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Hopkins Academy graduates told: ‘Don’t go quietly to real world’

  • Diafuka Musaputa Kayamba, left, and Jankikumari Nitinkumar Patel lead the 41 members of the Hopkins Academy class of 2013 toward the gymnaisum for the school's 349th graduation exercises on Friday in Hadley.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Diafuka Musaputa Kayamba, left, and Jankikumari Nitinkumar Patel lead the 41 members of the Hopkins Academy class of 2013 toward the gymnaisum for the school's 349th graduation exercises on Friday in Hadley.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • The boys of the Hopkins Academy class of 2013 head inside for the start of graduation exercises on Friday in Hadley.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    The boys of the Hopkins Academy class of 2013 head inside for the start of graduation exercises on Friday in Hadley.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • Elizabeth Mary Andres, right, takes a flower from Hopkins Academy secretary Deb O'Neil prior to the start of graduation exercises on Friday in Hadley.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Elizabeth Mary Andres, right, takes a flower from Hopkins Academy secretary Deb O'Neil prior to the start of graduation exercises on Friday in Hadley.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • Kathryn Elizabeth Tyler, left, and Rebecca Mae Smith wait in the front lobby of Hopkins Academy in Hadley for the cue to line up for commencement.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Kathryn Elizabeth Tyler, left, and Rebecca Mae Smith wait in the front lobby of Hopkins Academy in Hadley for the cue to line up for commencement.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • Diafuka Musaputa Kayamba, left, and Jankikumari Nitinkumar Patel lead the 41 members of the Hopkins Academy class of 2013 toward the gymnaisum for the school's 349th graduation exercises on Friday in Hadley.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • The boys of the Hopkins Academy class of 2013 head inside for the start of graduation exercises on Friday in Hadley.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Elizabeth Mary Andres, right, takes a flower from Hopkins Academy secretary Deb O'Neil prior to the start of graduation exercises on Friday in Hadley.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Kathryn Elizabeth Tyler, left, and Rebecca Mae Smith wait in the front lobby of Hopkins Academy in Hadley for the cue to line up for commencement.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

“This building has been our second home for the past six years,” said class valedictorian Kathryn Tyler. “And the people sitting behind me have been our second family.”

Her speech, which she shared with class salutatorian Mikaela Momot, emphasized the bonds that had been formed between the class of 2013. The two students, who are friends, stood together and read alternating lines from their address.

“Even though we’re looking forward to next year, it will be harder than we ever imagined to go our separate ways,” said Tyler.

Their talk emphasized the closeness of the Hopkins student body.

“We’ve counted down the hours and minutes,” said Momot. “It’s a day for goodbyes to our teachers and school. Hardest of all to gay goodbye to each other.”

The gym was decked out for the occasion with streamers exploding from the ceiling in school colors of blue and yellow. Flowers and balloons were set up around the space and the familiar strains of Pomp and Circumstance filled the room where Hadley celebrated the graduating class of 2013.

Emblazoned on the wall behind the Hopkins graduates was the class motto, a quote from A.A. Milne.

“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard?”

The school’s commitment to high achievement was emphasized throughout the ceremony, especially when interim Principal Michael Rooney spoke about the legacy of success at Hopkins, one that he said continued with the class of 2013.

Rooney noted that 40 of the 41 students in the class of 2013 will be attending four-year or two-year colleges in the fall — and the one who isn’t, he said, “is just taking a year off before attending school.”

Student success also took center stage when 78 different prizes and scholarships were awarded to members of the class of 2013. Rooney read aloud the names of each of the scholarship winners and shook their hands at the front of the stage.

“Is there an intermission for the awards?” Rooney quipped in the middle of the ceremony. “It wonderful, really wonderful.”

The address to the graduates was given by Tara Bernier, a ninth-grade English teacher at Hopkins, who described by graduating senior Sydney Denault as “not just someone we kind of liked, but someone we dearly loved.”

Bernier turned her speech into a spoken-word performance that made references to both Shakespeare and Bob Marley.

“This is no pathetic story to set up an allegory of graduating wisdom,” she said, as she related her hopes for the class of 2013.

Bernier’s speech took a personal turn as she related her 41 wishes for the graduates, during which she highlighted personal qualities of each student in the class of 2013.

“I wish they could write like Becky or look as good in a Betty Crocker apron as Nick,” she said.

Bernier also encouraged students to be proactive, and said, “don’t go quietly to that real world. Be better versions of your now selves.”

She also offered 10 pieces of advice for life after high school, advising students to listen to other people’s music and not be afraid to fail.

“Be not a John Mayer song waiting for the world to change,” she said “This world will not wait for you to change it.”

Related

Hopkins Academy graduates and awards

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hopkins graduates Elizabeth Mary Andres, Celetste Christine Beaulieu, Kayla Benjamin, Emma Katherine Blaisdell, Allison Elizabeth butterfield, Ileana Marie Carrion, Sydney Lawson Connor, Sydney Marie Denault, Alexander James Dwyer, Marissa Kate Giroux, Gregory James Hannum, Emma Rose Hudgik, Diafuka Musaputa Kayamba Katie Erin Keegan, Laurel Brooks King, Avery Elizabeth Klepacki, Corey Nathan Kline, Timothy David Knightly, Allison Ruth LaClair, Carys Anna-Christin … 0

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