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Groveton High Graduation: "Don't Stop Believin'"

The Groveton/Stratford graduating class of 2012. Photo by Jonathan Benton. (click for larger version)
June 13, 2012
GROVETON — "It's all very well to have courage and skill, and it's fine to be counted a star, but the single deed with its touch of thrill, doesn't tell the man you are," said Sean Irving quoting poet Edgar Guest at the start of Groveton High School's graduation on Friday.

The mood seemed hopeful from the old mill town school and a skillful rendition of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin" by the Groveton band hammered that home.

There were 37 tassels that were shifted from student to graduate in the GHS gym marking a brave new dawn for many Groveton-ites and a handful of Stratford Public School Students. The evening marked a continued collaboration between the two schools that were once strong sports rivals, but are now strongly intertwined. Students that led academically from each school were each given a chance at the podium giving breath to four speeches on the day.

Stratford Valedictorian Mallory Walling talked about how apprehensive she initially felt when faced with switching to Groveton for her senior year. The center of her piece was about how life often throws adversity in one's direction, but if one approaches with flexibility and hope, often the outcome is positive. "We must accept that things are changing and we, as students are growing," said Walling.

Irving (GHS Third Honors) and Salutatorian Vyktoria Boyle did something new this year by combining their speeches into one each speaking loud a part. The general theme was teamwork and all of the graduates got to where they were that day from leaning on each other and the support of teachers and family.

Groveton Valedictorian Jonathan Fontaine's speech had a similar ring of teamwork and taking in other people's advice, but with the caveat of being selective of what one should heed. "There is such a thing as bad advice," said Fontaine. "You shouldn't be a follower 100 percent of the time, but you don't need to do everything on your own either. Other people have good ideas, but you need to able to tell if they are good ideas for you."

Stratford Salutatorian Daniel Eastland's speech was the most straight forward of the four and simply gave thanks for all the support he has received over the years to make graduation day possible. He also had the audience give an ovation for his father and number one Groveton baseball fan, Robert Eastland.

"I'd like to start by congratulating my fellow classmates…for making my single year in Groveton the best I've had in school."

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