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FEH BOCES honors seniors with completion ceremonies
FEH BOCES honors seniors with completion ceremonies
Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES
Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES honored its seniors with completion ceremonies in Saranac Lake and Malone to celebrate the career-oriented knowledge and skills students gained through FEH BOCES programs.

On June 13 and 14, the BOCES celebrated 79 graduating seniors at Adirondack Educational Center in Saranac Lake, and 153 graduating seniors based out of North Franklin Educational Center.

Click here for photos and video of ceremonies at Adirondack Educational Center. Click here for photos and video of ceremonies in our north end

Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES offers 11 two-year Career and Technical Education for 11th and 12th graders, plus four New Vision CTE programs for high school seniors. Most students completing programs also earned professional certifications to help them as they move forward in their careers.

Adirondack Educational Center Principal Rick Swanston noted that FEH BOCES helps equip students to be prepared for whatever is next after they move on from high school.

“This is only the beginning,” Swanston told students during the ceremonies. “Some of you are entering the workforce, some of you already have. Others may be considering a career in the Armed Forces or might begin college or another post-secondary educational experience in the fall. And it’s all good: Go out and live your best life, whatever that means to you.”

This was Swanston’s last year of hosting FEH BOCES completion ceremonies. After 27 years with the BOCES and 11 years as principal of Adirondack Educational Center, Swanston will retire at the end of this month. Stephanie Murphy, previously an assistant principal in Peru, has been hired as his replacement to lead the center.

Prior to 2020, FEH BOCES had a single completion ceremony in Malone for all its north end students, and another single completion ceremony in Saranac Lake for its south end students. When the pandemic struck, the BOCES started hosting a ceremony for each program to limit the number of people gathered at once. Students, their families and staff all found they much preferred the more intimate, meaningful ceremonies that focused on their programs.

Despite now being allowed to gather more people at once, FEH BOCES has continued with individual program ceremonies. Ceremonies were held throughout the day on both June 13 and 14. At AEC, all ceremonies were held in a tent outside of the school, then students showed their families around their school and classroom. In the north end, staff set up ceremonies in various spots at and nearby NFEC or outside satellite classrooms in Salmon River, finding places that were meaningful to each program.

Students from nine school districts in Franklin, Essex and Hamilton counties attend trade-focused educational programs through FEH BOCES. An Apple Award is given to a senior in an FEH BOCES program with the best average for their school district. This year’s Apple Award winners were:

  • Brushton-Moira Central School District: Jasmine LaSalle
  • Chateaugay CSD: Emily Dibble
  • Lake Placid CSD: Anne Rose-McCandlish
  • Long Lake CSD: Annalise Penrose
  • Malone CSD: Ava Bruso
  • St. Regis Falls CSD: Abagail Greguire
  • Salmon River CSD: Tianna McMahon
  • Saranac Lake CSD: Bethany Clark
  • Tupper Lake CSD: Angeleena Vaillancourt-Metz

A number of other awards were also given out during the ceremonies, including the following:

  • Preve Award: Carter Tower, Malone CSD
  • Brooke Lyon Remembrance Scholarship: Alexia Barnett, Malone CSD
  • Willie Willett Scholarship: Jack Monette, Malone CSD
  • Jeb Bartenslager Scholarship: Blake Gilman, Malone CSD
  • Billy Lyon Scholarship: Andrew Rose II, Saranac Lake CSD
  • Kenneth R. and Kevin R. Ruehl Award: Sawyer Trudeau, Saranac Lake CSD
  • David J & C. Sue Desantis New Vision Scholarship: Tristan Spotts, Lake Placid CSD

In north end ceremonies, North Franklin Educational Center Executive Principal Shawn McMahon talked about how students were given the freedom to grow in their programs. 

“Our instructors have not sheltered these students. They have not babied them or coddled them in any way. And by not doing so, we feel they better prepared them for the future that lies ahead. We’ve expected a great deal of focus, dedication, effort, resiliency, hard work, and trust from these students. In my humble opinion, the students being recognized here today are among the most well-rounded young men and women graduating here in the North Country this June,” McMahon told ceremony attendees.

To learn more about FEH BOCES and the many ways it supports 10 school districts in Franklin, Essex and Hamilton counties, explore or follow along on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.