By Julie Huss
---- — MANCHESTER — Londonderry High School’s Class of 2013 is made up of many kinds of students, all on a life journey to do their best with what lies ahead.
That, according to school officials, is why this year’s graduating class was one of great commitment, hard work and plenty of community spirit.
Londonderry celebrated its 34th annual commencement last night at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester.
Diplomas were awarded to 398 students during the ceremony.
Londonderry High principal Jason Parent greeted the school’s 34th official graduating class and said they were among the best he’s ever seen.
“And it’s one of the nicest classes we’ve had at LHS,” Parent said.
Parent offered a retrospect of the past year at the high school and how students banded together as friends, all working together to make a difference in their school lives and in the community.
“There were no labels with this class,” he said. “They saw each others as individuals, bringing an amazing dynamic to the group.”
Students valued not only each other’s friendship, but values were shared to try and be the best they could.
Parent noted the high points of the past year, the thousands of dollars raised to support various charities like the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, the Penguin Plunge for Special Olympics and other community efforts.
There were 200 students who cut their hair to support the annual Pantene “Beautiful Lengths” campaign. The Lancer marching band was honored to play in Washington, D.C. for President Barack Obama’s inaugural parade and 14 seniors are set to join the armed services.
Add in the 137 New Hampshire scholars and dozens more honored for community service and the list is long of accomplishments, Parent said.
Parent challenged graduates to go out in the world and do good, be civic and socially minded, and reach for the stars.
“And seniors please don’t change who you are, because you are perfect as is,” he said.
Valedictorian Ethan Doherty told his classmates to never forget these years and to think big because good things will happen.
“Great moments are born from great opportunities,” he said. “That’s what you have earned here tonight, one incredible future.”