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And they’re off! F-M High School holds commencement

LEFT AND UPPER RIGHT: Fayetteville-Manlius students look for their friends and families as they enter the War Memorial for Friday’s commencement ceremony. LOWER RIGHT: Hanna Lee takes a photo with her phone while Marietta Smith watches.

LEFT AND UPPER RIGHT: Fayetteville-Manlius students look for their friends and families as they enter the War Memorial for Friday’s commencement ceremony. LOWER RIGHT: Hanna Lee takes a photo with her phone while Marietta Smith watches. Provided

— The Fayetteville-Manlius School District Class of 2012 is ready to go out and make its mark on the world.

F-M High School held its 2012 graduation ceremony Friday, June 15, at the Onondaga County War Memorial in Syracuse. There are 385 candidates for graduation.

Traditionally, the senior with the highest grade point average is asked to speak during the ceremony. This year that student was Hannah Bucklin, who plans to attend University of Pennsylvania in the fall.

Hannah talked about the acronym that has in recent weeks been floating around the F-M High School halls: YOLO, which stands for “You Only Live Once.” She encouraged students to find a way to strike a balance between being carefree and living in the moment and working hard toward future success.

“We have the capabilities to make a profound impact on the world,” Hannah told her classmates.

Other speakers included Superintendent Corliss Kaiser, High School Principal Ray Kilmer, Senior Class President Harry Rube and social studies teacher and football coach Paul Muench, who the students selected to speak.

“Create your own success, create your own circumstances, don’t wait for the right set of conditions to find you,” Superintendent Kaiser told the students. “Look for opportunities and act upon them.”

Success isn’t always defined by who is the fastest, the smartest or the best, said Principal Kilmer. He talked about the importance of having a passion for something in life, and how that passion can define success.

Harry Rube, who plans to attend Bowdoin College in Maine, said his time as an F-M student taught him to give his best every day and that attitude can dictate success. Both will be critical given the challenging state of the world, he said.

“We know it’s not going to be easy out there,” he said.

Muench encouraged the students to enjoy their time with friends in the next few weeks, before they separate in the fall. He reminded them that as high school freshmen they faced a number of challenges that they successfully overcame. New challenges certainly await them in the future, he said.

“All of you have the inner strength to keep moving in the right direction,” Muench said. “We never truly enjoy the ups unless we’ve been strengthened by the downs.”

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