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SKYLINE STUDENTS EXHORTED TO CONFRONT LIFE WITH LIGHT HEARTS

Skyline High School's class of 1990 was graduated "to the open road" Friday night with a fond glance back, but clearly focused on what lies ahead.

"It is true that our teenage lives have been filled with experiences and pleasures that will never be equaled, but a major part of the joy of life is moving forward," said graduate Gina M. Bottino.She and the other commencement speakers addressed their classmates on the theme, "Afoot and lighthearted I take to the open road," from a Walt Whitman poem.

"As we graduate from high school, we graduate into a world of many opportunities, a world of expectations and of dreams, of trials and misfortune," Bottino said, exhorting the graduates to face the future "with light hearts and open minds."

Jennafer Jones said the class of 1990 has an obligation to initiate and inspire a decade of excellence. "Around us, but preferably among us, great things will transpire," she said.

Life should not be approached frivolously or with uncertainty and dread, Jones said, "but rather joyfully, with optimism and hope." And she stressed the value of individuality, saying, "It is up to us now to go forth in whatever direction or follow any path we choose to conquer."

Speaker Ida Baghoomian said, "Instead of being intimidated and confused by the seemingly endless and busy road ahead, let us picture ourselves at the beginning of a path that will allow us freedom of choice and decisions."

Citing recent technological breakthroughs and political upheaval, Baghoomian said, "It has been a year of many changes for our future. Hopefully, the class of 1990 will make great changes for the future as well."

The farewell speech was given by Elaina Maragakis, who recalled some of the highlights of the graduates' years at Skyline: A fund-raiser for a student who was paralyzed in an accident; the teacher walkout; disputes over a controversial citizenship policy; a recycling program and other events.