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Mascoma grads encouraged to keep up acts of kindness

  • Ellen Gove, of Canaan, N.H., throws momentoes to graduating students who have been passengers on her school bus before the start of commencement at Mascoma Valley Regional High School in West Canaan, N.H., on June 7, 2019. Gove said she especially wanted to see Lizz Pelton, of Enfield, N.H., graduate because Pelton rode her bus from kindergarten until recently, when she started driving herself. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Caleb McAlister, of Canaan, N.H., takes a moment while lining up with his graduating class at Mascoma Valley Regional High School in West Canaan, N.H., on June 7, 2019. McAlister led those gathered for the commencement in the Pledge of Allegiance. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Class President Henry Clough gives welcoming remarks to his 63 fellow graduates as photographer Gloria Towne moves to another position during Mascoma Valley Regional High School's 55th annual commencement in West Canaan, N.H., on June 7, 2019. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 6/7/2019 9:55:49 PM
Modified: 6/8/2019 12:31:01 AM

CANAAN — In his remarks at the Mascoma Regional High School graduation on Friday, valedictorian Justin Andrew asked his classmates to remember the little acts of kindness they have experienced in their young lives and do the same in the years ahead.

Andrew remembered being pulled from a pond as a young boy and when a group of upper classmen invited him to sit with them at lunch when he couldn’t find a seat his freshman year. He mentioned a few classmates who received helping hands in and out of school that led to them being on the stage to receive their diploma

“Now, as we leave this stage and set out on a new path, you will have new opportunities to reach out and help others reach their goals just as people helped us get here,” Andrew said. “Regardless of your career plans, each of you can reach out with small acts of kindness. I hope this provides inspiration and encouragement to be that vital person to someone else.”

The Class of 2019, adorned in white and purple gowns, first listened to class president Henry Clough, who said the class was full of talent from singing to acting to photography, athletics and intelligence, and for a small group, they have accomplished a lot.

Clough said they have had to put up with Mascoma being looked down upon their whole lives.

“But actions speak louder than words, and we have shown that Mascoma kids can go anywhere,” he said.

Business teacher Shawn Joyce gave the keynote address, offering congratulations to the seniors and family and parents that helped them on the journey.

He recalled his first impressions of the class when they were in middle school, and today, they have grown and flourished into wonderful graduates.

“They are compassionate, definitely independent and truly entertaining,” Joyce said. “They are a collection of unique individuals dedicated to success.

“This class has the talent to make a difference,” he said. “Please use those talents to improve the world around you.”

Salutatorian Emma Monsante spoke about how she has grown during her years at Mascoma, and while there were struggles and challenges to overcome, Monsante said she is pleased with the final outcome.

“In the past four years, I have gained knowledge about life and figured out what type of person I have become,” she said. “I am grateful for every opportunity that Mascoma has given me, and I hope everyone feels the same.”

Before the graduates accepted their diplomas to the cheers of family and friends, class officers handed out some gifts and told the crowd they had “senior thanks” not pranks, giving handwritten thank you notes to the teachers.

Principal James Collins gave some final words of advice.

“Act, don’t wait to be invited,” Collins said. “Life will happen, so you might as well try to influence the outcome. You need to know what you want and be willing to go after it. Live with purpose.”

Lastly, he urged the seniors to always be grateful and begin today by expressing gratitude to those who helped them along the way.

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

Mascoma Valley Regional High School Class of 2019

Justin Westley Andrew, Columbia University; Olivia Lee Bailey, Plymouth State University; D’artagnan Michael Burke; Rachael Irene Champagne, Great Bay Community College; Henry Aarron Clough, University of Vermont; Maizey Ann Corrette, River Valley Community College; Devon Paul Cote; Taylor Rae Crate, Southern Maine Community College; Garrett Michael Davis, Keene State College; Dakota Honor’e Decocq, Southern Maine Community College; Abigail Rose Duhaime, Colby-Sawyer College; Melissa Florence Ells, University of Rhode Island; Sara Elizabeth Farrell, LNA program; Britney Lorrainne Addie George; RVCC; Lucas James Getman; Patrick William Ira Goodale; Shylo Hope Grace; Riley Fayth Gray; Haleigh Ann Grose, Southern Maine Community College; Jessyka Lynn Hart, Northern Vermont University; Hailey Jade Hogue, RVCC; Sydney Davis Hoyt; Hagen Scott Jandreau; Alexander James Jenness; William Nathan Jones; Ireland Grace Keyser; Plymouth State; Isabella Margaret Kondi, Framingham State University; Dylan Ryan LaBrake, Universal Technical Institute; Natasha Lynn Lockwood, Southern New Hampshire University; Erin Hannah Loynds; Daniel Gordon Mackey, Columbia Basin College; Caleb John McAlister; Griffen Thomas Mckinney, Maine College of Art; Molly Shannon Meagher, Colby-Sawyer College; Michael Scott Merrihew; Emma Mae Monsante, Assumption College; Kaylee Jean Moses; Adidas Donald Murphy, California State University Fresno; Brennen Symes Murphy, Plymouth State; Madison May Peavey, University of New Hampshire; Ella Mae Pellerin, Plymouth State; Elizabeth Claire Pelton, Plymouth State; Shawn Michael Pierce, Seminole State College; Allison Joanne Piotte, Muhlenberg College; Morgan Lindsey Prentiss, Colby-Sawyer; Mariah Patricia Brooke Price, New England College; Kaitlyn Anne Pushee, Southern Maine Community College; Alexis Taylor Richer, Castleton State College; Christopher Paul Robbins; Christian Joshua Rochay, Plymouth State; Jamie Owen Sanborn, Assumption College; Kyle Adam Severance-Camp; Cameron Issac Shepard; Jodiah Alan Stone, Plymouth State; Bryant Dale Streeter; Aalyah Jean Tardie, RVCC; Devin Jeffrey Tetreault; Meghan Reilly Timmins, New England School of Hair Design; Rebekah Lyn Washer, Houghton College; Dominick Brian Wilcox; Asa Gerard Wood, Colby-Sawyer; Caleb Michael Zani.

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