Stevens High Graduates Go High Tech
Danielle Ballard, left, turns away as her classmates Courtney Bogle and Justin Halberg kiss. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »
Shadows of mortar boards and tassels are visible through a backdrop during Stevens High School commencement last night. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »
Claremont — The soon-to-be Stevens High School graduates marched two by two to their places on the stage, their shoes peeking out from beneath the crisp red of their gowns. The girls walked with the measured steps. The boys, a little more awkwardly, did their best.
As they took their places, they looked out over the crowd of 1,200. Their faces, shiny like new dimes, were hopeful and just a little bit scared.
As the procession waned, moms popped up across the crowd like whack-a-mole trying to get that first of the last school photos of their babies, each click an attempt to mark if not stop altogether those moments from slipping away.
Stevens Principal Frank W. Sprague told the crowd he probably could have just sent these kids off with a pat on the back and a wish of good luck.
“But they deserve something more special,” he said.
And he gave it to them. More than a graduation, this was a multimedia celebration , complete with musical numbers, a choreographed dance and a film montage of all the class had accomplished together.
Richard Seaman, chairman of the Claremont School Board, took to the podium and told the graduates they were destined to change the world. They would be the ones to take technology and innovation to the next level.
Salutatorian Alyssa Foisy told her class they were a family bound for life. And in a tone reminiscent of a call to arms told them to remember, “We are the humble and hungry. Our roots are planted here among the red and black. Graduates, I urge you to hold onto the memories, hold onto the friendships, and never forget where it all started. Daniel Seaman, the valedictorian, carried on her battle cry, telling his classmates to not only think about the next four years, but the ones after that and the ones after that.
“I implore you to do what you need to do, take the risks that you must take, and reach the goals you have always wanted to reach,” Seaman urged, “because over the last four years you have proven to everyone sitting in front of you tonight that not only can you reach those goals, but you deserve to.”
With the last bits of business done, the members of the class of 2013 made their way toward their diplomas. As each name was read aloud, shouts of proud and joy erupted in the audience. Each name was read slowly and clearly, with enough time in between for the crowd to shower each with shouts of pride and joy. Even the toughest-looking students among them threw arms in the air and savored every step toward the handshake.
But one student, Lucas Beliveau, didn’t want to walk alone.
“He called me up to him,” said his mother, Ellen Beliveau. “And I went up to see what he wanted and he said, ‘Mom, I want you to go up there with me.’ … It means the world to me. He’s my youngest, and he’s leaving in two weeks because he’s already been accepted into the Navy. ... It means more to me than I could ever tell you.”
After the last graduate received her diploma, the class erupted into a flash mob style song and dance to Carly Ray Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe.
Class advisor Karen Cullison wanted to say goodbye in her own way — she sang For Good, from the musical Wicked, to say how she had been forever changed by just having known them.
Fellow advisor Shannon Smith followed suit, barely making it through before tears took hold.
“As you know, I don’t have kids of my own,” she said. “This is my mother-I-may-never-be moment: I couldn’t be more proud of you.” One student ran up and hugged her, soothing the tears. The others gave her a standing ovation.
And as Sprague, the principal, addressed his students, including his daughter who was also graduating, he gave them praise, thanked all those who made it possible and then signaled the class marshals to release the class: “Marshals, it’s time.”
Class of 2013
Amber Adams, Plymouth State University; Alicia Ambrose, work; Jacob Ambrose, work; Taylor Anderson, New Hampshire Technical Institute; Romario Bailey, University of Vermont; Danielle Ballard, Wagner College; Kelsey Barker, Colby-Sawyer College; Logan Batchelder, Castleton State College; Brandon Belanger, work; Lucas Beliveau, U.S. Navy; Michaela Bergeron, Granite State College; Catherine Blackwell, work;, Madison Boardman, Clark University; Courtney Bogle, River Valley Community College; Brianna Broe, work; William Brooks, New Hampshire Technical Institute; Andrew Brousseau, work; Jasmine Butterfield, work; Anne Cameron, New Hampshire Technical Institute; Jesse Carrier, work; Tiffany Carrier, River Valley Community College; Joshua Carroll, University of New England; Joshua Casey, University of New Hampshire; Richard Cherbonneau, work; Jonathan Christiansen, work; Kieran Cochrane, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Rebecca Coombs, work; Justin Corbett, work; Caitlin Cullison, Oklahoma Baptist University; Megan Currier, Colby-Sawyer College; Gabrielle Cutts, River Valley Community College; Trey Dansereau, Keene State College; Miranda Dillon, work; Martino Donelli, returning to Italy; Derek Dow, work; Kenneth Dulong, work; Alistashia Dunbar, work; Cullen Eaton, Castleton State College; Tyler Erickson, returning for post-graduate studies; Shawn Erskine, work; Meaghan Esdon, River Valley Community College; Alexis Ferland, work; Curtis Fiedler, work; Shawn Fitzpatrick, Vincennes University; Alyssa Foisy, Syracuse University; Taylor Foss, New Hampshire Technical Institute; Shane Furtado, work; Tyler Gaspar, work; Molly Gaumont, work; Francis Gibbs-Osgood, Colby-Sawyer College; Cylan Gosselin, Norwich University; Shayla Gratacos, work; Hedda Gudim, returning to Norway; Justin Halberg, U.S. Navy; Myranda Hamel, Green Mountain College; William Heighes, Lakes Region Community College; Adelina Hilerio, work; Kelsi Hlobik, work; Keith Hodgdon, work; Sammantha Hoyt, work; Victoria Hunter, work; Chantelle Huse O’Briens , Aveda Institute; Jake Jekubovich, work; Anthony Keene, work; Kyndal Kennett, Johnson & Wales University; Breanna Knight, work; Korin Korpi, work; Anthony LaClair, work; Morgan LaFont, Montserrat School of Art; Colt Lagasse, River Valley Community College; Mariah Lane, work; Candace Larison, work; Cassidy Larison, Franklin Pierce University; Craig Lavigne, work; Brooke Lawton, work; Cody LeClair, Colby-Sawyer College; Troy LeClair, work; Sarah Lembree, University of New Hampshire — Thompson School; Todd Lemieux, work; Chelsea Lenahan, Aveda Institute; Noel Little, work; Joshua Loring, work; Madison Lumbra, Norwich University; Lyndsey Lurvey, work; Ethan Mattice, Drew University; Nicholas McCall, Keene State College; Stephanie McGlyn, work; Jessi Menard, University of Hartford; Dylon Metcalf, work; Haley Meunier, River Valley Community College; Samantha Miller, work; Alexandra Morin, work; Jeffrey Murray, work; Benjamin Nelson, Dartmouth College; Ankur Patel, Wentworth Institute of Technology; Tyler Pederson, work; Samantha Perry, Rollins College; Samantha Picard, work; Forrest Powers, Lakes Region Community College; Michael Puksta, River Valley Community College; Kelly Putnam, New Hampshire Technical Institute; Sarah Renaud, University of New Hampshire — Thompson School; Jasmyne Rines, work; Riley Rivet, work; Jacob Roberts, River Valley Community College; Alyssa Robitille, work; Brittany Roth, University of New Hampshire; Abbey Rouillard, University of New England; Bryan Rourke, U.S. Marines; Michael Saben, New Hampshire Technical Institute; Linn Schutze, returning to Germany; Rebecca Scranton, work; Daniel Seaman, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Christopher Shattuck, Castleton State College; Alissa Simino, St. Joseph’s College Of Maine; Austyn Smith, Work; Katharine Sprague, work; Shilo St. Pierre, Castleton State College; Elijah Stacy, U.S. Army; Danielle Sturtevant-Rankin, work; Ethan Sumner, River Valley Community College; Preston Sweet, U.S. Marines; Joseph Tarantino, U.S. Marines; Danielle Tenney, Sacred Heart University; Connor Theroux, Eastern Nazarene College; Kendall Theroux, Kenyon College; Valerie Thorburn, work; Joelyn Underwood, River Valley Community College; Tyler Vashaw, work; Rebekah Walsh, work; Morgan Ward, St. Joseph’s College of Maine; Cote Waterman, work; Victoria Webster, Keene State College; Sydney Whipple, River Valley Community College; Fanae White, work; Meghan Witthaus, Emerson College; Dallas Wolfe, The Art Institute of California — Los Angeles; Nathan Wright, Lakes Region Community College.