Newport Graduates Recall the Good Times
Newport’s Hannah St. Jean, center left, tries to figure out how to attach a flower pin, while crammed with her peers into the walkway outside the Newport Opera House as they wait to walk into their graduation ceremony at the opera house in Newport yesterday. (Valley News - Libby March) Purchase photo reprints »
Newport seniors trek across the wet parking lot on their way to line up for graduation outside the Newport Opera House yesterday. (Valley News - LIbby March) Purchase photo reprints »
Newport’s Lynzee Williams fiddles with her New Hampshire Scholar medal. (Valley News - Libby March) Purchase photo reprints »
Newport — It was standing room only inside the Newport Opera House last night with more than 500 family members and friends on hand to applaud graduates as they crossed the stage and accepted their diplomas.
Previously scheduled for the Newport Town Common, the Newport Middle High School commencement ceremony was moved indoors because of rain.
“This class is adjustable and resilient,” said Assistant Principal Jennifer Haskins, referring to the fact that the class of 2013 had a different principal every year throughout high school.
“Four principal in four years,” Haskins confirmed. The 71 graduates, though, handled the situation with respect and dignity.
Another adversity the group battled was the loss of a fellow classmate. In honor of Adam Pysz, who died last fall, the class of 2013 donated $250 to the Upper Valley Humane Society in Pysz memory.
“More importantly, we have come together during times of need,” said Class President Aaron Cherry.
Although some of the class’ past experiences were trying, last night the graduate’s spoke of the happy, the sad and the downright “disgusting” memories they shared the last four years — and each memory kept the audience tuned in.
“The NASCAR race track cleanup was the best. We found some of the most disgusting things ever, but it was so much fun because we had a great group of kids who all helped out,” Cherry said, of the annual fundraiser cleanup in Loudon, N.H.
The memory that was “a close second” was the senior class trip to New York City where the graduates saw a Broadway show and shopped in Times Square, to name a few stops on the itinerary.
“We did all of this fun stuff in New York City and I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with any other class,” Cherry said, smiling as he remembered the trip.
Darien Hubert said homecoming stuck out for her as a notable memory.
“Newport is all about tradition,” she said, adding the town, community and school are all involved — which made it special.
During her speech, class essayist Lydia Walker agreed that “dying of heat and hunger at Loudon” during the racetrack cleanup was for sure an everlasting memory and said ordering Newport Village Pizza and “having it delivered through the window” at school will be something she will remember for a long time. “Though our stories are still being written, we will always have the memories we have shared together,” Walker said. “We will carry a little bit of each other with us.”
In Cherry’s opening remarks he spoke of the importance of family — not just immediate family — but the family bond among classmates.
“My own personal family, they’ve helped me get through school, they’ve pushed me to do homework and study,” Cherry said. “And my class, our grade has just bonded. You can always find everybody talking, everybody smiling, everybody having a good time. We have molded so perfectly into this one great student and it’s just a great class, great community, great school — great everything.”
In her salutatory speech, Jessica Fish hit on the importance of community and spoke of the overwhelming support her class has received from the town of Newport.
“(And) this crowd is a proud example of this,” she said, adding she hopes her fellow classmates will stay in touch and give back to the community.
Between last night’s awards and senior class night, roughly $100,000 in scholarship funds were awarded to the graduates.
William Adams, Employment; Christopher Annala, Employment; Cheyenne Marie Ayotte, Employment; Christopher Jon Ayotte Jr., Employment; Judith A. Ayotte; Nakita Rachelle Ayotte, Lincoln Technical Institute; Kira Lynn Bailey, Plymouth State; Cassandra L. Becklo, Vermont Technical; Jeffery L. Blomquist, River Valley Community College; Jonathan David Boone, Employment; Ryan J. Bowie, Employment; Scott Robert Brim, US Army; Hannah Cannistraci, Employment; Melinda Louise Carl, Lyndon State; Colby Austin Chenette, Navy; Aaron Robert Cherry, University of Tampa; Paine Handley Churchill, Employment; Ashley Louise Clivio-Wentrup, Goucher College; Mikaylor Jean Contois, River Valley Community College; Tiffany Nicole Cormier, River Valley Community College; Courtney Lynn Dow, NHTI; Jessica Lynn Fish, Cornell University; Stephanie Marie Fulton, Providence College; Jordan Ann Gardner, River Valley Community College; Samantha A. Graham, Franklin Pierce University; Kyle L. Green, Lasell College; Jacob L. Harvey, Employment; Nicholas Quinn Hastings, Community College of Rhode Island; Jordan Lorraine Howard-Collins, University of New Hampshire; Darien Pauline Hubert, Bentley University; Daniel Lawrence Huot, Clarkson University; Justis Alexander Jones, Employment; Jennifer Lynn Kidder, Colby-Sawyer College; Morgan Jade Kuhns, Employment; Kelsey M. LaBounty, River Valley Community College; Ashley Elizabeth LaQuire, Granite State College; Morgan Charles Leatherberry, Manchester Community College; Cory Charles Lopes, U.S. Coast Guard; Frederick J. Maddage III, Navy; Katharine Elizabeth Marsh, Paul Smith College; Michaela Brook Marsh, New England School of Hair Design; Kristen Lynn Martin, River Valley Community College; Nathaniel James Martin, Employment; Brayden McKinney; Alexandra Renee McLaughlin, Employment; Makayla Elizabeth Merritt, University of New Haven; Cody Paul Osgood, Vermont Technical College; Ashley Plante, NHTI; Michael E. Porter, River Valley Community College; Marion M. Raymond, New England College; Klye J. Robbins, River Valley Community College; Samantha Susan Russell; Joseph Michael Salinardi, Employment; Rebecca Soulia, University of Southern Maine; Hannah Louise St. Jean, Salve Regina University; Alexandra Jane Stefan, Colby-Sawyer College; Sharissa Marie Stout, University of New Hampshire; Sage Sundell, River Valley Community College; Tapanga Racheall Tarr, River Valley Community College; Codi Logan Tarrien; Matthew Edward Tremblay, Columbia University; David J. Truell, US Air Force; Austin Gregory Turner, Maine Maritime Academy; Megan Victoria Votaw; Peter Joseph Wacholtz, Paul Smith College; Devin James Wade, US Air Force; Lydia Madeline Walker, University of New Hampshire; Mary Ellen Ward; Kristen Lena Wesoja, Cazenovia College; Lynzee Rae Williams, Employment; Natasha Carolina Yepez, Returning to Venezuela.