Tuesday, September 2, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;81.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/skc.png;2014-09-02 19:45:23
Friday, June 13, 2014

Alvirne High School seniors graduate and finish painting masterpiece in form of Bronco flag

MANCHESTER – Student speeches put smiles on faces and lumps in throats, school faculty heaped praise on top graduates and the school’s acclaimed B Naturals a capella group filled the Verizon Center with music to celebrate the graduation of 331 Alvirne High School seniors Thursday night.

Class president Gurbir Kalsi, who was the DJ for Alvirne’s prom in May, provided the numerical breakdown, saying that in “four years, 40 months, 174 weeks, 709 days, eight semesters and 16 quarters, we painted our masterpiece.” He then paused before revealing that the masterpiece is a bronco – the school mascot – that was emblazoned on a flag that Kalsi said will fly in front of Alvirne High “to serve as a reminder of our discovery that we, and all the other classes that have passed through Alvirne, all embody the Bronco spirit.” ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

MANCHESTER – Student speeches put smiles on faces and lumps in throats, school faculty heaped praise on top graduates and the school’s acclaimed B Naturals a capella group filled the Verizon Center with music to celebrate the graduation of 331 Alvirne High School seniors Thursday night.

Class president Gurbir Kalsi, who was the DJ for Alvirne’s prom in May, provided the numerical breakdown, saying that in “four years, 40 months, 174 weeks, 709 days, eight semesters and 16 quarters, we painted our masterpiece.” He then paused before revealing that the masterpiece is a bronco – the school mascot – that was emblazoned on a flag that Kalsi said will fly in front of Alvirne High “to serve as a reminder of our discovery that we, and all the other classes that have passed through Alvirne, all embody the Bronco spirit.”

His and his contemporaries’ generation, Kalsi said, is the generation of such things as selfies, procrastination, worrying about Twitter “follower ratio,” among others. “We are the techies – digital natives,” he said.

University of New Hampshire-bound Alexis Gilcreast received the coveted Chester J. Steckevicz Award, a scholarship given to the senior who best embodies the character of the late Alvirne principal.

Guidance director Bill Hughen, who presented the award, said recipients must show perseverance and character, and most winners have a long list of activities and accomplishments under their names.

Current principal Steve Beals said he came to Thursday’s commencement bearing two pieces of advice for the graduates.

“Family matters,” he began. “Many of you experienced changes in your relationships with your parents and families as you grew up… through your coming transition, whether to the military, employment or college, do not forget your families.”

He illustrated his “second piece of advice” with a quote once spoken by the recently deceased Maya Angelou, which her grandson recited at her memorial service.

“People will forget what you said; people will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Valedictorian Christina Guessferd started from the beginning.

“When we were little, all we wanted to do was grow up,” she said after listening to dean of academics Sue Bureau’s effusive, complimentary introduction.

Guessferd, a three-year student council president, four-year softball player and accomplished musician who was recently named an all-state trumpeter with Alvirne’s concert and jazz bands, described life through a child’s eyes as “a romanticized” vision of what is to come: A first love like a Disney fairy tale, high school years like Lizzy Maguire’s and growing old with childhood friends.

Reality, though, is filled with all-night studying sessions, facing, for some teens, “the struggle of coming out or of having a baby at 17. And you never thought you’d have to spend some nights sleeping in your car.”

But often struggles turn into “indescribable joys,” Guessferd said, such as acing the test that required all-night studying and “realizing that that (child) is the love of your life and that being a mother is more precious than you ever could have dreamed.”

Most importantly, she told her fellow graduates, it’s important to realize “it’s OK that this life hasn’t turned out quite the way you thought it would.”

Guessferd gave seniors, faculty and roughly 1,000 guests a post-speech bonus, singing Taylor Swift’s “Never Grow Up” with guitarist Joey Wedge.

Similarly, salutatorian Brittany Lee Lambert got quite an introduction from English teacher Sara Conrad, who said she met Lambert when she was 3 and had “already developed into the courteous, generous individual she is today.”

Lambert, Alvirne’s female athlete of the year and her class’ student council president who volunteers for things like the Recreation Committee and various fundraisers, responded by thanking Conrad “for the amazing introduction, but more importantly, for convincing me I will survive this speech,” she said to laughs.

Promising not to “bore you with a long list of gratitude like I’ve just been presented an Oscar,” Lambert kept the mood light by admitting she could not understand “why on Earth the Top 3 students are given an extra assignment. Have we not done enough already?”

Her more poignant moments included praising her parents.

“All I ever wanted to do was be just like my mom and dad,” she said.

Lambert, who wrapped up with a Dr. Seuss quote that starts “You have brains in your head” said she sees “future mechanics and engineers, surgeons and nurses, CEOs and soldiers, and parents and teachers” when she looks out over her 330 fellow seniors garbed in maroon and gold.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-6443 or dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Shalhoup on Twitter (@Telegraph_DeanS).