and arts. Recipients are chosen by recommendation of the music and art teachers. For music, the recipient is Ranya Hamdan. For art, the recipient is Somnang Mor.

Stewart’s Shops has donated an award for a senior displaying good citizenship. The recipient is Jazmin Piraino.

The New York State Department of Education awards a four-year scholarship for academic excellence which is based on overall Regents exam grades. This year’s recipient is Ranya Hamdan.

Community Bank has donated an award to be given to a student who does volunteer work, gives their time to others and/or does community service. This year’s recipient is Jazmin Piraino.

The Anna Laura Wilson Award is given to a student for excellence in Math with a minimum overall average in math above 90. This year’s recipient is Gillian Damiani.

The Long Lake Volunteer Fire Department has donated an award for a graduating senior who is continuing with post-secondary education, military, or trade school and has volunteered in the Fire Department/Ladies Auxiliary and/or EMS services during their high school career. The recipient is Jazmin Piraino.

John and Lorrie Hosley have donated an award for a student willing to serve his country. This award goes to Tom Torrens.

The Crary Education Foundation awards students planning to attend post-secondary education who have exhibited academic distinction, character and motivation throughout their school years. This year’s recipient of the Crary Scholarship is Jazmin Piraino.

From Richard and Hillarie Dechene we have the Deerland Property Services award for a student excelling in music, art and/or French. This year’s recipient is Shaneka Burch.

Mr. and Mrs. Ken Hovey have donated an award for a student excelling in the music field. On recommendation of the music teacher, the recipient is Jazmin Piraino.

The Annette Seirup Award is for a student who shows kindness to others and has strength of character or outstanding citizenship in school and community. The donor’s selected recipient is Ranya Hamdan.

An award has been donated in memory of Richard Scivally, a 1974 graduate of Long Lake Central School to honor a student with the attributes of tolerance, dedication and gratitude. This year’s recipient is Jazmin Piraino.

The Debbie O’Brien Scholarship Fund awards a student going into the field of medicine, science or social work. With plans to pursue a career as a physician’s assistant, this year’s recipient is Ranya Hamdan.

The Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts presents awards for outstanding achievement in the visual arts and performing arts. Students are selected by the music and art teachers. The recipient of the visual arts award is Shaneka Burch. The recipient of the performing arts award is Jazmin Piraino.

Short Ridge Landscaping has donated an award for a student showing a determination to succeed. This award goes to Somnang Mor.

The Moose Pond Hunting and Fishing Club has donated an award for a student who has a strong aptitude or interest in the environment. This year’s recipient is Jazmin Piraino.

The American Legion Post 650 Citizenship Awards is for a senior in good academic standing and is based on school and community accomplishments. This year’s recipient is 

The Will Geiger Academic Award is donated by Will’s family and is given to a student planning to attend post-secondary education who demonstrates fairness, kindness and who works for the common good of the school and community. Chosen by Will’s family and the scholarship committee, this year’s recipient is Ranya Hamdan.

An award for Excellence in Science donated by Tom & Lesley Knoll at the Rock Shop goes to a student most likely to succeed in engineering. This year’s recipient is Ranya Hamdan.

The Elizabeth Cady Stanton Women’s Consortium has donated an award for the top female student in Social Studies 12 – Participation in Government. This year’s recipient is Ranya Hamdan.

The Long Lake Lions Club has donated an award this year for a student with service to their school and community and meeting their requirement of being an “all-around” student. Their chosen recipients are Jazmin Piraino and Ranya Hamdan.

The Colburn Education Foundation awards seniors planning to attend post-secondary school who have shown good academic standing and high moral and industrious character. The Colburn Foundation’s chosen recipient is Ranya Hamdan.

The Joe LeBlanc Memorial Scholarship is awarded to students who give of themselves to community and fellow students. This year’s recipients are Ranya Hamdan and Jazmin Piraino.

     

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