LACONIA — The 141st Commencement ceremony was held last week for Laconia High School, and 108 students took part.
Mike Fredericksen told them that he was proud to have been their principal for the past two years. "The future is an amazing place," he said. "Your success is not guaranteed by being a graduate, indeed far from it. We live in a fast-paced world where you will only be as good as your last job. This changing world offers you unparalleled opportunities and some very difficult trials.
"To face your challenges at college, in work and in your day-to-day lives, there are many things that being a graduate of this school will give you:
"You can learn anything you are keen on.
"You should follow your passion, the effort and commitment you make are better placed onto something you love.
"You should believe in yourself.
"You can rely on your peers from High School for help and also the new colleagues you will meet.
"You can cope with change
"As you leave us today take those qualities and unique experiences you have gained at Laconia high school and living in this community and make us proud."
Sydney Stevens, class secretary, thanked teachers, parents and her classmates:
"As we all go our separate ways to do wonderful things in this world, we will never forget the ones who took this crazy journey with us," Stevens said. "We will never forget the class who was always there for each other through awkward middle school phases, that year when everyone had to fill out a weekly pride rubric, Ms. Lopes blowing her whistle down the hallway, all 503 times Mr. Hubbard said, 'the reality of it is,' that rough patch where our psychology class average was a 32, the upsetting closing of everyone’s favorite bathrooms, Eliason’s extremely random quotes, championships, homecomings, winter carnivals and so much more.
"Thank you, the class of 2019, for making leaving this place so difficult."
Class President Gabrijela Djuric told her fellow graduates that their previous four years together would form a lasting bond:
"I’m sure that we will all do amazing things and I cannot wait to see that – today is the day where we let go of a chapter of our lives together, to go on to succeed together. Because no matter where life takes us, we will all be connected by the simple fact that this is where we started from. No matter what you think, no matter how many goodbyes you say today or tears you cry, no matter if you move a thousand miles away- we will still be succeeding together. Because that’s the way it’s been so far, and that’s all we’ve known. Because in the end, when it boils down to it, you’re always gonna be a Sachem."
Kailyn Brooks, valedictorian, said she will remember how her class came together to support one another: "Our whole education has been leading up to this day, to this moment. We have been counting down the days, wishing for this day, for graduation. And I think I can speak for the entire class when I say that now it is here, we wish we had more time together. Although our time is up, hold these memories with you forever. Our lives are just beginning and today is the start. So, cherish every moment, you never know which ones you will wish for more of.
"I would lastly like everyone to know how grateful I am for the years I have gotten to spend with this class and for all the memories we have made along the way. Our class wasn’t always the same, we had different interests, school, sports, music, theater. But we were always able to come together as a class when it was needed. As we go our different ways, we will be moving on to become nurses, lawyers, teachers, plumbers, film producers, and so much more, but we will always have one thing in common, we will always be Sachems."
The keynote address was delivered by Bob Champlin, former teacher, administrator and superintendent, who told the class to continue to seek opportunities of engagement, to step up for leadership roles and to build relationships such as those that helped them through their high school career.
"In truth, in my journey to offer these remarks I have learned a great deal from you and have come away so impressed with the Class of 2019 and your ability to go forth and thrive.
"I’ll leave you with a quote from a 1946 film that I hope will still resonate for you. In the Christmas classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, Clarence tells George, 'remember, no man (or woman) is a failure who has friends.' Congratulations Class of 2019!"