Campbell High graduates 123 students

LITCHFIELD — Class essayist Cleo Schultz urged her fellow Campbell High School graduates on Friday to be like her silver Chevy Express van, an “eight-passenger, 18-foot-long tank: full of character, indestructible, wearing our scratches and bumps proudly.”

“If we fail inspection, we repair ourselves and persist, never giving up as we barrel down the highway of life,” she added.

Schultz was just one of Campbell’s nine speakers Friday night, many of them quoting a myriad of public figures, including Charles Dickens, Nelson Mandela, Post Malone and Kris Jenner.

Schultz and salutatorian Brianna Perry mentioned Crocs (the shoes), gas leaks and a Campbell memes page in their speeches to much laughter from the audience, particularly the 123 graduating seniors.

However, the atmosphere turned emotional early on when class secretary Lindsay Hobbs asked each senior to present a white carnation to each person who had the most impact in their lives or high school careers.

Invariably, many parents shed tears as their children, clad in cap and gown, handed them a single flower.

Graduate Madelyn Trevains and Abigail Gray, a junior, said during the ceremony that they dedicated the yearbook to Dr. Andrea Ange, the school librarian who died of brain cancer in January.

“Dr. Ange had always taught me and several students sitting here in their caps and gowns to not hold back, to not fear what is being put in front of them and see the positive through everything you achieve,” Gray said.

The 2018 class gift to the school was the money for a media center, which had long been Ange’s dream, Perry explained.

The class has long been philanthropic, Student Council Co-Presidents Molly McKenna and James Scafidi said.

This year, as their senior project, the students decided not to design something to help them in their careers as was tradition, but instead chose to raise money for others. Together, they raised $15,000 for various charities and foundations.

During his valedictory speech, Matthew True emphasized the importance of “just starting” in life – in short, stop procrastinating. He also said it is key to determine one’s motivations.

Although, as guest speaker and history teacher David Gingras told the class, while it is important to find something that has meaning for their lives, what that thing is may change as they get older. And that, he said, is OK. What is most important, he said, is to always come back to love, because that will always keep one going.

The class of 2018 sat with their caps glittering in the sunlight Friday as they enjoyed their last few moments as Campbell seniors.

“Let’s greet our futures with open minds and ambitious dreams, ready to tackle whatever is thrown our way and become the thinkers we need,” Perry told them.

Once they officially became alumni, with diplomas in hand, class President Jarrod MacDonald praised the potential each member had to make an impact on the world as they head into the next chapters of their lives.

“Of course, this is still a few months away for most of us,” he said. “So in the meantime, celebrate. Reflect. Make a few more memories with the people you love.”

Hannah LaClaire can be reached at 594-1243 or