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Newport Seniors End on High Note: ‘We Look to the Future With Confidence’

  • Jacob Leslie, left, photographs Tyler Robertson, right, through the hollow ear plug of Jake Clark as the Newport High School seniors kill time before graduation at the Newport Opera House Thursday, June 12, 2014. <br/>(Valley News - James M. Patterson)

    Jacob Leslie, left, photographs Tyler Robertson, right, through the hollow ear plug of Jake Clark as the Newport High School seniors kill time before graduation at the Newport Opera House Thursday, June 12, 2014.
    (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Hannah Hibbard paints her car windows to celebrate her graduation from Newport High School with the help of classmate Hannah Merrow, left, in Newport, N.H. Thursday, June 12, 2014. <br/>Valley News - James M. Patterson

    Hannah Hibbard paints her car windows to celebrate her graduation from Newport High School with the help of classmate Hannah Merrow, left, in Newport, N.H. Thursday, June 12, 2014.
    Valley News - James M. Patterson Purchase photo reprints »

  • Jacob Leslie, left, photographs Tyler Robertson, right, through the hollow ear plug of Jake Clark as the Newport High School seniors kill time before graduation at the Newport Opera House Thursday, June 12, 2014. <br/>(Valley News - James M. Patterson)
  • Hannah Hibbard paints her car windows to celebrate her graduation from Newport High School with the help of classmate Hannah Merrow, left, in Newport, N.H. Thursday, June 12, 2014. <br/>Valley News - James M. Patterson

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Newport — Speakers at Thursday’s Newport High School graduation inside the opera house offered a mixture of thoughts and reflections on the past four years and a promise of a bright future for each of the 84 seniors in the class of 2014.

Jake Clark gave a stirring performance on guitar as he sang One Way (Home), the class poem he wrote for the graduation and the Newport High School Chamber Chorus sang “Let It Go” and “Lean On Your Team.”

The first speaker, class president Julia Sullivan, said she was feeling a range of emotions on this final day of the class being together and held high hopes for her classmates.

“We look to the future with confidence because everyone has great potential,” Sullivan said. “The Class of 2014 is a class of great determination and that has served us well the last four years.”

Sullivan said among the challenges they faced was four principals and a new grading system and those life lessons they can take with them in the next phase of their lives.

She also took some time to thank the teachers for their efforts to guide and support the graduates through the years.

“You have prepared us to go out and explore our self-interests,” said Sullivan, who is headed to UNH in the fall.

Sullivan thanked the parents for supporting students on everything from homework to sports and fundraisers.

Hannah Merrow, who will attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, took a slightly quirky approach to her speech, stopping at one point to ask graduate Sky Curtis to stand so that everyone in the opera house could sing “Happy Birthday.”

Merrow said after 2,340 days since kindergarten, seniors have finally reached the end and praised her class for “making a mark” on the town and community that will remain after they leave. Though they are moving on to something new in their lives that will take many of them away from Newport, Merrow asked them to never forget where they are from.

“As each of you move on, this town, this school, will always remain a part of us,” Merrow said.

After Merrow’s speech Clark stepped down from the stage to perform the class poem.

The evening began with the traditional march to Pomp and Circumstance followed by the National Anthem.

Look back, but don’t dwell on the past, and look ahead with optimism was the advice from Salutatorian Lindsay DeFilippis, who will attend Stony Brook University.

DeFilippis said it was time to celebrate the launch of a new chapter in their lives and they should let go of disappointment, failure and mistakes. “Only take the good and leave the bad behind.”

“This is our chance to become whoever and whatever we want to be,” DeFilippis said. “Don’t dwell on regrets.”

Whatever the future holds — college, work, the military — “you can choose to present the best side of yourself.”

Valedictorian Allison Doucette is going to Bentley University in the fall.

She said graduation day made her feel relieved, sad and scared “because now we are on our own.”

She encouraged her classmates to remain focused and committed to what lies ahead for each of them.

“Let’s make sure we take advantage of the opportunities we have and never do anything less than your best.”

After several awards were handed out, the seniors received their diplomas and were loudly applauded by an appreciative audience.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at pogclmt@gmail.com.

CLASS OF 2014

Jessica Amos; Andrew Joseph Bahara, New England Culinary Institute; Katie Marie Beam; Ethan Scott Beattie, New Hampshire Technical Institute; Owen Bedell, National Guard; Kiana Mary Blaine, Colby-Sawyer College; Zachary J. Brown, Temple University; Walter Bushway; Aaron-Joseph Waddington Carroll; Dylan Arthur Carter, U.S. Air Force; Matthew Iver Chase, Motorcycle Mechanics Institute; Dennis James Chase Jr.; Brian James Chrimes, Keene State; Jacob Avery Clark, NHTI; Samantha N. Clark-West; Dallas Clayton; Katharyn-Ann King Contois, missionary work, then UNH; Nolan Paul Cota, River Valley Community College; Sky W.B. Curtis, University of Maine at Farmington; Ryan Mathew DeCesare, Lakes Region Community College; Lindsay Anne DeFilippis, Stony Brook University; Lindsy Lucienne Desmarais, Eckerd College; Irene Marie Desrosiers; Kayla Sue Desrosiers; Allison Jane Doucette, Bentley University; Cheyenne Jade Dustin, Community College of Denver; Kayla Jean Fagga; Jeremy Ryan Farnham; Samantha Lynn Fortier, RVCC; Nicole Lee Gardner, NHTI; Alyssa Ann Gebo, Stetson University; Ashley Barbara Gokey, cosmetology; Emily Rae Goss, UNH; Justin Hamilton; Richard Bruce Hammond, Husson University; Justin Thomas Hancock; Lyndon Norman Hays; Michael James Hebert, Vermont Technical College; Coleen Louise Hennig, College of Mount St. Vincent; Hannah Nichole Hibbard, UNH: Gunter Albrecht Hubert, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Bridgette Marie Huff; Kelley Jennings; Tyler Bryce Johnson, U.S. Air Force; Caitlin Marie Jones, Keene State; Kaytlynn S. Kenney, Colby-Sawyer; Jody Charlotte Koloski; Kaylee Elizabeth Lawrence, Berkeley College; Jacob John Leslie, Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry; Kathryn Leah-Ann Locke, University of Central Florida; Kasie Lopes, Colby-Sawyer; Renèe Velittia Magoon, Suffolk University; Cale Albert Manseau; Zachary Michael McNeel, Art Institute of Los Angeles; Kyle James McNeil; Matthew Merritt; Hannah Lee Merrow, RPI; Marisa Marie Morse, RVCC; Ashley Lynn Moulton, Job Corps/college; Katelynn Leigh Muzzey, Bryant University; Toni Marie Nix, Colby-Sawyer; Leah Natasha Peel,Regis College; Noelle Marie Peterson, Champlain College; Tanis Reynard; Erik Tyler Richardson; Tyler Alden Robertson, U.S. Army; Samuel Allen Rockwood; Hailey Taylor Rossiter; Michael Nicholas Salinardi; U.S. Air Force; Dakota Michael Sargent, U.S. Marine Corps; Amanda Lynn Smith, RVCC; Richard Paul Sorger III; Colton St. Germain; Felicia Kathleen Stanhope, New England School of Hair Design; Tor Eric Stenberg, UNH; Kyle Stuart Stone; Christiana Maria Strumpolis; Julia Madison Sullivan, UNH; Jason Allen Teeter Jr., U.S. Air Force; Faith Nicole Truell, Kennebec Valley Community College; Daniel James Tyminski, Wentworth Institute of Technology; Suesanne Christine Vasquez; Caroline Mary Wacholtz, Keene State; Chandler Dean Wentzell; Meghan Louise Wilder, Job Corps; Sophia Marie Willis, UNH; Stanley Robert Wood.

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