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Tight-knit class graduates from Profile

June 25, 2009
BETHLEHEM—The closeness of the Class of 2009 was apparent throughout the graduation ceremony at Profile High School, Friday night.

Through various speeches and the ease the soon-to-be graduates showed with each other, they revealed that closeness.

Principal Mike Kelley noted that graduations are often bittersweet.

"On the one hand we are saying goodbye to all of these young adults and sending them off into the real world, which is tough for all of us," Kelley said. "On the other hand, we are here to celebrate 13 years of success in public education."

Class Vice-President Avrianna Bacchiocchi echoed Kelley's words about the bitter sweetness of the day.

"How do you tell the people whom you have spent almost every day with for as long as you can remember goodbye?" Bacchiocchi said. She recounted some of the memories the class had over the years but said they would remain close.

"One thing remains the same…we are a family," Bacchiocchi said. "And no matter where the roads will take us, we will always be that family."

Salutatorian Ethan Wells spoke of hard work and perseverance, how they will get one far in life.

"Practice hard when people aren't watching so when the spotlight is shining or the pressure [is] on, you can deliver," Wells said. He advised his classmates not to be afraid of failure. He quoted the famous basketball player Michael Jordan about how many shots he missed in his career and how many games he lost and how that made him a better player.

Valedictorian Eliza Huntington adapted Robert Frost's famous poem, "The Road Less Traveled." Each line of the poem was changed to something concerning the senior class and its experiences over the past years.

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I, well, I gave them both a try and that has made all the difference."

Huntington thanked the people in her life that helped her. Last of all she thanked her father, Steve Huntington, "for his unwavering support and his sense of humor." Steve died several weeks before the ceremony. His brother, Don, gave Eliza her diploma during the ceremony. Steve had served as a school board member but resigned from the board after taking a position with U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes.

Social Studies teacher Paul Savard, one of the class advisors, gave the commencement address. He noted that usually commencement speakers are people of great distinction and told the class they had the wrong person.

He used his speech to note how forgettable commencement addresses are, noting that no one ever remembers them—he noted no one would remember his— and that often they are long. He alternated between giving the advice expected of such a speech while at the same time poking fun at the whole idea of commencement addresses.

Despite making fun of the unsolicited advice so common during commencement speeches, Savard dispensed some. He advised his former students to beware of "affluenza," which he described as a disease that makes people think they are better than others, bored by their day-to-day routines and that they are owed something by the world. That didn't mean they should avoid money though.

"Go out and make money, wealth isn't like pizza, which if you have too much [of], you'll explode," Savard said. He said the students would do more for the world and environment making money, some of which would be used in taxes, than if they tied themselves to a redwood tree to save it.

After receiving their diplomas, the students walked outside into a clear evening to the strains of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing," where they received congratulations from family and friends.

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