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Nipmuc Graduates Hope to Follow Their Dreams

Graduate Patrick Nigro serenaded his classmates and guests with the song, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, on his sax.

A beautiful June evening greeted the Nipmuc Regional High School Class of 2011. Unlike past Nipmuc graduations, this year's ceremony was a little different. Instead of taking place on a Saturday morning, Nimpuc seniors graduated in the cool of the evening. Nipmuc decided to change their graduation to a Friday so that the many athletes would not have to choose between competing or attending the ceremony.

While graduation marks the end of a the high school career for the graduates, this year at Nipmuc it also marked the end of professional careers for a number of administrators who are retiring.

In her last graduation ceremony as Nipmuc's principal, Joan Scribner greeted all 188 graduates, advising them to find what they are truly passionate about, for when they do find their passion, each one will be a success.

Scribner also congratulated the graduates noting that $52,200 in scholarships was awarded to members of the Class of 2011.

Kevin Giardini, Senior Class President and emcee for the program told his fellow classmates to dream to succeed in this unpredictable world. He quoted the late John F. Kennedy, saying, "The future is not a gift it is an accomplishment."

Marking the close to Scribner's career at Nipmuc, he then invited the soon-to-be retired school principal to the stage and presented her with a bouquet of flowers from the class, wishing her well with her retirement. A number of seniors either spoke to or performed for the assembled graduates, family members and friends. Timothy Rudden spoke about the class motto in his essay quoting from Henry David Thoreau who wrote, "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined." He told his classmates that memories of the past and present should always be cherished.

Senior Patrick Nigro performed Somewhere Over the Rainbow. It was then Chelsea Nelson's turn to speak to her classmates. "We are one, We are Whole, We are the Class of 2011," was her message. She talked about the passing of her step-father and how compassionate so many of her fellow classmates were. Even those students she didn't even know well asked how they could help. She felt she was part of a special class.

The last student speaker of the night was valedictorian Laura Bernier. Her essay entitled, One Way to Say Goodbye, emphasized one way to bid farewell was to the treasure the memories each had made during their years at Nipmuc.

Musical presentations by the Nipmuc Regional High School Chorus and Band included the national anthem, You'll Never Walk Alone and an Irish tune from Country Derry Set for Military Band..

Finally it was Superintendent Antonio Fernandes who took the stage for the last time as Superintendent of the Mendon-Upton School District. Telling the Class of 2011 to never give up on their dreams, he also took a moment to thank Scribner for her years of service and congratulate her on her retirement. He wished the class of 2011 good luck and noted that they are the first group of Spanish immersion students to graduate.

Amidst cheers and applause, diplomas were awarded to each of the 188 members of the Nipmuc Class of 2011. Many will continue their studies at colleges and universities across the country, while others will begin their careers or volunteer for service in the military.

Waiting to receive their diplomas were the 188 members of the Nipmuc Class of 2011 dressed in green and white caps and gowns.


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