Lebanon High School seniors reflect on four years of learning and bonding

By PATRICK ADRIAN

Valley News Correspondent

Published: 06-13-2022 12:00 PM

LEBANON — Lebanon High School’s graduating seniors stressed the importance of community and building relationships in their parting words to classmates at the school’s commencement ceremony for the Class of 2022 on Thursday.

Over 1,000 people gathered on the lacrosse field outside Lebanon High School to celebrate the graduation of the school’s 154 seniors.

Despite steady rains in the morning, the weather cleared and remained cooperative throughout the early evening ceremony. A cluster of gray clouds passed overhead during the processional but refrained from precipitation and eventually yielded to sunny skies.

Principal Ian Smith said he was “grateful” for the weather’s cooperation.

“We really haven’t done (a graduation ceremony) quite like this in over three years,” Smith said, referring to the school’s adjustments to its ceremonies in 2020 and 2021 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In 2020, Lebanon was forced to hold a virtual graduation ceremony. Last year, the school returned to its traditional outdoor ceremony, though seating was spaced to provide social distancing.

Smith credited the Class of 2022 for embodying “the power of public schools” through their ability to build relationships, learn together and forge a common experience despite their diverse backgrounds.

“This (class) is special,” Smith said. “And I know I say that every year, but it truly is the case this year.”

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Senior Coleman Fabry, of Grantham, said Lebanon High School’s “community of open arms and open minds” alleviated his worries four years ago about being able to adapt to a new and larger school setting.

“I was never scared to raise my hand because I knew my classmates would never judge me for giving a wrong answer,” Fabry said. “This class is so exceptional because it embodies the belief that everyone should unapologetically be themselves.”

Class Valedictorian Braeden Falzarano similarly echoed the importance of community and relationships, telling his classmates that “alone, one can only go so far.”

He recalled a conversation among his friends last year in which they shared their personal battles with mental health and their experiences with therapy.

Falzarano, who had similarly struggled in 2020 during the worst of COVID-19 isolation, said he longed to confide in his friends but was too scared. Now he sees it as a missed opportunity, and he encouraged his classmates not to let those opportunities pass by.

“I regret not taking the chance that night to form closer relationships with those who had common experiences with me,” Falzarano said. “Those relationships could have helped me to overcome that adversity and to enjoy life a little more.”

Falzarano noted that the relationships forged between students and teachers are indispensable to learning, whether that be academics or personal growth.

“Without these relationships … we could have only achieved so much,” Falzarano said.

English teacher Tim Winslow said the school’s strong sense of community was key to the Class of 2022’s ability to weather the adversity of the pandemic.

They began their high school journey as freshmen in a traditional learning setting. In the spring of their sophomore year, the class was forced into a fully remote learning, which became a hybrid of remote and in-person instruction to begin their junior year, before transitioning back to traditional classroom schedules this year.

“Soon all of you will be taking on new challenges that will expand your experiences beyond Lebanon,” Winslow told the graduating class. “What I hope is that you take Lebanon with you.”

Lebanon High SchoolClass of 2022

Micah Achmoody, Boston University; Cassidy Adams, Northfield Mount Herman; Oakley Allen; Simon Amaro, University of Hawaii-Maui; Sofia Amaro, University of Victoria British Columbia; Hailey Annotti, Florida Atlantic University; Mason Arado; Griffin Auch, U.S. Coast Guard; Abigail Baker, University of California-Santa Barbara; Alexander Baker, Rochester Institute of Technology; Tony Balfour; Maya Barnett, University of Vermont; Aaron Bavos; Rylee Beek, Pace University; John Bieszczad, Western New England University; Sage Birsky, Colby-Sawyer College; Chloe Bishop, River Valley Community College; Zachary Bitler; Blake Boardman, University of Utah; Mia Boisvert; Dae’Quon Bond, Liberty University; Alexa Bonenfant, University of New Hampshire; Connor Brown, Castleton University; Courtney Brown, Dean College; Dylan Budner, Tufts University; Pete Buzby; Theresa Calandrella, Baylor University-England; Seth Carl, University of New Hampshire; Wren Carter, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Chloe Charbono, Southern New Hampshire University; Christopher “CJ” Childs, Castleton University; Zoe Chinn, University of Vermont; Brendan Churchill; Adrianna Cody; Catherine Cole, Connecticut College; Zander Colonese, University of Northwestern Ohio; Noah Cooke, Universal Technical Institute; Charles Cromwell; Cameron Davio, University of New England; Grace Davis; Robert De La Cruz; Brianna DeBanico, University of Puget Sound; Justin DeCarlo, Assumption University; Colbie Delisle, Keene State College; Lee Densmore, Southern Maine University; Zoey Doyle, Johnson & Wales University; Samuel Ellingson, Clarkson University; Ethan Eshbaugh, Colorado School of Mines; Kiera Estes; Isabela Estrada; Coleman Fabry, Fairfield University; Braeden Falzarano, Wesleyan University; Makayla Finnell; Ashton Funari, Southern Maine Community College; Griffin Gamache, Plymouth State University; Maisie Gaudet, Plymouth State University; Johnathan Gilligan, Lakes Region Community College; Lillian Gogan, Paul Smith’s College; Alyssa Graber, Boston University; Hunter Grant, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine; Luke Greene, Western Welding Academy; Nolan Harris, Portland State University; Deliah Hart, Keene State College; Elizabeth Hastings, College of the Atlantic; Madilyn Herring, Bard College; Amalia Hickey, Ithaca College; Zoey Houde-Crane, University of New England; Anna Illsley, University of New England; Olivia Jerome; Logan Johns, Pennsylvania State University; Audrey Kapuscinski; Benjamin Katz, Dartmouth College; Lauren Keefe, Husson University; Indigo Kopp, Mount Holyoke College; Brenna Labbie, River Valley Community College; Madison Labbie, Plymouth State University; Ethan LaHaye, New England College; Griffin LaHaye, White Mountain Community College; Freya Langley, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts; Piers Legare, River Valley Community College; Osiris Leggett; Emma Leute, University of Rhode Island; Kenzie Leuthauser, Paul Smith’s College; Yanhong Liu; Ella Longacre, University of New Hampshire; Jack Mahan; Baillie Mako, Plymouth State University; John Mansfield, WyoTech; Zoe Martin, University of New Hampshire; Alexcia Matson, Castleton University; Noah Mekus; Aiden Miles, Norwich University; Montana Miller; Stephen Miller; Daniel Mladek, Yale University; Jacob Moales, Portland State University; Ellie Mooney; Isabella Morse, New Hampshire Technical Institute; Shondrea-Lynn Moulton; Getrude Ruby Mutisya, Oral Roberts University; Ethan Nicodemus; Ryan Oliveira, Ithaca College; Ali Osman, University of New Hampshire; Crisi Patel, Clark University; Abigail Pauls, Haverford College; Samantha Peterson, Goucher College; Lilly Pettersen; Sylvia Plomp, HZ University of Applied Sciences; Hailey Proulx; Nyeoti Punni, College of the Holy Cross; Hannah Read, Southern Maine Community College; Ava Reed, Salve Regina University; Andrew Romike, Arizona State University; Stella Rose; Eva Roux, Clark University; Alecia Roy, University of Vermont; Henna Sefcik, University of Massachusetts-Boston; Cole Shambo; Samuel Shipman, University of Vermont; Olivia Simione, Lafayette College; Jona Simons; Molly Smith, College of the Holy Cross; Preston Smith; Alyssa Smith- Duff, Southern New Hampshire University; Clara Smyrski, McGill University; Nathan Stark, University of New Hampshire; Jackson Stone, University of New Hampshire; Lena Suckow, Brigham Young University-Provo; Paige Susco, Lehigh University; Lily Sylvestre, University of New England; Kayla Taber, University of New Hampshire; Libellula Tafe; Claire Thibodeau, College of the Holy Cross; Lucy Thompson, Colby-Sawyer College; Andre Tietjen, Clark University; Cole Timlake, Lakes Region Community College; Sally Tretter, Trinity College-Dublin; Kayleigh Truell; Leah Twarog, Cedarville University; Quinn Von Baltzer; Jason Vorachak; Sidney Wallace, Florida Institute of Technology; Zachary Whitcomb, Fitchburg State University; Savanna White, Southern New Hampshire University; Evan Wood; Devin Woodward, Southern New Hampshire University; Sebastian Yates, Norwich University; and Sydney Zagarola, University of Connecticut.

CORRECTION: Lebanon High School graduating senior Coleman Fabry is from Grantham. An earlier version of this story included an incorrect town of residence for Fabry.

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