Hats filled the air at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in Gilford last Sunday afternoon when Belmont High School Principal David Williams declared that the Class of 2019 had officially graduated. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
June 20, 2019GILFORD – Belmont High School held their graduation ceremonies once again at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in Gilford last Sunday afternoon, where the Keynote Address of English teacher Brian McNabb focused on connections.
He told the class that he teaches English with the bigger goal that can help people connect with others in life. McNabb reminded the Class of 2019 that while technology has its place in the lives of people today, it doesn't need to replace human interactions.
"Connecting with someone during difficult times can give you what you need to soldier on," he said.
He praised the class for having made numerous connections in their years in the Shaker Regional School District and asked that they remember to use those connections to succeed and help them grow in the future.
"Remember, building relationships matters. They help us stay focused and move forward to get things done," said McNabb. "Good relationships are a win-win. You know all of this- just don't forget it… Lots of things happen in life but connecting with others makes things happen. Send it!"
In her speech, Class President Morgan Ferguson said that over the past four years her fellow students have been thrown a number of "curve balls" but learned to persevere.
"We fought for what we believed in and that's what I'm most proud of," she said.
Salutatorian Alice Riley acknowledged how they learned to work together and thanked teachers, advisors and coaches who enhanced their high school experience. Through their unconditional love and support, she said the class learned about themselves and became comfortable with who they are and what they want to be in the world. That love and support spread, she added.
"I lost track of how many times I've seen someone (from this class] do a random act of kindness," said Riley.
Katherine Wieck was Valedictorian for the Class of 2019 and took her opportunity to praise the class for their intelligence and skills as she wondered why, out of all 93 of the graduates, she was selected to address them that day. Behind her, Wieck said, were many students with intelligence and dedication to their passions that she couldn't even begin to understand or compete with. Wieck asked that they each "recognize the work that will stick with us all the rest of our lives," yet hold on to the memories of their achievements at BHS. And while she said they should set goals for themselves in the future, she advised them that they should also be prepared to change them if the direction of their lives change.
In his greeting to the graduates and their loves ones, Principal David Williams took a moment to wish all the dads a Happy Father's Day, then congratulated Kelly Hayes for her prestigious Girl Scout Gold Award, saluted Paige Dillon for her Army National Guard recruitment award and applauded all from the Class of 2019 who would now go forth to serve the nation.
He also encouraged all graduates to hold on to their dreams, adding, "You're future is what you will make it."
Class Advisors Kelly Hamilton and Sharon Hampton were awarded the opportunity to list the redeeming qualities of each of the students as they congratulated them on their success and wished them the best in their future endeavors.
"This is a passionate group," they said. "Now we hope you go out and make your mark on the world!"
Final awards presented that day were the F.W. Fitzpatrick Memorial Award for citizenship to Alice Riley, the Kenneth F. Muzzey Award to Kaitlynn Delisle, and the Roland Kimball Award for best all-around scholarship, which was given this year to Katherine Wieck.
Music for the day's celebration from the high school band included "Pomp and Circumstance" and "March #1 Land of Hope and Glory," along with "Mountain Thyme." Once Principal Williams declared they were all official graduates of the Class of 2019, the students marched into their future to the sounds of "Olympic Spirit" and "Summon the Heroes."
This year, 23 of the 93 students graduated with High Honors, 23 achieved honors and 11 of them additionally graduated with Diplomas of Distinction, showing they went above and beyond the standard requirements for graduation.