Plainfield High School holds 105th commencement

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Plainfield - posted Fri., Jun. 28, 2013
Members of Plainfield High School's Class of 2013 gather in front of the school just before the graduation ceremony on Thursday, June 20. (L-r) William (Billy) D. Griffin, IV, Amanda L. Raymond, Olivia Marandola, Troy Maheu and Justyn Gilman. Photo by Sarah Hamby.
Members of Plainfield High School's Class of 2013 gather in front of the school just before the graduation ceremony on Thursday, June 20. (L-r) William (Billy) D. Griffin, IV, Amanda L. Raymond, Olivia Marandola, Troy Maheu and Justyn Gilman. Photo by Sarah Hamby.

When given the opportunity to address their fellow Plainfield High School graduates, Skyla Young and Christopher Messier rose to the occasion. Their speeches, chosen by their peers, were given during Plainfield's 105th commencement ceremony on June 20. And while most of the day's focus was on the future, Messier reminded his classmates of the importance of the past. 

Messier's cousin, William Howard, died four years ago in a bicycle accident. Had he lived, he would have taken his place among the 186 graduates. He was an avid skate park fan, energetic and spontaneous, according to his friend, Nick DiSaia. “Will wanted to be a race car driver when he grew up,” DiSaia said, “but we were young then.” Messier hoped an empty seat - in remembrance of Howard - would be an appropriate reminder to his classmates and the audience of what can be lost in an instant. 

Skyla Young wanted her speech to be a little different than the standard graduation fare. “At any graduation you hear kind of the same speech,” she said. “People wish everyone good luck and say they'll miss you,” she said. “I wanted to make it personalized to my classmates.” Young collected stories from her classmates and shared them with the crowd.

The stories were snapshots of her friends' high school highlights, such as Mackenzie Church's thrill when the softball team won the ECC title for the first time in seven years. “I wanted to talk about their memories and make it a speech for everybody,” Young said. She'd been jotting down ideas since the beginning of the year but finalized it just two weeks ago. With the help of English teacher Mrs. Wagner, Young tried to touch on everything she wanted to say in three minutes.

“There were so many things I wanted to say to my classmates in a short time,” she said. “Basically I wanted to thank them for the last four years. I wanted to thank them for giving me the opportunity to talk to them this last time together.”

Some of valedictorian Jordan Beauregard's fondest memories were performing in plays and organizing two Holocaust Awareness Days. He plans to attend George Mason University in the fall and work toward a career in international security. He's not sure where that path will lead, but he is sure of one thing. He plans to travel. Moscow, Morroco, Europe and South America are on his list. “Just because you live in a small town doesn't mean you can't dream big,” he said. “Don't forget where you came from, but make sure you see the world, too.”

For students coming along behind him, salutatorian Derek Meier suggested getting involved in as many things as they could. “Use all the resources you can,” Meier said. “Make sure you get involved and take it seriously because it pays off at the end.”

Both Beauregard and Meier had praise for their teachers. Beauregard said social studies teacher Lisa Bastien had been a mentor for him during his four years at the school. For Meier it was CAD teacher Mr. Brapcho.

“He didn't only teach class skills, he taught life skills. He was always there to listen. The teachers work extremely hard to make sure students get what they need,” he said.


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