We're in the midst of high school graduation season, which is accompanied by mixed emotions for students and families throughout the region.
There will be tears of joy and sadness - joy of reaching a milestone and sadness that this end is the beginning of a new course for our high school graduates.
In many cases, that beginning will lead students out of the house and out of their parents' daily care for the first time as the young adults pursue their next challenge. Whether it's next week or in a couple of months, that separation comes with trepidation for both students and their families.
There will be a sense of pride in the achievement of not only the various award winners - of valedictorians, salutorians or honor-roll students - but of every student who is standing tall, wearing a cap and gown.
There will be nostalgia, of remembering the days when yellow school buses took today's seniors off to first grade, of the innocence this year's graduates once had, of yesteryear's need for guidance replaced by today's independence.
In some cases, there will be relief, too, as the yearn to learn unfortunately doesn't always start when students are in high school, creating bumps in the road that make just getting to this day a little more challenging.
We salute those students for their perseverance, too.
There is no set formula for a successful career path. Just because a student is No. 1 in the class doesn't guarantee a doctoral degree. Nor is the student who found himself in detention more than a few times destined to failure. There are positive and negative foundations that can be built upon and overcome.
We congratulate the Class of 2012 and wish the graduates well in their future endeavors.