×

ConVal graduates seniors

Students have nowhere to go but ‘Up’

  • Staff photo by Ashley SaariMaryssa Williams of Peterborough, signals a classmate with a heart symbol while sitting with Hunter Anderson of Antrim during ConVal’s graduation Saturday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • ConVal Regional High School students graduate on the ConVal athletic field on Saturday, June 11. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  •  Kendra Langlois of Bennington and Ariel Frosch of Antrim share a laugh during ConVal’s graduation. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Maryssa Williams of Peterborough, signals a classmate with a heart symbol while sitting with Hunter Anderson of Antrim during ConVal’s graduation Saturday. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Jordan Mills of Antrim collects a yellow rose after receiving her diploma. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Salutatorian Sarah Kolk addresses her classmates. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Margaret Forrest of Peterborough flashes a victory sign at the clapping crowd after getting her diploma. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Abigale Merrifield of Hancock walks back to her seat after collecting her diploma and rose. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Sarah Kolk of Peterborough and Beecher Clifton-Waite of Temple are in high spirits after collecting their diplomas during ConVal’s graduation ceremony on Saturday.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Garrett Kavenagh of Antrim celebrates after gathering his diploma. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, June 13, 2016 8:0PM

“Adventure is out there.”

During her address to the graduating ConVal High School class on Saturday, student speaker Madeline Ciocci reminded her classmates of the lesson learned from the animated film “Up,” where an old man realizes a life-long dream by attaching balloons to his house and flying it to Venezuela.

Sometimes, Ciocci said, leaving behind the comfortable is frightening. But with individual talents and passions – your balloons – it is possible.

Salutatorian Sarah Kolk recalled her own fears when she embarked on her journey as a high school student at ConVal – off to a rocky start with a failing grade on a test quizzing her on the reading comprehension of her summer homework.

“I can still feel my freshman self holding back tears, standing outside of room 214. I didn’t get it. I had read the book and done the whole project. How could I have not understood any of it?” said Kolk.

But the experience was also one of the first where her teachers helped her turn what could be seen as a failure into a learning opportunity. Her teacher for the class pulled Kolk aside the next day to tell her that she had gone back to review her test scores and discovered that Kolk continually struggled with reading comprehension.

“Ms. Hartmann, a new teacher to ConVal who had known me less than two days, went out of her way to research why I had done poorly on a test, and then she told me she was excited to work with me on a skill with which I struggled,” said Kolk. “If this bad grade had been treated as a failure, rather than an opportunity, I can imagine my high school journey taking a very different path.”

That flexibility of mind doesn’t just apply to academics, said senior Isobel Sylvian during her welcome address.

“It’s perhaps fair to say that New Hampshire is not the most culturally diverse place, but here at ConVal, I’ve witnessed our students’ collective ability to accept those from cultures far different from our own,” said Sylvian, who went on to encourage her fellow students to continue that culture in their adult lives.

“Whatever we do,” said Ciocci, “let’s make it an adventure, and let’s make it great. We have nowhere to go, but up.”