M/cloudy
61°
M/cloudy
Hi 74° | Lo 51°

Wilton-Lyndeborough

‘My comfort zone, my haven, my safe place’

WILTON-LYNDEBOROUGH: Seniors ready to take on new challenges bolstered by a solid foundation

  • Nathan Duplease, Brooke Marcotte and Jacob Marchand, from left, march in to the graduation ceremony.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Wilton-Lyndeborough seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Cory Partridge, left, and Ramy Koudsi march in at the Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative High School's graduation ceremony on Friday.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Miski Villalobos, left, and  Alaina Vickers Dodge march in at the Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative High School's graduation ceremony on Friday.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Wilton-Lyndeborough seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Wilton-Lyndeborough seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Wilton-Lyndeborough seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Wilton-Lyndeborough seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Carl Weigle celebrates as Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative High School Principal Brian Bagley, left, and School Board Chair Geoff Brock look on.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Wilton-Lyndeborough seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Wilton-Lyndeborough seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Wilton-Lyndeborough seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

Family and friends filled the gymnasium at Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative High School on Friday to celebrate the accomplishments of 43 graduating seniors.

“Our class was known as the bad class, but I think we’re a special class,” said Marissa Courtemarche, the class salutatorian. She described her classmates as fun loving and hard working — “The whole class pretty much worked at Market Basket,” she said — and people who were passionate about what they love.

“If I had my way, I’d be saving animals all over the world,” said Courtemarche, who plans to study veterinary medicine. “If some of the guys in our class had their way, they’d kill all the animals I’d save.”

She urged her classmates to put their whole hearts into whatever they planned to do next in their lives.

“We can do and achieve anything we set our minds to,” Courtemarche said. “I’m so glad I went to a small school. We did it guys. I’ll remember each and every one of you.”

Valedictorian Miskinawi Villalobos opened her address by quoting the poet Khalil Gibran: “Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”

Villalobos said that message should guide her classmates.

“I’ve learned two things,” she said. “One, I don’t have it all that bad. Two, life is tough. People are mean. But if life was perfect, how boring that would be.”

The school has always been a refuge for students, Villalobos said, especially since many of them have been attending classes in the building since sixth grade.

“It’s been my comfort zone, my haven, my safe place,” she said. “Home, sweet home.”

During his welcome address, Principal Brian Bagley congratulated the seniors and offered advice as they plan what to do next.

“Don’t pick a career just to pay your bills,” Bagley said. “Pick a career that really means something to you.”

The seniors invited Dianne Veer, who works in the school cafeteria, to be the guest speaker. Dressed informally and wearing her cafeteria apron, Veer drew laughs as she offered her perspective on the senior class.

“The lunch ladies, we hear it all,” Veer said. “We hear the breakups. We hear the makeouts. You asked me to name names, but I won’t do that. My speech will be short. Let’s get on with the partying.”

A highlight of the evening was the traditional rose ceremony, where seniors filed down from the stage, one row at a time. To the strains of “The House that Built Me” and other country tunes, they each picked a few roses from buckets at the front of the gymnasium. Then they fanned out into the audience, finding parents, grandparents, siblings and close friends, sharing kisses and hugs and presenting the roses in recognition of the love and support they had received.

The ceremony served also as a reminder that many of the students will be leaving their two small home towns, as they go off for higher education, or into the military or move away for job opportunities. As they move forward, the graduates are facing challenges that can be daunting, Villalobos said.

“We’re excited and we’re scared, but what we call bad in life is sometimes the best thing that can happen to us,” she said.

Her classmates have battled tragedies together and come together to support each other.

“It’s not what you go through, it’s how you handle it,” Villalobos said. “Rise above whatever it is that threatens you. Don’t give in. Don’t give up.”

Dave Anderson can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 233 or danderson@ledgertranscript.com. He’s on Twitter at @DaveAndersonMLT.

There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.