The grateful 88: Conant High School graduation

  • Conant High School Principal Larry Pimental addresses Conant’s class of 2017 on Friday during graduation.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Members of the Jaffrey-Rindge School Board congratulate Katrina Wilson during the graduation ceremony on Friday.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • School Board member John McCarthy shakes Brandon Smith’s hand after the valedictorian received his diploma on Friday. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Michael Johnson cracks a smile when principal Larry Pimental hands him his diploma on Friday.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Principal Larry Pimental shakes the hand of Class President Ethan Ahern before handing him his diploma.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Conant High School senior Michael Johnson waves his hands in sheer joy at the end of the school’s graduation ceremony on Friday.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Conant alumnus and Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce President Travis Kumph was the guest speaker at the Conant High School graduation on Friday.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Salutatorian Caleb Olson pauses for a moment during his speech on Friday.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Conant Senior Class President Ethan Ahern addresses the other 88 members of the class of 2017, as well as the friends, family, and teachers in attendance at graduation on Friday.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Valedictorian Brandon Smith takes a quick look at his notes before jumping into his speech.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • A packed crowd at Conant’s graduation is all eyes and ears for valedictorian Brandon Smith.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Superintendent Reuben Duncan jokes with senior Tyler Sands during Friday’s graduation.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Jaffrey-Rindge Superintendent Reuben Duncan addresses the crowd during the 2017 Conant High School graduation, held at Franklin Pierce University on Friday.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Jaffrey-Rindge School Board member Allison Bergeron holds back tears after seeing her daughter, Kerrigan, receive her diploma.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 6/13/2017 9:20:16 AM

Eighty-eight new windows of opportunity opened Friday at Franklin Pierce University, with Conant High School’s class of 2017 graduating and receiving their diplomas.

Senior Class President Ethan Ahern was one of three students to address his cohorts, asking those receiving diplomas to both look to the past and the future when preparing for the next phase of their lives. 

“I believe that reflection on the past is the best way to shape our future,” said Ahern, who plans to attend Texas A&M University in the fall. “Do not forget those who have come and gone from your life. Whether it was good or bad, they have taught you something about yourself.”

“I then ask you to look to the future,” added Ahern. “The choices we make now will shape our lives forever. From the bottom of my heart, I hope you pursue what makes you happy.” 

Valedictorian Brandon Smith joked about the classes’ pending adult responsibilities, saying that everyone on stage would be able to face any adversity that may come their way. 

“We will be walking down the path of adulthood of taxes, mortgages, bosses, working all year round with no summer vacations, paying off student loans, and many other opportunities,” said Smith, who will attend the University of New Hampshire. “Stepping into the real world may seem daunting and scary, but we will be able to face this because we are a resilient class.”

Salutatorian Caleb Olson spoke of discipline, saying that of all the things he has learned in his life, discipline is what links everything together. Olson also thanked families and teachers for supporting himself and the rest of the graduating class.

“We are a class of good character because of the families who have raised us throughout our lives,” said Olson, who will take his skills learned at Conant to Worcester Polytechnic Institute. “So, class of 2017, be disciplined as you challenge the world today, tomorrow, and beyond.” 

More than half of the graduating class of 2017 plans to attend some form of college, university or trade school, with two joining a branch of the military and 34 entering the workforce. 

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com.


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