Mr. Lane barbecuing.
You could feel the anticipation, joy, and fear of Alvirne’s Class of 2007 as they shared one of their final memories together at their seventh annual senior barbecue on Thursday, June 7, just a few days before taking their first step into the post-high school world.
“I love the music,” Katie Spooner said as she sat at the table eating with a group of her friends.
A top 40 music format was played while the seniors chowed down on hamburgers, hot dogs, and 30 pounds of steak tips prepared by Principal Lane, Susan Hanley, Assistant Dean of Students, and class officers of the soon to be senior class.
Matt Barry described the barbecue as “going out with a bang together. If you want to make your last memory in high school a good one, why not have a party.”
Others were not as excited.
“It’s pretty bad because I’m not going to see these people for a really long time, or for the rest of my life,” Joun Moreira said.
Katie Spooner, Stacey Laine, and Ashley L’Italien.
Many of the seniors seemed to want to hang onto their four years spent at Alvirne.
“We don’t have a choice, it’s kind of forced upon us,” Stephen Simms said about graduating.
The emotions about graduating may have varied, but the one consistent feeling of the class was one of enjoyment, as they made the most out of one of their last moments as seniors.
“I think it’s a great way to spend time together in an unstructured environment and hang out,” Sam Piteri said.
The barbecue was paid for by the fundraising efforts of the students over the course of their high school careers.
“I’m going to miss everybody a lot, but we’ll all keep in touch,” Chelsie Morgan said about the continuing 12-year friendships present at the barbecue.
Alvirne High School seniors enjoyed the barbecue.
Bethany Mavrogeorge gets help with her mortar board from Vice Principal Mrs. Hanley.
The rain pounding on the roof of the Verizon Center in Manchester on Saturday, June 9, did not dampen the spirits of the 347 graduates of the class of 2007. Backstage, just prior to graduation, the emotions were mixed as most of the male graduates were “pumped, and excited,” while the females were a bit more reserved and expressed their feeling of “nervousness.”
The Class of 2007, meticulously marched in to the marathon version of the Pomp and Circumstance played by the Alvirne Band, followed by the presentation of the colors by the Color Guard of the JROTC program, and the singing of the National Anthem by the Treble Choir. While the rain and thunder could be heard outside, the unspoken sense of relief of the parents, grandparents, friends and others who had gathered to wish the graduates well, could be sensed as they were grateful for the shelter and comfortable temperatures inside the arena.
Following a brief greeting by Principal Bryan K. Lane and the introduction of Superintendent Randy Bell, other administrators and the Hudson School Board, Class President Amanda Teneriello addressed her fellow classmates. She began reminding them of “beginning a common journey 12 years ago.” She reiterated how each student in the class had “influenced her life” in some way over the past four years, as she reminded the graduates to think back to “when we were little annoying freshmen, getting shoved in the hallways.” Reminding her fellow classmates about their first assembly where Mr. Lane warned them about “how fast these next four years will pass,” she thanked the “amazing teachers who influenced her,” including Jan Moynihan Cooney, the Conrads and Mrs. Frenette, who “guided, touched and changed our lives forever.”
Teneriello instructed the class to “take what they learned, go out, and make their mark on the world. Remember that it is your turn to influence others.” Teneriello then sang, a capella, some beautiful lyrics including, “we will never forget,” and how they reached a dream together.
This year, Alvirne had co-valedictorians, Kathleen Champion and Derek Li. Champion gave her speech first and told the graduates that they should go out and find happiness, “a feeling that is hard to describe.” She described how trying your best, may be the key to happiness. “While it is important to have goals in life, and to try your hardest at what you do, there are times when your best won’t be good enough.” As Dr. Albert Schweister said, “Success is not the key to happiness; happiness is the key to success.”
She summarily said, “If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
The next speech was delivered by Derek Li. Li used a cerebral joke about a physicist, biologist, and chemist to break the ice. He went on to encourage the graduates to realize that while they gained much knowledge in their four years at Alvirne High School, “the classroom setting is far from the real world.” He used a monologue by Robin Williams in the film, Good Will Hunting, to pound home the difference between “real knowledge and knowledge gained from books in a classroom.” Li encouraged the graduates to see the “value in future experiences, because those are what you will really learn from.”
Following the speeches by the Valedictorians and the Class President, William Hughen presented three special awards: Wilbur H. Palmer Vocational Scholarship, the G. Leonard Nase Scholarship, and the Chester J. Stecevicz Scholarship. Those awards went to: Robert H. Longo II, Angela H. Sarno, and Jacquelyn E. Lewis, respectively.
Teacher, Janet Maslowski was recognized for her 33 years of teaching at Alvirne High School. Principal Lane then asked the graduates “to fill a role missing in society. I want each and every one of you to become heroes.” He asked the graduates to do the following: 1. Be kind to others; 2. Don’t be cruel if you don’t have to; 3. Stand for something; 4. Respect those that came before you. “It is the small things in life that will make a difference for you.”
He went on to tell the graduates that “you are my heroes; you are the people who have made a difference in my life, and you will continue to do so. I am proud of you and wish you the best of luck. Broncos forever.”
NH State Police Officer Maureen Steer and Officer Robert Bennett.
Officer Robert Bennett of the Litchfield Police Department was selected as the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Officer of the Year. He was nominated for that honor by the Griffin Memorial School and the Litchfield Middle School. Litchfield Middle School recognized him for that honor on June 8. Officer Bennett has been a police officer in Litchfield for over 30 years. He has over 40 years in education, both as a teacher and a middle school principal. Officer Bennett has been a D.A.R.E. officer for four years and serves as a member of the Northern New England D.A.R.E. Training Team as the State Educator. Officer Bennett will be recognized at the 14th Annual Excellence in Education awards in Manchester on June 9.
D.A.R.E. is a comprehensive life skills course that teaches children to make good decisions and to stay away from drugs and violence. The program was started in Los Angeles, California, in 1983 and is now being taught in over 50 countries worldwide. D.A.R.E. educates children about the harmful effects of drugs and how to say no to using them. D.A.R.E. is a program offered to children from kindergarten through high school and offers a program for parents, using active learning to teach children about peer pressure giving them accurate normative beliefs. D.A.R.E. utilizes police officers in the classroom to help them make safe and healthy decisions.
Monday night, at the Town Hall, a granite New Hampshire plaque was handed out to all 10 of the Hudson school teachers who are retiring. Those who contributed to the Hudson school system for years were:
“Words can’t describe our many thanks as we send them off on their next journey.” said David Alukonis
From left to right: David Alukonis, Janet Myslowski, Jane Fitzpatrick, Katherine Carter, Diana Abbott, Nancy Aboshar, Jane Fucci, Kathleen Dube, Diane Walsh, and Ann-Marie Daniels.