EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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New Hampshire

June 14, 2014

Windham High School graduates 167

Windham grads urged to make a difference

WINDHAM — While they were celebrated for their uniqueness and achievements yesterday, their mission now is simple: change the world, one person at a time.

Windham High School graduated 167 seniors in its third commencement ceremony last night in a gymnasium packed with friends and family.

The class came to Windham High School in what first-year principal Ryan Kaplan called the school’s infancy, “with a hope and sense of trust that this school on the hill would not only lead you to a high school diploma but also a lifetime of opportunity and success thereafter.”

In his remarks to the class, Kaplan said his biggest regret was not seeing the students through all four years of their time at Windham High.

“However, in the one year I’ve had the distinct honor of knowing you, I’ve seen some of the most kindhearted, genuine, sincere, authentic, intelligent, fun and passionate students that I’ve ever worked with,” Kaplan said. “Even though tonight’s ceremony will signal the end to your high school career, the class of 2014 will always have a place at the school on top of the hill.”

Two seemingly identical friends since the sixth grade were called up on to speak as co-valedictorians. Meghan O’Connor spoke of each other’s similarities, while Bethany Fennessey lauded the class for its diversity.

“Every student here has their own talents and their own goals,” Fennessey said. “Everyone brings different emotional and intellectual baggage to the classroom every day to shape their fellow classmates’ experiences. As you go off to college, the armed forces or wherever else life takes you, we urge you all, our classmates, to embrace what makes you unique.”

School Board Chairman Jerome Rekart talked to the class about success, specifically the challenge to define it.

“Constant change makes predictions about the future challenging,” Rekart said. “So, honestly, I don’t know what success will mean in the workplace and economy of tomorrow. I don’t know because it’s unclear what the opportunities of tomorrow will be.”

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