Newport High Grads Urged to ‘Take a Chance’

  • Stacia Dame tears up as she listens to the welcome address from class president Olivia Rasmussen at the Newport High School graduation ceremony on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Newport, N.H. (Valley News - August Frank) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Newport, N.H., residents Rachel Stark gives Emma Branch a hug as students line up for their graduation ceremony in Newport, on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. Stark, who has already completed one semester of college, is attending Plymouth State, where she is studying mental health psychology. (Valley News - August Frank) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • David Stark cheers on his sister Hannah as she receives her diploma at the Newport High School graduation ceremony on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Newport, N.H. (Valley News - August Frank) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Anna Caccavaro, of Croydon, N.H., punches the air in celebration as she listens to the speeches at the Newport High School graduation ceremony on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Newport, N.H. Caccavaro will be attending the University of Arts in Philadelphia, where she will pursue a bachelor of fine arts degree in musical theater. (Valley News - August Frank) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Students of Newport High School prepare for their graduation ceremony to begin on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Newport, N.H. (Valley News - August Frank) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hannah Stark, of Newport, waits in line for the Newport High School graduation ceremony to commence on Wednesday in Newport, N.H., on June 13, 2018. (Valley News - August Frank) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Newport High School students laugh and cheer as they listen to Superintendent Cindy Gallagher speak at their graduation ceremony on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Newport, N.H. (Valley News - August Frank) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 6/13/2018 11:51:10 PM

Newport — The Stark triplets had some apprehension about starting out in a new school in the ninth grade.

Unlike many of their classmates, Rachel, Hannah and David Stark didn’t attend elementary and middle schools in Newport, so the trio wasn’t sure what to think when they walked through the doors of Newport High School four years ago.

Now, they said, they couldn’t imagine their lives any differently. The graduating seniors credited the staff with making their time as Tigers so exceptional.

“The Newport teachers don’t get enough credit for how much they do for the students. Newport gets looked down on ... but the teachers and all of the faculty and administration really show their support for the students individually,” Rachel Stark said this week. “The teachers are truly amazing.”

Hannah and David Stark echoed their sister’s thoughts about the Newport staff, as did many of the student speakers at Newport High School’s graduation ceremony on Wednesday night.

“I was not looking forward to (high school in Newport). I had heard bad things,” Hannah Stark said. The triplets attended schools in Massachusetts before moving to Newport, where they were home-schooled before attending Mount Royal Academy.

Hannah Stark’s uneasiness didn’t last long, though, she said, and she credits the helping hands of her teachers — and classmates — for that.

“Having that support at school definitely helped me get through,” said Hannah, who suffered two knee injuries throughout her high school soccer career.

Being triplets comes with obvious similarities, but the Starks each are taking different paths after high school.

Rachel left high school in January and already has completed a semester toward her mental health psychology degree at Plymouth State University; David, a young actor, will leave for higher education at the University of Hartford — The Hartt School in the fall; and Hannah, a sports enthusiast, will take a gap year.

The Starks were among 64 seniors to graduate on Wednesday night in what some said was the smallest Newport High School class in recent history.

Class salutatorian Anna Caccavaro addressed her classmates and urged them to remember where they came from, or the “team” they were born into. Soon, the Class of 2018 will leave “home base,” and tough times will lay ahead. She asked her classmates to remember “our abundance of people ... our team,” during those times.

Class Valedictorian Anna Pysz offered the undergraduates in the audience — and her graduating class — “18 pieces of advice.” The first nine were for the undergraduates.

“Don’t have McDonald’s every single day after you get your license,” she joked. “Stay in the lines and in your own spot in the parking lot.”

To her classmates, she encouraged them not to be afraid to go out and try new things, and to text their mothers and fathers every once in a while. Lastly, she said, “remember where we came from.”

During commencement, Caccavaro and classmate Keagan Halleck sang a chilling rendition of Taylor Swift’s Never Grow Up, Molly DiPadova read an essay and David Stark recited a poem he wrote.

Superintendent Cindy Gallagher was the last speaker to address the graduates, and encouraged them all to take chances. She read aloud the book, What Do You Do With a Chance?

As she was speaking, a man in a pickup truck drove by the ceremony on the Newport common and angrily yelled something out the window.

Gallagher briefly paused, and the audience sat quiet.

“Take a chance,” she said swiftly as she looked over her shoulder at the passing motorist, the audience erupting in laughter.

Jordan Cuddemi can be reached at jcuddemi@vnews.com or 603-727-3248.

Newport Class of 2018

Login Whitney Barry; Jeramhia Charles Bedell, Lakes Region Community College; Jeff Gabriel Benson Jr.; Ian Charles Blackden, employment; Ryan Nguyen Blackden, New Hampshire Technical Institute; Emma Marie Branch, college; Felicia Marie Bushway; Anna Serafina Caccavaro, University of the Arts; Stacia M. Dame; Molly Redfern DiPadova, University of New Hampshire; Christopher Steven Drew, employment; Amara Jane Eastman; Cayse Jay Elliott; Kyle Steven Fish, New Hampshire Technical Insitute; Raven Rena Foreman-Cowley, River Valley Community College; Makayla Mae Frye, Plymouth State University; John Joseph Gervais, Jr.; Gabriel Lancing Giguere; Brandon Keefe Glidden, Army; Courtney Lauren Godkin, college; Keagan Teresa Halleck, State University of New York at Oswego; Kayla Marie Hoisington, River Valley Community College; Ethan Robert Houde, Colby Sawyer College; Chad Patrick Howe, River Valley Community College; Alexis Rae Hurd, Keene State College; Hannah Marie Johnson, University of Tampa; Sawyer Ryan Johnson, University of Maine; Kaley Ruth Kowalczyk, employment; William Stewart Lawrence, employment; Douglas Christian Lee; Kendra Rachelle Leslie, Keene State College; Christopher Scott Mahieu, employment; Kristopher Mykol Mampe, Lakes Region Community College; Victoria F. Marino, gap year; Jenna Lynn Marsh; Kieth A. Martin, employment; Haley Alexis McNamara, University of New Hampshire; Keegan Robert Lyle Osgood, employment; Dylan Bradley Palmer, gap year; Zachary William Partlow, college; Jasmine Lee Patenaude, Southern Maine Community College; Seth Ellyot Patno, college; Hailey Marie Perry, University of New Hampshire; Shelby Anne Petrin, employment; Joshua Ryan Plante, Keene State College; Anna Evans Pysz, University of New Hampshire; Kennedy Elizabeth Pysz, University of New Hampshire; Olivia Anne Rasmussen, Suffolk University; Andrew Ring; Kyle Warren Rossiter, New England College; Matthew Joseph Salinardi, undecided; Juleigha Marie Sanville, employment; Madison Paige Sanville, Colby Sawyer College; Cheyenne Lakota Seagrove, River Valley Community College; Alyssa Marie Shepard, gap year; Dawson Matthew Six; David Thomas William Stark, University of Hartford – The Harrt School; Hannah Marie Stark; Rachel Muire Stark, Plymouth State University; Brianna Elizabeth Tarrien, employment; Jesse Richard Thomas, Southern New Hampshire University; Cody Robert Turgeon, Curry College; Keagan Storm Watson, Keene State College; Alexander Cary Whipple, Saint Anselm College.




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