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Groveton graduates take one look back before moving forward

The Groveton High School graduating class of 2014: (Front Row) Talia Bedell, Alexis Verrier, Taylor Mason, Nicole Fury, Erin Hamilton, Katie Watson, (Row Two) Rebecca Rogers, Jena Wheelock, Kate Andritz, Lydia Donovan, Justice Morris, (Row Three) April Smith, Sadie Conroy, Daniel Gadwah, Jarrett Dustin, Dillon Caron, Grace King, Natalie Hakey, (Row Four) Clayton Theberge, Ryan Caouette, Brandon Joy, Matthew Ward, Vincent Rodden, Jacob Colebank, Chaz Witt, Shaun Ruch. Photo by Jonathan Benton. (click for larger version)
June 11, 2014
GROVETON — "It's time, time to go our separate ways, but first, let me take a selfie," said Groveton High School Valedictorian Daniel Gadwah at Saturday's Graduation.

Gadwah proceeded to extend his arm to the crowd with his smart phone in hand and giving a thumbs up to the future took one last picture of himself before becoming a high school graduate.

He joined the ranks of 25 other Groveton Eagles that set out into the world with friends and family present to cheer them on their way.

Gadwah's picture, that currently sits proudly on his Facebook page, expresses the times that young adults now live in. Before going into an analysis on that matter it might be wiser to consider Gadwah's address to his class that words themselves should not be taken lightly.

"I never fully understood words' true power until I entered school," said Gadwah. "Words heal, words comfort, words hurt, words encourage, and words have the power to inspire. They can build us up to where we feel invincible and ready to conquer the world and in just another breath send us crashing down to nothingness."

Gadwah went on to quote lyrics from the song Little Wonders by Rob Thomas that he felt spoke to his fellow graduates.

"Let it go, let it roll right off your shoulder," he recited. "Don't you know the hardest part is over? Let it in, let your clarity define you. In the end we will only just remember how it feels.

Relating to a song to your life is easy, but truly understanding life isn't easy. There will always be knowledge. We still have to learn, a question we still be unanswered. Trust these answers will come with time and experience and who we are today is only a stepping stone to who we can and will become."

The speech that Salutatorian Erin Hamilton gave held the theme of Carpe Diem.

"Life is short so do what makes you happy," said Hamilton. Don't be afraid to try new things. Mark Twain once said 'Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did'…I want to be able to look back on my life and be happy with my choices and know that I wasn't afraid to try something new."

Hamilton went on to quote some inspiring words that arose from a childlike source, but is still very pertinent to everyday.

" 'There is something you must always remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think'…Many of you may remember a boy named Christopher Robin giving theses words of encouragement to his best friend Winnie the Pooh," said Hamilton. "Don't be afraid to follow your dreams."

The final graduate speech given by Third Honors Sadie Conroy brought the graduates one look back before moving forward.

"As with all such moments, it is an occasion both to take stock in the past and assess the bright future that lies before us," said Conroy. "Behind each and everyone of us is a story of family and friends…let us remember first and foremost those who truly made this moment possible…So now, in this instant, you should take a moment to appreciate each other, and to breathe in the sweetness of being all together one last time…In every ending is the challenge of a new beginning, so we must look onward to tackle new challenges such as college and careers."

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