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Kearsarge Graduates Give Thanks to All Those Who Supported Them

Concord Monitor
Published: 6/12/2017 12:10:05 AM
Modified: 6/12/2017 10:33:58 AM

North Sutton, n.h. – On the occasion of the Kearsarge Regional School District’s 50th anniversary, superintendent Winfried Feneberg told the high school’s graduates to celebrate their success — while also honoring the collective effort it had taken to give them the opportunity for a quality public education.

For five decades, the communities of Bradford, Newbury, New London, Springfield, Sutton, Warner, and Wilmot have pooled their resources to pay for buildings, science labs, teacher salaries, books, and, now, computers, Feneberg told a crowd of several hundred gathered at the high school’s athletic field Saturday.

“I would contend that you are receiving your diplomas today in part because of the 50 years of our communities’ ongoing support for schools,” he said, adding wryly: “Of course, your effort and hard work also had something to do with that.”

Feneberg urged the school’s 122 graduates to “become an advocate and champion for public schools.”

“Oppose the ever louder chorus of critics and do not remain silent when people claim that our schools are failing. Look around. Look at those teachers you had in class. Look at what your parents and your community have provided for you,” he said.

As salutatorian Michael Salo took the podium under a bright blue, cloudless sky, he said he’d struggled to decide what he might say.

“I’m going to take a risk and start by bragging about these incredible people seated to the left and right of me. We’ve won six state championships this year alone,” he said.

But, echoing Feneberg, Salo said those accomplishments hadn’t happened in a vacuum.

“Where would we be without our incredible leaders and role models?” Salo said, giving shoutouts to the district’s teachers, administrators, coaches, musical directors, parents, and bus drivers.

“And let’s not forget our custodians and groundskeepers. Our school is built on a swamp, ladies and gentlemen,” Salo said, to chuckles from the audience. “How they’ve managed to keep our school from completely submerging, I will never know.”

He added: “It is said it takes a village to raise a child. And well, we’ve been fortunate enough to have seven of them.”

Valedictorian Elise Paquette told the crowd that she and her peers had learned countless lessons during their time in high school.

“We did learn that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. That sign of three pi over two equals zero. And that Jay Gatsby’s greenlight is a symbol for, well, something,” she said.

But one lesson had stood out.

“The countless hours you’ve spent coaching, instructing, and supporting us. The years you have spent investing in us, and believing in us have taught us something more. You’ve shown us how to believe in each other. And most importantly, how to believe in ourselves,” Paquette said.

She closed by saying that their lives had so far been about completing a path largely dictated from on high. The future was far more open-ended, she said.

“Some of us may still be figuring out exactly what we want to do — I know I still am. But that’s okay. Because these teachers, administrators, faculty, they’ve given us the tools to explore and make our own futures. We’ve been given everything that we need to succeed,” Paquette said.

Class president Anna Tilley gave the ceremony’s closing remarks.

Kearsarge Regional High School Class of 2017

Katherine Adams, Abigail Allen, Gunnar Andersson, Julian Andosca, Jakob Arnold, Mia Bailey, Travis Barchey, Cara Bartlett, Paige Bartlett, Josette Beaulieu, David Benjamin, Craig Berube, Carl Betz, Miranda Bonin, Alexandria Botana, Christopher Boufford, Cory Bouthillette, Jessalyn Bowen, Amy Bowman, Clare Brady, Isaac Braun, Douglas Breault, Bryce Brown, Andrew Burney, Annie Carr, Elizabeth Chambers Hannah Christiansen, Benjamin Clark, Cameron Clark, Sumner Clarke, Caleb Cochran, Madison Cook, Cy Courser, Raymond Critch, Timothy Cunningham, Kelsea Davis, Carly Decelle, Kayla Edmunds, Morgan Emery, Harrison Fantasia-Monigle, Dylan Fedas, Peter Fleury, Morganne Flinkstrom, Madelyn Folcik, Thomas Gallo, Emilie Gambino, Jordan Gilson, Cheyanne Hamilton, Maicynn Hansen, Sean Harrington, Benjamin Harrold, Jack Hearne, Leland Heckel, Lilia Henskens, Victoria Henskens, Sadie Hill, Tristin Honacher, Maggie Hotz, Madison Kane, Samuel Kelly, Kassahune Kidane, Mackenzie Kirk, Katlyn Kleckner, Michaela Kowalski, Devi Kraushaar, Courtney Lauster, Margaret Lee, Kasey Lipscomb, Brendan MacDonald, Liam MacIntyre, Kathryn MacLeod, Jason Marzelli, Scott Matthews, Fionna McSweeney, Eliana Mellott, Jennifer Merriam, Jared Midgett, Olivia Morcom, Ciara Morin, Molly Morris, Margaret Murphy,n Madeleine Neilsen, Justin Norris, Anya Nowicki, Gunnar Nurme, Charles O’Connor, Meghan O’Neill, Darrel Palmer, Elise Paquette, Rylee Pauling, Kaitlyn Penrose, Charlotte Perkins, Alexander Philip, Parker Pitts, Carly Prescott, James Prijdekker, April Rex, Cody Rowe, Ethan Ryder, Michael Salo, Edward Salvatore, Joshua Sandy, Daniel Santti, Eric Scheuch, Andrew Shampney, Riley Skinner, Michael Smith, Breanna Sowle, Rebecca St. Louis, Evan St. Pierre, Logan Stone, Bailey Thibodeau, Ashley Thompson, Anna Tilley, Tyler Valovic, David Wallace, Magen Wescott, Madilyn Wesoja, Elijah Westerberg, Leyton Wheatley, Colton Wilhelm, Tess Witmer, Sarah Young.

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