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GLENS FALLS — Dreaming big and never settling for second best was the theme for Glens Falls High School’s commencement ceremony Saturday afternoon.

This year’s featured speaker, a Class of 1982 alumnus, musician and former head of music culture at Spotify, Doug Ford, said pursuing dreams is never easy and everyone will need some help along the way.

“Imagine the dream you have is a castle sitting on an island surrounded by a moat,” Ford said. “Most people will take the first steps toward the castle by going straight down and thinking they can cross that moat, and get sucked in. What you want to do is recognize the three or four individuals who will show you the bridge to get across.”

Ford said in the world there were givers and takers, and it was the graduates’ job to pay attention to the givers who will help them stay out of the moat and achieve their dreams.

“I urge you to do this,” Ford said. “Be astute to finding and knowing when those people come and listening to them and allowing them to help you.”

Glens Falls High School Principal Tammy Silvernell also spoke to the class and said following dreams meant never settling for something they were not passionate about.

She warned the class not to waste time doing something they did not love, because time goes much quicker than you expect.

“Not too long from now, you will become old,” Silvernell said. “Because our time is limited and fleeting, I urge you, don’t waste your time living a life someone else designs for you. Don’t play it safe.”

The 129 students in the Class of 2019 decided to donate their senior class gift, an annual tradition in which seniors donate to a cause of their choice, to the Warren County SPCA.

The award was presented by Hannah Hawkins and Luke Borgos, and they said the tradition is an effort to show thanks and appreciation to the community that has given them so much since they began school 12 years ago.

Soon-to-be graduate Kaleb Dingmon said he was beyond appreciative to everyone who had helped to this point and he was excited to be able to pursue his music career full-time without having to think about school every day.

Ashanti Allen said she was ready for the next step, but the reality of graduating was still setting in.

“I can’t believe it’s over,” Allen said. “Adulthood is coming fast.”

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Samuel Northrop is the education reporter for The Post-Star. He can be reached at snorthrop@poststar.com.

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