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Gilford graduates urged to embrace the changes life brings

Keynote speaker Matt Finch encourages the graduating Class of 2012 to be aware of life’s unforseen twists and turns as they plan for their futures. (Jeff Ferland) (click for larger version)
June 13, 2012
The Gilford High School Class of 2012 reflected on their past four years together as they looked forward to the next stage of their lives during their Commencement ceremony at Meadowbrook Saturday, June 9.

"Life is forever changing," said Valedictorian Alexandra Remick as she read excerpts of her middle school journal.

Remick explained that since she began her journal in eighth grade, she could see how her perspective changed as she grew older, and she experienced more and wrote messages to her future self.

As she ended her speech, she reminded her 126 peers about to graduate that although the day marked the beginning of the next chapter of their lives, they should never loose that inner eighth grade student.

"There is always that eighth grader in all of us who made us who we are today," said Remick.

Salutatorian Mary Snow urged her fellow students to learn from their experiences, even the mistakes. She used the example of a bungled attempt at singing that National Anthem at a basketball game. In the end, she was glad she made the attempt, and strove to be a better singer.

"Life is fluid. Don't be locked into your school or job," said Snow. "Get up, go out and live life on your own terms."

Keynote speaker Matt Finch, an English teacher at Gilford High School, explained that when he was young, he told his father he would be a middle linebacker for the Chicago Bears, as it fit all his criteria to be rich and famous and own a big house.

He urged graduates to be aware of the unforeseen "twists and turns" of life, and that though they might have their master plans laid out, they must be willing to accept some miscalculations, just as his dreams of professional sports did not pan out.

He advised students to slow down before they made plans for later that afternoon, over the summer, next fall and years down the road.

"You are not the same person you are going to be in five years," said Finch, advising the students that they must be willing and able to adjust.

Finch reminded the graduates that change may not always lead to progress, but progress could not be made without change.

In Finch's usual style, he ended with a long, Dr. Seuss-like rhyme.

"Do what you love and love what you do. You've heard it before, but I tell you it's true," said Finch.

For their class gift, Courtney Leach and Allison Daigle said they raised money for lighting under the flagpole in front of the high school and a memorial for their classmate, Chelsea Bowen, to be dedicated over the summer.

Senior class president Brendon Murphy said he was proud of his classmates for coming together from a group of Gilford and Gilmanton students to the class of 2012, as they finally won their winter carnival after years of defeats to score one of the highest scores in the history of GHS winter carnivals.

"One more applause for our greatest accomplishment so far: graduating from high school," said Murphy.

Garnett Hill
Salmon Press
Parker Village
Martin Lord Osman
Northern Human Services
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