‘It’s Time to Go’ in Sharon

  • Sharon Academy's 27 graduating seniors join the procession to their graduation ceremony in Sharon, Vt., Sunday, June 17, 2018. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • As her Sharon Academy classmates begin to gather and put on their robes, senior Gabriella Atkinson rehearses "Goodbye Letter (Time To Go)" the song she wrote to perform at graduation in Sharon, Vt., Sunday, June 17, 2018. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Kaila Skeet Browning makes a last minute change to her speech as Sharon Academy Head of School Michael Livingston gives instructions for the procession into graduation in Sharon, Vt., Sunday, June 17, 2018. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Classmates remind Halsey Jones to go receive her diploma after giving her speech reflecting on her experiences at Sharon Academy during graduation in Sharon, Vt., Sunday, June 17, 2018. The school required each of its 27 graduates to speak during the ceremony. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 6/17/2018 11:45:37 PM

Sharon — When the 16-foot, paper-mache statue of Sharon Academy headmaster Michael Livingston fell on Caleb Hale during the wee hours of a fall morning, the TSA senior wasn’t sure if he should laugh or cry.

The ambitious project, scheduled to be unveiled the following day on campus, toppled around 12:30 a.m., temporarily sending Hale face down into the school driveway.

Other students working on the project helped dust off their classmate and the enormous rendering of Livingston before the group tethered the statue to a picnic table for structural support and headed home, exhausted.

Hale concluded his anecdote — part of a graduation speech on Sunday — by recalling that somehow, it all came together in the end. He noted that when he felt the statue project weighing on him, literally or figuratively, accepting the help and support of others was quite helpful.

Hale, Sharon’s recipient of the UVM Green and Gold full-scholarship, offered statewide to the senior with the highest grade point average, said there was no instruction manual for the task of depicting the headmaster in such a grand scale.

Over the course of construction, however, the team began to accept their statue’s inevitable imperfections.

“Big, long processes aren’t going to have perfect endings all the time,” Hale said following the ceremony, which was held inside in the air-conditioned Sharon Academy gymnasium. “It wasn’t a perfect-looking statue, but I was still pretty proud that it was there at the top of the driveway, that it was as big as it was (and) that we got it to stand back up.”

Hale was one of 27 seniors from an array of Central Vermont towns who graduated on Sunday.

Four additional seniors where part of the VAST program at Vermont Technical College, which allows students to simultaneously complete their final year of high school and initial year of college.

Each of the 27 recognized on Sunday, gave their own speech, prefaced by personalized introductions from Livingston, who spoke on behalf of the faculty. Graduates then stepped over to John Roe, president of the Board of Trustees, to receive their diplomas, then to their respective advisors for the transferring of the tassel from one side of the cap to the other.

Gabriella Atkinson approached the podium with a ukulele and played it while performing her original song, Time to Go.

Atkinson, who lived in her mother’s home country of New Zealand from ages 7 to 14 and once appeared on the television show, New Zealand’s Got Talent, is bound for the Berklee College of Music.

The budding songwriter considers voice her primary instrument, but is also proficient in guitars.

“It took me, in the grand scheme of things, when I first came up with the chorus, quite a few months to pick it up again and try and write more,” Atkinson said. “But once I started getting the ball rolling, (it took) a day or two.”

Alexandra Kendall didn’t bring a prop onstage, leaving many potential visual aides at home.

Kendall, who’s off to St. Michael’s College in the fall, owns some 45 reptiles and 12 tarantulas. The reptiles are primarily snakes — save 10 lizards — and they share a special room in her house with the arachnids. The Strafford resident has grown accustomed to providing educational demos to local schools, including her own. Kendall often brings five or six of her specimens along and allows students to interact with them following her presentation.

“My primary goal is to dispel myths about reptiles,” said Kendall, who plans to return home regularly from college to tend to her animals. “They get a bad reputation.”

Adam Boffey can be reached at boffeyadam@gmail.com.

The Sharon Academy Class of 2018:

Joshua Bronon Amodeo, Liberty University; Gabriella Georgia Atkinson, Berklee College of Music; Kaila Skeet Browning, Clark University; Dillon Q. Buttner, Plymouth State University; Joseph Allan Campbell, University of Maine, Farmington; Margaret Beyea Chadwell, College of the Atlantic; Lawrence John Diguiseppe , Southern New Hampshire University; Caleb James Eastman, University of Connecticut; Maxwell Stephenson Farrington, University of Vermont; Jordan Elaine Galluzzo, Northern Vermont University, Johnson; Austin Richard Gaudette, Green Mountain College; Hadley Frost Greene, Keene State College; Caleb Thomas Hale, University of Vermont; Halsey Madeleine Jones, Flagler College; Kian Michael Kaufman, Northern Vermont University, Johnson; Alexandra I ris Kendall, Saint Michael’s College; Samuel Allen Knoerlein, University of Utah; Rebekah Katherine Lamb, gap year in China; Koltin Graye LeDuc, Keene State College; Eliza Quinn Masteller, Northern Vermont University, Johnson; Meadow Shekinah McGalliard, gap year; Nora Rice, University of New Hampshire; Sophie Iris Roe, University of Vermont; Eva Sturm-Gross, Oberlin College; Aiden Joseph Trimble, Bucknell University; Cole Michael Ward, Community College of Vermont & electrical apprentice; Bailley Isabelle Wright, Keene State College. Vermont Academy of Science and Technology graduates: Roslyn Parker, Willy Barnes, Kyle Pratson, Emma Labadie.




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