BOLTON -- Tracing the path from kindergarten through their senior year, family and friends of 31 graduates were given a 15-minute glimpse of life inside the Bolton Central School, recalling memories of class trips abroad, art shows, music recitals, sports and clubs.

Salutatorian Jacqueline O'Donnell told her classmates that they will grow intellectually, spiritually and emotionally as they go on to new experiences.

"The potential for success is unlimited. The journey has just begun," she said.

Valedictorian Matthew Peterson said he wrote his speech Thursday night because it was then that graduation "hit" him.

He reminisced about coming to Bolton as a first-grader, "wandering the lower field, hot dog in hand," not expecting to meet anyone but then getting to know classmate and friend Harry Caldwell and others who helped shape him into the person he is.

About half of the class performed the song "Happy Endings," accompanied by vocal director James Miller on guitar and Jacqueline O'Donnell on piano, with solos by Matthew Peterson, Erin Rafferty and Meredith Chamberlain.

Continuing a tradition begun in the 1960s, each graduate recognized his or her parents with roses.

Principal Damian Switzer said he will remember a group of 31 students with diverse personalities and interests who demonstrated a sense of community and generosity.

One of those students was Grace Cady, who became involved in everything from clubs to sports to serving her class as secretary and president.

"She's an excellent role model for the younger students," Switzer said. "She leads by example."

At the conclusion of the ceremony when Superintendent Raymond Ciccarelli Jr. instructed the graduates to move their tassels, the audience erupted in cheers and gave a standing ovation to the Class of 2010.

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