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Nipmuc Class of 2017 Encouraged to Enjoy Little Things in Life

The members of the Nipmuc Regional High School Class of 2017 were encouraged to be grateful, and to enjoy the little things in life, during the 57th annual commencement celebration held on June 2.

Donned in green and white robes and surrounded by family and friends, the 123 Nipmuc graduates took the next steps in their journey by walking across the stage to receive their hard-earned diplomas.

But more than receiving just a piece of paper during the ceremony, the graduates first received some words of wisdom and encouragement.

"If there is one thing that you take away from Nipmuc Regional High School, is that we have been blessed with an excellent education and we cannot let that go to waste," said Senior Class President Sarah Bloznalis. "Make the best of every situation."

Senior Bailey Vogt stressed the importance of appreciation, and spoke about the Class Motto, a quote by American novelist Kurt Vonnegut, "Enjoy the little things in life because one day you'll look back and realize that they were the big things."

"A little gratitude can travel vast distances," she said. "Take nothing for granted and be thankful for this life that you are given."

Jillian Carey reassured the parents that the Class of 2017 is ready to take the next steps towards their future.

"I don't know what's next for us, but I know thanks to our families, classmates, teachers, we are ready to find out," she said. "So, moms, dads, grandparents...we know you are going to worry. But please remember, we are ready."

Valedictorian Kylie Gallagher gave the final goodbye to her classmates, reminding them when one door closes, another opens.

"Graduates, it is important to shoot for the stars, but it is more important to travel with kindness and class, as those qualities will determine if we ever reach our stellar destinations," she said.

John Clements, Principal of Nipmuc, encouraged the students to cultivate the best versions of themselves, and to look back on the influences that helped shape them.

"I remind you to hold on to the value of the precious moments," he said. "I urge you to make your dreams actionable."

Clements also congratulated the Class of 2017 "highest academic achievers" – Valedictorian Kylie Gallagher and Salutatorian Mary Kate Berner.

Between the speeches, both the Nipmuc High School Band and Chorus performed musical selections and seniors Madison Kimball, Dean Sheehan, and Rene Venable performed For Good, both vocally and instrumentally.

Before the presentation of the diplomas, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Maruszczak also addressed the Class of 2017, "which may be small in size, but large in stature."

Maruszczak gave the students some "timeless" advice – effort plus hard work plus perseverance equals success; the golden rule rules; and to always be present in the moment.

"Thank you Class of 2017 for what you have brought to the Nipmuc community," he concluded. "Based on your track record...I am certain you will continue to do the little things, and the big things, very well."

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


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