Diploma gives Bolton High graduates a license to dream, says superintendent

By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
Bolton - posted Mon., Jun. 27, 2011
Bolton High School graduates Sarah Cowles, Rachel Gudmundson, Evie MacKenzie and Sara Kloner agreed that they were excited about graduation, but nervous when thinking about the future. Photos by Martha Marteney.
Bolton High School graduates Sarah Cowles, Rachel Gudmundson, Evie MacKenzie and Sara Kloner agreed that they were excited about graduation, but nervous when thinking about the future. Photos by Martha Marteney.

In keeping with a resonating theme of “dream big,” Bolton High School held its 41st commencement exercises outside - despite the threat of rain - on Friday, June 24.

As the thunder rolled nearer and the tassels blew in the breeze, the graduating seniors and guest speakers reminded everyone of the unique benefits of a small town and the close-knit community of a high school with just 67 students in the Class of 2011. While clutching his unopened umbrella, Superintendent Paul K. Smith said, “It’s time not just to dream big, but to do big.”

After a beautiful rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” sung by Amber Mosley, Jesse Ruiz was selected from submitted essays to present the senior address, in which he encouraged everyone to “be yourself and stay positive.” He also noted that everyone has the power to affect at least one person’s life – one’s own.

Co-salutatorian Andrew Catanese said, “Our school teaches us to learn,” but noted that the students perhaps learned as much from the social environment and the BHS community as from the curriculum. Setting out his ideas for the future, Catanese said, “My goal is to make everything worth remembering.”

“The Bolton Class of 2011 is a team,” said co-salutatorian Kathryn Giuffre, “and I’m proud to be a part of it.” She said she appreciated being a member of the soccer team and the feeling of being part of something that mattered. She also reflected on her lasting thoughts of BHS and asked her fellow classmates to cherish the memories.

“I am thankful for growing up in a small town, surrounded by you,” said valedictorian Bethany Sullivan to her classmates and community members. She noted, though, that the time was coming for each student to move from a small town into a world of 7 billion people. “It is time to dream and set new goals,” she said.

According to John Toomey of the Alumni Association, 85 percent of the students had a grade point average of 3.5 or higher. Trish Brudz, chair of the Bolton Scholarship Fund, announced that $76,475 had been awarded to high school seniors and college students. She encouraged the seniors to remember those who have affected their lives and to think of how to make a difference in someone else’s life, even with just a few words of kindness.

After the diplomas were presented, the Class of 2011 took a moment to present someone special with a flower. For those who had managed to keep a dry eye through the very personal and heartfelt speeches, the simple gesture of giving a flower in thanks caused a tear to moisten their cheeks. It was then, too, that the mist filled the air.


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