Mascoma Seniors Hear Last ‘Lecture’
As fellow graduates march into the gymnasium at Mascoma High School, on June 13, 2014, graduates from left Deven DeNutte, Tucker Courtermarsh, and Trevor Bailey wait for the ceremony to begin.
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Demora Dessert plays music with other Mascoma High School graduates during her commencement ceremony in Canaan, N.H., on June 13, 2014.
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West Canaan — Mascoma Valley Regional High School Principal James Collins joked at Friday’s graduation that it is common for commencement speakers to preach about individuality as the key to success for graduates who are all wearing the same cap and gown.
But his students seemed to have mastered individuality despite their matching white and purple gowns by decorating their mortarboards with a little piece of themselves.
Jessica Darling decorated her cap with a purple outline of the New York City skyline and “2014” painted in gold because she will be going to New York City in the fall to attend Pace University.
Morgan Murphy drew the outlines of New Hampshire and North Dakota with a dotted red line connecting the two on her mortarboard. Murphy said the drawing represented her relationship with her boyfriend in North Dakota.
Another student inscribed the words, “I go to seek a Great Perhaps” on her cap, while others simply decorated theirs with silver rhinestones, purple and gold glitter and artistic designs, including gold swirls and purple and white stripes.
“It’s a good way to separate yourself from the class, but at the same time we’re still together,” Darling said.
The 97 graduates received their diplomas with admiring family and friends watching from chairs and bleachers in the standing-room-only high school gym.
Shawn Joyce, the business education teacher, was chosen by members of the graduating class to give the keynote address. He told the students that working with them had been a high point in his career.
He reminded the students that Friday’s speech would be his last lecture to them. “My hope is that during this last lecture, no one will ask me to borrow a pencil, go to the bathroom, text and, most importantly, no one will fall asleep,” Joyce said.
He recalled a day when members of the Class of 2014 were sitting in his class on a cold, clear day. Joyce was waiting for the overhead projector to warm up when the school’s new wood-burning boiler turned on and he was suddenly enveloped in “tropical warmth.” While he stood at the front of his class surrounded in warmth, he saw his students, pencils in hand, patiently waiting for him to begin his lecture.
“They were focused and waiting for me to teach them. It was at that moment that I knew what that class meant to me,” Joyce said, adding, “For me, working with the Class of 2014 was like being in heaven.”
The Class of 2014 also heard from Anthony Young, this year’s valedictorian who is going to the University of New Hampshire in the fall, and salutatorian, Benjamin Bonner, who will attend Dartmouth College.
It wasn’t easy earning the position of valedictorian, Young told his classmates. His freshman, sophomore and junior years were filled with late nights interpreting Shakespeare and memorizing polyatomic ions.
“But somewhere around the beginning of this year, I discovered a little thing called a girlfriend,” Young said, which was followed by laughter from the audience.
Young began acting like a normal teenager instead of spending every night studying, but he struggled to find a balance between having fun and getting his school work completed.
“Is high school supposed to be the time of our lives or the time to spend building a foundation for a better life?” Young asked.
The answer is somewhere in the middle, Young told his classmates. High school should not be so much fun that students lose sight of hard work and personal goals. Young encouraged his classmates who are going on to college to try to find a happy medium by finding their passion and choosing a major that would help them discover a reason for learning. But at the same time, he told them not to “study your life away.”
“Most important of all, have fun,” Young said. “We have the rest of our lives to sit behind a desk.”
Sarah Brubeck can be reached at email@example.com or 603-727-3223.
CLASS OF 2014
Kimberly Anne Alley, Connecticut College; Seannah Foster Arnold; Taylor Christine Averine; Heather Rae Bailey, Southern New Hampshire University; Trevor Alan Bailey, Military; Christian Robert Berry; Edward Frances Bianco, U.S. Marines; Graeme Christopher Vaughan Bignell, University of New Hampshire; Allie Marie Birch; Benjamin James Bonner, Dartmouth College; Zachary Allen Bousquet, Washington County Community College; Daniel Patrick Brown; Alexander Jeffrey Brueckner; Andrew Ian Micheal Burse, River Valley Community College; Nicholas Ralph Campbell; Morgan Brandy Cantlin, Keene State College; Keegan Evan Caraway, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Brent Dillan Carter; Ian Scott Chase; Tucker Jason Coutermarsh; Keenan James Crary, University of New Hampshire; Jessica Renee Darling, Pace University; Benjamin Adam Davis; Kaela Mary Dempsey, Nazareth College; Deven Matthew Denutte, Lincoln Technical Institute; Joseph Peter Depalo IV, University of New Haven; Demora Elizabeth Dessert, Saint Michael’s College; Tabitha Virginia Dionne, Lynn University; Tabitha Nicole Doe, University of Maine Farmington; Paige Elizabeth Doody, Hartwick College; Steven Keith Edson; Nicole Helyn Farewell; Matthew Thomas Ferland, Plymouth State University; Gabrielle Lee Forshee, Ithaca College; Briana Lee Furman, Alfred University; Alexandra Lane Gelinas, Georgetown College; Allison Courtney Gibbons, New England College; Daniel Alexander Gonzalez, Ohio Technical College; Olivia Kate Griffith, Norwich University; Hannah Mae Griswold; Amanda Marie Guerin, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine; Korey Chandler Guest; Carrie Avilda Hackeman, University of Vermont; Danielle Alison Hammond, University of New Hampshire; Braden Jerome Hewes; Jossie Lee Howlett; Alix Marie Hurley, Castleton State College; Damien Michael Jenkins, Lincoln Technical Institute; Jesse James Jenkins; Samuel Lee Jones, Keene State College; Chloe Jean Kahn, University of New Hampshire; Catherine Jane Kondi, Hartwick College; Kyle John Kosiorek, Plymouth State University; Garrett Jaymes Laundry; Mallory Raye Lawn, Empire Beauty School; Justin Donald Marsh, River Valley Community College; Logan Judith Martin, Franklin Pierce University; Meghan Sue Meagher, Keene State College; Hayley Elizabeth Morong, Community College of Vermont; Charles Allan Moye, New England Culinary Institute; Gavin Drake Mullen; Eilis Isabell Murphy, Colby Sawyer College; Morgan Alexis Murphy, Plymouth State University; Ethan James Neily, Plymouth State University; Jacon Scott Neily; Mariah Joy Niemi, Newbury College; Michaela Anne Parrish, Colby Sawyer College; Jeffrey Allen Parsons, University of Maine; Nicholas Daniel Perez, Colorado Mountain College; Shane Douglas Pierce; Sarah Elizabeth Poirer, Sacred Heart University; Alexandra Elaine Psota, New England College; Matthew Julian Quow, Lakes Region Community College; William Robert Reagan, Virginia Tech; Haley Sarah Roberts, Canisius College; Isaiah James Rock, Pacific University of Oregon; Makayla Denise Ruel; Emily Paige Russell, community college; Wayne Paul Joseph Savard, Military; Joseph Torin Simoneau, Military; Katie Marie Stanley, Lebanon College; Melissa Anne Stark, University of New Hampshire; Katie Mae Steller, Lebanon College; Carissa Nicole Stevens, Keene State College; Richard Dean Stockwell; Kendra Leigh Stone, Keene State College; Lindsey Ann Thompson, nursing program; Haley Susan Torrey, Canisius College; Alexandra Paige Sutfin Vanzandt, University of New Hampshire; Roland Wyles Veasey, online college; Marissa Lee Washer, Mission Work; Rebecca Alynn Waugh, University of Rhode Island; James Avery White, Lincoln Technical Institute; Krysten Nicole Withington, River Valley Community College; Nicholas Adam Wyman, community college;Katelyn Lorrey Yoder, Chic Studios; Anthony Michael Young, University of New Hampshire.