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WRMS staff send students off to high school

The staff at Winnisquam Regional Middle School congratulated students as they drove through the school grounds last Friday evening for a special graduation parade. From left to right are Felicia Chirgwin, principal Michael Bryant, student Lauren MacDonald and her family, Susan Hewey and Mary Doherty. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
June 18, 2020
TILTON – It wasn't what they expected when they entered Winnisquam Regional Middle School four years ago, but the successes of this year's eighth grade students could not be ignored, so as the school year drew to a close last Friday with remote learning still in place, the day began with an online video to recognize their many accomplishments.

From their computers at home that morning, the class first tuned in as the school acknowledged academic and athletic achievements, and presented congratulatory remarks from seventh grade social studies teacher Craig Olson and District Superintendent Rob Seaward.

That evening, WRMS Principal Michael Bryant, his staff and faculty members then lined the entrance to the school to say a fond farewell to the class as they drove by to pick up their graduation certificates, awards and some special treats as well.

"We always do an eighth grade end-of-the-year celebration and, with remote learning ending our year, we had to come up with a way to connect with these students to let them know how much we've missed them and how much we care about them," Bryant said. "This was an opportunity to get one last look at them all before they move on to the high school."

As families drove onto the school grounds that night, they were first greeted in their cars by Bryant and his staff who had special "W" stickers for them, made up with the names of all 119 members of the class. Each student also received bags that included gift certificates from Dipsy Doodle in Northfield, McDonald's and Dairy Queen. From there they moved along the drive where teachers awaited them with decorated vehicles, large signs, balloons, a few fun props and even some lighthearted ukulele music from teacher Paul Bourgelais. Many parents also had their vehicles decorated for the occasion and were honking their horns and calling out their own thanks to the teachers who were part of their children's lives for four years.

Lauren MacDonald was among the graduates and appreciated the special day that was created for her class during a year that was suddenly turned upside down by the COVID-19 virus.

"I love everything Winnisquam (Middle School) has done for us under these circumstances," she said. "They went above and beyond, and now I'm looking forward to going to the high school across the street next year."

Martin Lord & Osman
Varney Smith
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