Moultonborough Academy's Class of 2015 celebrates after receiving their diplomas. (Photo by Leigh Sharps) (click for larger version)
June 10, 2015MOULTONBOROUGH — A very talented group of Moultonborough Academy (M.A.) students received their diplomas last Saturday on a fine day. The graduating class of 2015 received both advice and warnings from all the speakers.
The morning ceremony began with Tess Erskine, Tristan Price and a Elaine Velie singing the National Anthem. Kelsey Coppinger, daughter of Principal Andrew Coppinger, gave the welcome address.
Following was the Salutatorian's address by Elaine Velie, who said "When you're so happy you can make anything happen and don't forget you will need people , not just your parents,in your lives all the time. We're excited about what's to come. Let's go take on the world."
The class then presented their 'Gift" to the school upon leaving. It is two large directional signs for the campus.
Valedictorian Aberdeen 'Abby' Bird gave a heartfelt message thanking people of the town who helped get her father, Ward Bird, home following his incarceration in response to accusations that he used a gun to threaten the driver of a vehicle that ventured onto his property.
"I wouldn't have had my father here all those years, and I'm grateful to the town," she said.
Her advice for success: "If you can make change for someone/helping someone that's success."
She also credited some of her comments regarding that optimism to the late Tyler Smith, a student who lost his life to MS last Fall: "Have appreciation for the uniqueness of Moultonborough (she related an amusing story that could 'only' happen in Moultonborough she said). Knowledge is a powerful thing. Feed your curiosity."
Principal Coppinger gave a brief message before the keynote speaker, teacher Christopher Canfield, took the podium.
"I've known most of these students since elementary school. We are blessed to have a small town. You get to know everyone," Coppinger said, explaining what a bittersweet day it was for him as his daughter, Kelsey, was among the graduates.
During the Baccalaureate service the week before, he said, "I did not hear a single complaint. There was just energy."
He concluded saying "This class will achieve their dreams, and whatever it is you're doing keep doing it; it's working."
Taking the stage as keynote speaker was Christopher Canfield, who waved to the crowd and began with his signature saying, "It's going to be a great day!" which he greets students with each morning.
Canfield gave advice and some warnings.
"Remember, it's a big, scary world out there, but on the other hand, it's a big, exciting world out there," he said. "This is truly the beginning of a great adventure."
He read a child's book called "The Carrot," which concerned a young boy who watered the seed every day despite folks telling him nothing would happen. The carrot finally grew to be larger than a common carrot.
"That is what you have to do, no matter how impossible something seems," he said. "There's an exciting world out there awaiting you so 'weed and water, weed and water' and see what grows. I salute you and congratulate you."
Diplomas were presented by Assistant Principal Derek Patterson, Superintendent of the school Susan Noyes, School Board Chair Kathy Geary and Coppinger.