NORTH RIDGEVILLE — For the 40 graduating seniors who walked the stage in the Bettcher Convocation Center at Lake Ridge Academy on Saturday, the future is in the palms of their hands.
Students were accepted to 137 colleges and/or universities and were awarded $1.1 million in academic scholarships to continue their education beyond the walls of the academy. Graduates will attend institutions including New York University, Haverford College and Princeton University.
“Seniors, you are ready to follow your path into the future,” Stanley Way, associate head of Lake Ridge Academy, said. “You have the knowledge and skills. May your fire light your path to the future.”
Valedictorian Megan Haserdot, who will attend Hope College, compared her classmates with frogs.
“Frogs come in many different sizes, colors and shapes — just like our class,” she said. “Frogs breathe through their skin, and because of that, it makes it difficult for them to adapt to change. We are our biggest obstacle. So, to the class of 2007, be a frog. Do not be ashamed of who you are. Remember you are part of a larger ecosystem, and you are part of the change.”
Salutatorian Kathleen Morriss, who was accepted at Princeton University, said the class of 2007 pulled of the best senior class prank in school history — they set up camp in the backyard of Dean of Upper School Students Chandana Mozumdar.
“She saw us and said, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe you did this,’ ” Morriss said, laughing.
Kori Akagi and Christopher Walzer shared memories of Lake Ridge, including nap time and graduating from fifth grade. “We are like brothers and sisters now,” Walzer said.
Faculty speaker Jane Bricker Maczuzak had some advice: be passionate about something, believe in someone, and dance. “A dancing man never stands alone,” she said. “If you dance, you will be sought out, so when you get the chance, dance.”
Contact Melissa Linebrink at 329-7155 or firstname.lastname@example.org
chuck humel / CHRONICLE
Jacqui Pelsey prepares to march into Bettcher Convocation Center with her fellow Lake Ridge Academy classmates.