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Becoming the Stars of Their Own Stories, 164 Graduate from Nipmuc

Nipmuc Regional High School Class of 2016 were encouraged to write their own story as they begin the next chapter in their lives during the 56th annual commencement celebration held on June 3.

In his speech, Principal John Clements told the 164 graduating seniors that although life is full of "cinematic moments," it was the moments that they made for themselves that were worthy of the awards.

"You are the stars of your own story," said Clements. "I urge you to find yours."

Clements recognized a number of students for their achievements, including students who will be entering the armed forces after high school, all of whom received a loud ovation from the crowd.

Clements also presented the Class of 2016 Valedictorian Sarah Tong, and Salutatorian Stephanie Poly before announcing that the graduating class has received $2.9 million in scholarship money this year.

Student speeches during the commencement ceremony reflected on their journey to this point as well as wishes for success for their classmates no matter where life takes them.

"Over the years, hundreds of stories have accumulated with one common denominator...all of the stories have happened with these classmates standing here tonight," said Class of 2016 President Christopher Bechara.

Bechara went on to encourage his classmates to continue to dream and to enjoy the journey as much as the destination. "Be free, be humble, be whatever it takes to reach that journey," he said.

Madison Lynnworth spoke about their class motto, a quote by George Bernard Shaw, "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."

"We are all works of art, just waiting to be completed," said Lynnworth. "Finding yourself is overrated, because creating yourself is a much more exciting adventure," she said.

Kathryn McManus reflected on the four years that the class has spent together at Nipmuc, asking them to remember that they are all "one big family."

"Please remember all of the memories and friendships we have made here," said McManus. "We are Nipmuc."

Elizabeth Hilton said goodbye to her teachers and classmates as the final chapter at Nipmuc is coming to a close. "Tonight we get ready to turn the page and start writing our own story," said Hilton. "Goodbye, Class of 2016, but also 'hello' to future endeavors," she said.

Between speeches, both the Nipmuc High School Band and Chorus performed musical selections and Senior Karley Collins sang a solo of Dream by Priscilla Ahn, receiving a loud ovation from her classmates and the crowd.

Before the presentation of the diplomas, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Maruszczak also addressed the "truly remarkable" Class of 2016. Maruszczak encouraged the students to never stop reading, working hard and connecting with people in a meaningful way, especially in a world that is constantly changing.

"Hard work and perseverance will be the biggest determinant of your success in college and beyond," said Maruszczak. "I am certain that all of you are going to drive the change in our world for the better."



FOR A COMPLETE PHOTO GALLERY CLICK HERE

The diplomas were presented to the students by School Committee Vice Chairperson Diane Duncan before the students recessed out of the gymnasium as Nipmuc Class of 2016 graduates.




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