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Graduates 2013

The road ahead

Conant High School Class of 2013

  • Conant High School's Class of 2013 graduated Friday at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge.<br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Drew Hylton, left, Peter Dangelantonio, Jared LeBlanc and Timothy Kottke are among the nearly 100 Conant High School graduates who received their diplomas Friday night at a ceremony held at Franklin Pierce University’s Fieldhouse in Rindge.
  • Conant High School's Class of 2013 graduated Friday at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge.<br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Conant High School's Class of 2013 graduated Friday at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge.<br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Conant High School's Class of 2013 graduated Friday at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge.<br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Conant High School's Class of 2013 graduated Friday at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge.<br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Conant High School's Class of 2013 graduated Friday at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge.<br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Conant High School's Class of 2013 graduated Friday at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge.<br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Conant High School's Class of 2013 graduated Friday at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge.<br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Conant High School's Class of 2013 graduated Friday at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge.<br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Conant High School's Class of 2013 graduated Friday at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge.<br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Conant High School's Class of 2013 graduated Friday at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge.<br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

Homecoming, the amazing staff, donut days, the parking lot on snowy days, the newly painted mint green cafeteria and lifelong friendships forged are just a handful of the many memories Conant High School Salutatorian Chastity Dupuis of Jaffrey said she will miss about her alma mater Friday at Conant High School’s graduation ceremony.

“Going to Conant was something that I dreamed about for years,” Dupuis said, explaining that generations of her family had graduated from Conant High School before her. Now, it was hard to believe that it was her time to say goodbye to the place and the people she had come to love.

But wherever graduates’ lives may lead them next, Dupuis told her classmates to “be that person to make a difference.” The hard work and determination her fellow graduates had shown over the past four years, she said, are a strong indication of their future success.

Years from now when members of the Class of 2013 reflect on their years at Conant, Valedictorian Katie Brochu of Jaffrey said she hopes graduates have at least one memory that will make them laugh.

Although graduates feel a sense of sadness about leaving Conant High School, Brochu said the opportunities that await them are vast and include “a lifetime of dreams to pursue.” But in order to achieve those dreams, Brochu encouraged fellow graduates to fight hard and to never give up.

“Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion,” Brochu said. “You must set yourself on fire.”

People say high school is the best four years of your life, but Brochu said she’s confident that even bigger and better things await the Class of 2013.

For the just under 100 Conant seniors who walked the stage of Franklin Pierce University’s Fieldhouse on Friday night to receive their diploma, it was certainly a major turning point in their lives. While a handful of graduates stood in recognition of their plans to enter a branch of military services, others will enroll at the college of their choosing this fall and some will enter the workforce.

Whatever awaits the Class of 2013, Conant Principal John Barth said in his opening remarks, he hopes graduates will be willing to take risks and understand that their lives may take several unexpected turns in the years ahead. “You never know what is around the corner until you peak,” Barth said. “Every moment is an opportunity to open doors that appeared to be closed shut.”

Friday’s guest speaker, Kimberly Kossick, an attorney with the N.H. Public Defender’s Office, began her speech to graduates by congratulating her daughter, Bridget Anne Fordham, on her graduation from Conant. Kossick joked that the title of her speech, “First It Was A Joke; And Then It Became Real,” sums up Fordham’s response to her mom when she learned Kossick had been chosen as Conant’s guest speaker. All kidding aside, Kossick said the intent of her speech was to offer graduates a quick list of legal do’s and don’ts as they take a big step forward in their lives.

“Everyday, my colleagues and I see people, people whose lives could have been different, and should have been different,” Kossick said.

She told graduates to realize that “this is the time in your lives when you have the most control,” and she cautioned them to use that power wisely.

Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228 or adandrea@ledgertranscript.com.

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