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Mascenic School District

‘I’m proud to graduate from this school’

MASCENIC: Graduates reflect on growing up just as their school was going through enormous change

  • Mascenic Regional High School seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Mascenic Regional High School seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Mascenic Regional High School seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Mascenic Regional High School seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Mascenic Regional High School seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Mascenic Regional High School seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Mascenic Regional High School seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Mascenic Regional High School seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Mascenic Regional High School seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Mascenic Regional High School seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Mascenic Regional High School seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Mascenic Regional High School seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Senior Emy Veeser of New Ipswich gets congratulations from family members during an appreciation ceremony where students gave roses to friends and family prior to receiving their diplomas.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Salutatorian Shawn Thibault of Greenville congratulates the class of 2013 for their accomplishments during his speech Friday night during Mascenic Regional High School's graduation ceremony.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Mascenic Regional High School seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Mascenic Regional High School seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Mascenic Regional High School seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • New graduate Jeremy McLeod of Greenville says a final goodbye to his business teacher, Kerry Thompson of New Ipswich, after earning his diploma on Friday night.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Mascenic Regional High School seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Mascenic Regional High School seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Mascenic Regional High School seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Mascenic Regional High School seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Mascenic Regional High School seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Salutatorian Shawn Thibault of Greenville, left, Valadictorian Nicholas Maino of New Ipswich, Conor Demmons of New Ipswich and Jake LaBossiere of New Ipswich toss their caps and set off confetti cannons during their final goodbye to Mascenic Regional High School.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Mascenic Regional High School seniors graduated on Friday <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” quoted Salutatorian Shawn Thibault of Greenville in his graduation ceremony on Friday night in the Mascenic gymnasium. “Perhaps these words are applicable to more than the French Revolution, and perhaps these words are applicable to any phase of human life. But I think they are particularly appropriate in describing high school.”

For just under 100 seniors who walked the stage to receive their diploma that night, it was certainly one of the best times. Some of them planned to go into the workforce, while another 10 graduates planned to enter a branch of military service. And many others, including Thibault and Valedictorian Nicholas Maino of New Ipswich are headed off to college.

It will be his first experience away from home, said Maino, who has been accepted to Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. And leaving the small town and close knit school won’t be easy for him, he said. But Maino wants to pursue a career in electrical computer engineering. It’s not something he’s had a chance to explore fully through his classes at Mascenic, although he took a class on web design, and was first in line to volunteer to help transfer the school’s computers and install them at Highbridge Hill Elementary School when the building was complete. And outside of school, he’s built his own computers. The best part of college, though, will be the ability to explore his interest and narrow his focus to his future career. And, he added, his brother, Chris Maino, also attends Worcester Polytechnic, so he’ll know at least one person when he arrives. Even that assurance isn’t enough to completely clear the jitters of leaving for college.

“I’m a little scared for college,” Maino said in an interview just prior to the ceremony. “It’s going to be a big change from this little town.”

Thibault, too, will be following his dreams, with a full ride to New York University to study business management. “I love business classes and I love to lead, so I thought it was a good fit for me,” said Thibault in an interview shortly before the ceremony. Thibault said he’s always known he was a leader, and has served as everything from the class president, student council president, drama club president and captain of the swim team. It was only in his junior year of high school that he really became interested in business, as he started taking classes in that vein with Marlise Bryant, a former business teacher who is now the assistant principal at Mascenic.

But as Maino pointed out during his Valedictorian speech, the class of 2013 is used to change. “Our class’s experience at Mascenic was rather unique. As we were changing, growing, finding ourselves, the school was growing with us,” he told his classmates and the gathered audience. “The physical structure of Mascenic underwent changes. The main office, guidance office, life skills rooms and parking lot are some of the evolutions the school has seen since we’ve arrived. When we were sophomores, the new science building was completed, opening up new opportunities for students at Mascenic. I’m proud to graduate from this school, and to have grown so much while attending.”

And the group has changed and grown together, Maino pointed out. It was a sentiment echoed by Class President Erin Scollans in her introductory speech.

“Living in a small community can give one mixed feelings. Everyone knows everyone’s business, yes, but sometimes that can be a good thing.,” Scollans said. “With a small town like this, we can get to know each other on a much more personal level. We not only know them, but their families, what they want to do when they grow up. Something we may take for granted now, but when we go off to college, we will be lucky enough to get to know half of our graduating class. This close-knit town gave us a chance to grow up together, and pick up on traits and qualities from each other over the years.”

The class was given an opportunity to thank the loved ones that supported them throughout their high school career in a appreciation ceremony, where they left their seats to present roses, donated by Daffodils Flowers in Jaffrey to parents, grandparents, and friends in the audience. Scollans also presented the class gifts: A stone trash can for the campus, for students to deposit their coffee cups, and a flower garden in remembrance of all Mascenic students who did not live to see their own graduation day.

“I think I’ll miss the social aspect of high school. Seeing everyone every day and knowing these people for 12 years,” said Thibault. “But I’m looking forward to walking forward, to growing and succeeding in the future. It was definitely worth it. All the hard work paid off in the end.”

“Treasure your high school experience,” Maino advised his fellow graduates. “It’s the only one you’re going to get. Get the most out of it before it’s gone, because you don’t have that opportunity again.”

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @AshleySaari.

Nicholas Maino: don't worry about WPI, you'll have a fantastic time there. I went to high school in Merrimack (a little bigger than Mascenic is now), graduated from WPI in 1993 with a bachelor's in CS and I'm enjoying a great career as a software engineer. I liked it for many reasons, but one was that it's far enough away to be away from home, but close enough to come home for the weekend. If you have any interest in science fiction, role playing games, etc. look up the Science Fiction Society (SFS), you'll meet good people there.

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