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Sunday, June 8, 2014

WLC’s graduating class told to ‘challenge your limits’

WILTON – In a strictly traditional ceremony including flower-decked arches and a rose ceremony to honor mothers, 49 seniors at Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative High School graduated on Friday in front of a packed gym.

Their motto was “Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits,” and most of the speakers followed that theme. ...

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WILTON – In a strictly traditional ceremony including flower-decked arches and a rose ceremony to honor mothers, 49 seniors at Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative High School graduated on Friday in front of a packed gym.

Their motto was “Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits,” and most of the speakers followed that theme.

Principal Brian Bagley told them to “challenge yourself one step at a time.”

Class President Kimberley Edmunds said they were “the most unique, most talented class you’ve ever seen.”

“We’re the ones who are going to bring the changes to the technological world,” Edmunds said. “Go out, go to school, travel, take the opportunities.”

Edmunds then said she’d take her last opportunity to do so, and took a “selfie” in front of her classmates.

Salutatorian Victoria “Tori” Lorvig said the occasion was a commencement, “starting something new.”

Travelers, she said, “need a map and a destination. We will change where we are and who we are. What makes life worth living is how you live.

“We all want a goal and we all have some idea of a destination. We have the will to change and become who we want to be.

“You are the most important person in your life, but not the only one. Be aware of what is around you.”

Valedictorian Hannah Bailey spoke of her first days at WLC, coming from home schooling and not knowing what to expect.

“I was afraid, but I was welcomed into the WLC family,” she said. “I hope everyone will take differences in stride and everyone will experience the welcome given me. I thank the community for giving me the opportunity, for having patience with me.

“We are leaving something behind, but we will always be welcome to come home. Figure out who you want to be without thinking how others will judge you.”

The guest speaker was Dr. Joshua Cleland, WLC Class of 1987, a physical therapist, teacher researcher and writer. He recalled his high school days as a “mediocre student,” one called “pumpkin head” who couldn’t get accepted into college.

“Graduation was a milestone for me,” he said. “There have been some changes since the ’80s.”

Cleland worked as a maintenance man, mowed lawns and carried out trash until one day he was introduced to physical therapy.

“I had lacked passion, and passion is what we need to have,” he said. “It is easier to say you’ll do something than actually do something. One may need to go through many failures before achieving success. It is the courage to continue that counts.”

He quoted Aristotle: “You’ll all be criticized through life. To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.”

There are a lot of ills in the world, he said – poverty, prejudice, violence.

“Be a catalyst for change,” he said. “Stand up for someone, figure out who you are and what you want to be.

“Find something you are passionate about.”

The ceremonies were opened with the national anthem sung by seniors Madison Cheney, Emily Rocca and Ryane Sullivan.

Diplomas were presented by Superintendent Christine Tyrie and School Board member Matt Ballou, assisted by Assistant Principal Susan Ballou and counseling director Amanda Kovaliv.

Edmunds led the changing of the tassels.