QUEENSBURY -- Education isn't just about academics; it's also about leadership, Queensbury High School Principal Michael Patton told graduates on Friday.
The Class of 2010 exemplified that when they participated in the school's first annual "Senior Give-Back Day," he said.
For three hours on May 27, students volunteered at various nonprofit organizations such as the Salvation Army, Red Cross, YMCA and others.
"I encourage all of you to use this experience to stay involved," he said.
Leadership with determination was a consistent theme among speakers at the commencement ceremony at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Kaycie Lane, a student speaker, focused on various mathematics applications equaling 318 - the number of graduates.
"Three-hundred eighteen endings, but also 318 beginnings," she said.
Lane said each graduate would step on to the stage on one end as a senior, and step off the other end a graduate.
"On the other end - well, that is up to you," she said.
The Queensbury High School Madrigal Singers sang in the selection, "Oh How Beautiful, This Finely Woven Earth," by Greg Jasperse.
"I know your heart's journey, it is my own," they sang. "Oh how beautiful, how beautiful, our finely woven earth."
The ensemble also sang, "Time to Say Goodbye," by Sartori, Quarantotto and Peterson.
Class President Patrick Greene led the Pledge of Allegiance and recognized the senior class advisers Dawn Green and Timothy Dawkins. "We really do appreciate you being the mom and dad to our class," he said.
Lucas Reyes, another student speaker, said that life's journey is a lot like traveling in an automobile. "There is no driving in reverse," but at times one can look in the rear-view mirror to reflect on the past, he said.
A left turn onto Inspiration Avenue may lead to bumps and turns, he said, but coming to a red light on Motivation Boulevard provides time to think.
"We must enjoy the struggle," he said.
School Superintendent Douglas Huntley told a story about two sophomores at a mid-Atlantic college who went away for the weekend and didn't make it back in time for a chemistry examination.
So they fibbed and told the professor they had a flat tire on the way back to campus and did not have a spare.
The two students thought they were off the hook when the professor agreed to give them a makeup exam, until they sat down, in separate rooms, to take the two-question test.
The first question, worth five points, was an easy question to answer.
The second question, worth 95 points, was "Which tire?" Huntley said, as the audience laughed.
"Wise people make mistakes," Huntley said. "Wise people admit to making mistakes." He told graduates to learn from mistakes they make in life.
"The bigger the blunder, the bigger the opportunity," he said.