Chris Correia and Patti Baczano shake hands as they celebrate at Salem High School graduation
As of June 12, the senior class of 2009 officially graduated from Salem High School, leaving with some laughs, many bittersweet moments and headed into their new world with tons of potential. After a cold drowsy day, the sun finally came out to celebrate the graduation of a large group of students from Salem High School on SHS’s Grant Field. As the Salem High band played the graduation song, students dressed in white and blue caps and gowns walked down onto the field as loved ones and friends waved to them from the bleachers and signs reading “you did it!” and “congratulations” were raised above the crowd.
School Principal, Mr. Bill Hagen, also a SHS alumni gave the opening remarks congratulating families for a job well done. “If they are in a cap and gown this evening you have done a remarkable job,” he said. He spoke about how from every class you can learn something and he believed that the class of 2009 knew the importance of friendship. He encouraged them to always remember the people they had met walking through the halls of Salem High. As Mr. Hagen spoke, the group of graduates broke out in excitement as beach balls and a shark float were thrown around the crowd for one last time; a typical end of the year senior game seen in the SHS lunchroom.
Class valedictorian Kripa Patel spoke next, listing the accomplishments and events their class had seen in the past four years, such as the election of President Obama and the destruction that was Hurricane Katrina. She then told her fellow classmates, “The rest of your life is being shaped right now,” explaining that it was up to them to determine their own futures. Nick Letizio, also class valedictorian, spoke to the class of 2009 as well.
Mr. Hagen took the microphone to ask all students who had received scholarships and or grants to rise as the crowd applauded them. Then he took a special moment to recognize the students who were going into the United States military, as the crowd gave them a standing ovation.
The 2009 class president Rob Nee made the class address beginning with “one final joke of the day,” which he and vice president Jharid Pratt gave to Salem High daily on the morning announcements. After some fun, Nee stated that he wanted to talk about “potential.” He shared with onlookers of the graduation how their class had always been labeled the slackers whether it came to placing during school spirit week or raising money for their prom. He said that he always knew they had potential and that he believed that their senior year they chose greatness. He told the crowd how they won spirit week and pulled off a great prom at Atkinson Country Club, even though sometimes people did not think they would be able to. “We all have potential,” he said.
Finally Salem Superintendent Michael Delahanty closed the speeches by telling the graduated to “remember this feeling, this is a good feeling.” As each student was called to receive their diploma the crowd filled with proud family and friends went wild, screaming their graduates name and blowing air horns. It was truly an amazing night. Congratulations SHS class of 2009!
American flags were flown at half-staff throughout town on Tuesday, as news began to spread of the tragic loss of Salem’s very own U.S Army Staff Sergeant Edmond L. Lo.
Lo, 23 of Salem, an explosives expert with the 797th Ordnance Company, 79th Ordnance Battalion at Fort Hood in Texas, was fatally injured in Iraq while trying to defuse a roadside bomb. This was Lo’s second tour of duty in Iraq.
Members of the Salem community remember him as a responsible, hard-working intelligent young man, who was active in the JROTC program at Salem High School and was a true Patriot inside and out. “He was just an all-American boy,” said Chief Tom Puzzo of Salem’s JROTC program, “He was a strong leader within the JROTC program. He was a personable individual, was well liked and was very loyal.” Puzzo had kept in touch with Lo, even after his 2004 graduation from Salem High School. Puzzo last saw Lo in January, just before his second tour of duty with the U.S. Army in Iraq.
Congressman Paul Hodes issued a statement on Tuesday regarding the loss of Lo to the Salem community. Hodes said, “My thoughts and prayers are with Staff Sergeant Lo’s family, friends, and those in the community that knew this courageous young man.” Staff Sergeant Lo served with incredible courage and made the ultimate sacrifice defending the country that he loved. I join all of New Hampshire in honoring the brave service Sergeant Lo gave to his country.”
New Hampshire Governor John Lynch also had kind words to share. “My thoughts and prayers, and those of my wife Susan are with the family of Staff Sergeant Edmond Lo. Sergeant Lo served his nation with dignity, courage and honor and sacrificed protecting all of us. He is a hero to us all. On behalf of the citizens of New Hampshire, our deepest sympathies go out to the entire Lo family,” Governor Lynch said.
Residents and town officials all around Salem offered their condolences and support to the Lo family during this very difficult time. The Salem School District plans to organize a proper memorial in honor of Lo’s sacrifice. Lo is the third soldier from Salem killed in Iraq over the past three years.
Carolyn Mueller, a long time Salem teacher congratulates Judy on her retirement
On Thursday, June 4, a retirement party was held at Salem High School (SHS) honoring Judy Sholik after 31 years of service. Family members and many current and retired staff were in attendance. Judy has been a secretary at Salem High School since March 1978. She worked twelve years in the Guidance Office and has been a secretary in the Dean’s Office since 1990.
Entertainment was provided by Marty Claussen and the Salem High School Jazz Ensemble; members of the Chorus, including teacher Ellen Bosch, Catherine Deveau and Laura Daigle; and former Salem High School teacher Jack Brouse,
SHS principal, William Hagen, presented Judy with a retirement gift from her many school district friends, past and present.
Judy has enjoyed her position tremendously and will miss it. As Judy enters the next phase of her life, she looks forward to enjoying her grandchildren and relaxing.
Salute to fallen comrades
On a very rainy and overcast day, approximately 75 people attended the annual Firefighters Memorial Service. Chief Breen from the Salem Fire Department welcomed all to pay tribute to the fire members – past and present – who provide(d) service to the community. Former Salem Fire Department Chaplain Nate Clark delivered the invocation. Chief Breen reminded us that this Service was to pay tribute to those firefighters no longer with us, and to remember our deceased firefighters by recalling their commitment and service to us, to each other, and to the community. He asked us to reflect upon what is perhaps most important about being a member of the Salem Fire Department — the opportunity to serve others in time of need. Chief Breen also read a short verse entitled The Firefighter’s Pledge…
I promise concern for others.
A willingness to help all those in need.
I promise courage - courage to face and conquer my fears.
Courage to share and endure the ordeal of those who need me.
I promise strength - strength of heart to bear whatever burdens might be placed upon me.
Strength of body to deliver to safety all those placed within my care.
I promise the wisdom to lead, the compassion to comfort, and the love to serve unselfishly whenever I am called.
The names of those deceased were then read by Chief Breen, including a short tribute to Firefighter Charles Lester Kimball who made the ultimate sacrifice as he died in the line of duty, in service to his community, in 1954. Kimball’s family placed flowers at the monument.
Bagpiper Skip Herbert played a touching Amazing Grace and slowly walked away from the scene in a very moving ending of his music. Taps followed, played by Josh Peatfield. Chief Breen ended the ceremony by inviting everyone to Central Fire Station for a full complimentary breakfast. What a beautiful ceremony!
Skip Hebert playing Amazing Grace
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