Nipmuc Regional High School’s 53rd Annual Commencement Exercises took place Friday evening in what will probably go down in history as one of the warmest graduation nights. The heat did not stop the 183 graduating seniors from celebrating the end of their high school careers.
Nipmuc HS Principal John Clements opened the ceremony by noting he is just beginning the journey of parenting while most parents in the room were seasoned professionals. “I’m a bit of a rookie compared to the parents in the room this evening but I am fortunate in my role as principal to be surrounded by great parents. The advice I hear most often from them is ‘enjoy the moment because time goes by so quickly’.” Mr. Clements recalled a moment this year when one parent said to him, “I can’t believe it’s time for graduation, I blinked and those years went by.” Mr. Clements said “One of the challenges is there isn’t always time to enjoy the moment.” He also stated, “Tonight you have a chance to place a marker in time….. Tonight provides the reflection and the transition in one special moment, be careful not to blink.”
Mr. Clements then focused on the Class of 2013, “For the graduating class of 2013 this night is less about reflection and more about celebration, this is an achievement which has required more persistent effort, more daily nurturing than any other accomplishment in your lives.” Mr. Clements went on to say, “You are ready to embrace the full meaning of commencement; you are ready for the journey.”
Class President Stephen Lukas told his fellow classmates “John F. Kennedy is right, ‘The only certainty in life is uncertainty and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.’ So class that is our challenge, to face the future with courage and conviction.” Stephen spoke of the challenges and uncertainties their generation faces and told the class they had a choice, “Let me be clear, we have the ability to be the next greatest generation but only if we choose to be….Lets accept the challenge, let’s be the next greatest generation.”
The Class of 2013’s motto is “This above all; to thine be own self true.” (William Shakespeare) Senior Nicole Pierce spoke about how truly special this quote is, “There are people in our lives trying to fit us into a mold claiming they know what is best for us, but this is our life to live. This quote means we will have the strength to make decisions despite these pressures.” Senior Brandon Hall spoke of the memories of the class of 2013 and how those “memories and bonds bring us all together.”
How do you say goodbye to all the memories? Senior Madeleine LaPlante-Dube had well wishes for her friends, “I hope that you don’t rush into your future, I hope instead that you would be able to explore it. I hope you have a wonderful adventure. I hope you travel and do things you’ve never dreamed. I hope you take dangerous risks and act on a whim. I hope you find success. I hope you find love.” Madeleine finished with “Never say goodbye because goodbye is forever, so my friends, I’ll see you later. “
Superintendent Maruszczak spoke of how our mind determines our results. “If we face our challenges and think of them as opportunities of learning and personal growth, chances are the outcomes will be better than if we look at them as burdens.” He spoke about how the students will have a new set of experiences, meet new friends and will be starting with a clean slate, or “a blank canvass.” He hopes the students find joy and excitement from things both big and small in their lives. “From your friendships, to your family, to even sitting in a sweltering gym on a hot spring night. If you do so you will find the hope and opportunity that all of you so richly deserve. I hope that the world beyond NHS will be the canvass where you create the greatest masterpiece yet.”
For a ist of all graduating seniors go here Class of 2013 List for Booklet w NHS
For videos of speeches, the band performance and a peak at the students marching in go here.
To view an additional 239 photos go here.
For list of seniors future plans go here Future Plans Booklet
Click to enlarge photos below