Lebanon High celebrates ‘end of era’ for Class of 2023

Katherine Clancy, center, reacts to seeing her first grade teacher Lindsay McKittrick, holding her daughter Adelaide, 2, before graduation at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, N.H., on Thursday, June 8, 2023. Graduates in the class of 2023 were students in McKittrick’s first ever class when she started teaching and she said attending their graduation was a special moment for her. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Katherine Clancy, center, reacts to seeing her first grade teacher Lindsay McKittrick, holding her daughter Adelaide, 2, before graduation at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, N.H., on Thursday, June 8, 2023. Graduates in the class of 2023 were students in McKittrick’s first ever class when she started teaching and she said attending their graduation was a special moment for her. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. valley news / report for america — Alex Driehaus

Megan Bell, right, hugs Delaney Deshane before their graduation ceremony at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, N.H., on Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Megan Bell, right, hugs Delaney Deshane before their graduation ceremony at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, N.H., on Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Alex Driehaus

Natalia Somoff, left, holds hands with Claire Falcone before walking into their graduation ceremony at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, N.H., on Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Natalia Somoff, left, holds hands with Claire Falcone before walking into their graduation ceremony at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, N.H., on Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. valley news / report for america photographs — Alex Driehaus

Seniors walk by a countdown to graduation before their graduation ceremony at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, N.H., on Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Seniors walk by a countdown to graduation before their graduation ceremony at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, N.H., on Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

From left, Mary Rainey, Tanner Ames, Juliette Hampton, Lily Poljacik and Sean Miller joke around as they wait in line before their graduation ceremony at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, N.H., on Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

From left, Mary Rainey, Tanner Ames, Juliette Hampton, Lily Poljacik and Sean Miller joke around as they wait in line before their graduation ceremony at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, N.H., on Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Alex Driehaus

Meagan Thompson, left, and Ean Ray play air hockey on Ray’s phone before their graduation ceremony at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, N.H., on Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Meagan Thompson, left, and Ean Ray play air hockey on Ray’s phone before their graduation ceremony at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, N.H., on Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Alex Driehaus

By PATRICK ADRIAN

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 06-09-2023 9:06 PM

LEBANON — Lebanon High School’s graduating seniors departed their commencement ceremony Thursday night to the recessional song “As It Was” by Harry Styles.

Selected as the class song, “As It Was” is distinguished by a sharp contrast between its lyrics — in which the narrator looks upon change and moving on with melancholy — and an upbeat musical composition of jaunty and catchy synth-pop.

The seniors selected to speak at the commencement — unlike the song narrator — spoke about change with optimism and a readiness to bring their memories on the journey ahead.

Senior Sean Miller, the ceremony’s emcee, equated his last four years of school “as a collection of moments” — not the minute details of “tests” or “events that bogged down the school year” — but “the beautiful life moments” that carry value or meaning.

“They show up for everyone at some point or another, and those moments in their subtlety and beauty and randomness are enough,” Miller said. “They are always enough.”

Valedictorian Mary Rainey also spoke about the power of memories while calling the future an opportunity to build new ones.

Rainey, who works in an assisted living facility, shared a story from a resident named James, who once attempted to hitchhike with a friend from New Hampshire to Seattle, where they grew up. Though they did not complete the journey, they made it to Utah.

“He said his most significant achievement in life was hitchhiking those 2,400 miles,” Rainey said. “Despite his (many education degrees), his greatest accomplishment was a spontaneous adventure with a dear friend.”

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Rainey told her classmates that they are not finished products and that they “have memories to be made and paths to forge.”

Class salutatorian Adriana Caerini called it “the end of an era” while expressing gratitude for the teachers and family members who helped prepare her class for the next stage of their journey.

“We are spreading apart, splitting from each other,” Caerini said. “We seniors will be heading into the crowd as adults, into our part of the big, scary adult world. But I hope that we seniors carry with us an irrational altruism and a drive to always be the best versions of ourselves that we can be.”

Over 1,000 people gathered on the practice field outside Lebanon High School to celebrate the graduation of the school’s 146 seniors.

The school faculty awarded an honorary diploma to Antoine Gauvin, 17, a member of the 2023 graduating class who died unexpectedly last June.

Miller was awarded the Spirit of Lebanon High School Award, an honor given to the student who most represents the school’s principles and values. The recipient of this award is selected by the school faculty.

The ceremony also featured several musical performances, including an instrumental rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner on trumpets by seniors Tanner Ames, Juliette Hampton and Elizabeth Kourbatski and an original song called “It Was Over Too Fast,” performed and written by senior Arabella Apigo.

Patrick Adrian may be reached at padrian@vnews.com or at 603-727-3216.

Lebanon High Class of 2023

Ava Ackerman, University of Vermont; Isaac Ager, American University; Joseph Amature; Tanner Ames, Clarkson University; Cooper Anderson, University of Ottawa; Samuel Antonious, University of New Hampshire; Arabella Apigo, Plymouth State University; Azzlyn Arnold, American University; Hailey Arruda, Binghamton University; James As’sude, Southern New Hampshire University; Joshua Ball, Cedarville University; Greta Barber, Coastal Carolina University; Dawson Bates, Nichols College; Samuel Bates, Bryant University; Madisen Bavos; Sawyer Beaulieu, U.S. Marine Corps; Megan Bell, Pennsylvania State University; Kylie Benson, New Hampshire Technical Institute; Ashlee Blashock, University of Southern Maine, Alexander Blish, Keene State College; Olivia Britton, University of Vermont; Ethan Brochu, University of New Hampshire; Amanda Brooker, University of Delaware; Chloe Brown, Colby-Sawyer College; Michaelangelo Burgos, Suffolk University; Francis Calandrella, Montana State University; Adriana Caraeni, University of Massachusetts-Amherst; Jerome Charbono; Alex Chen, Temple University; Jackson Churchill, Lakes Region Community College; Katherine Clancy, Skidmore College; Isabella Craig; Sarah Cunningham; Andrew Dannehy, University of New Hampshire; Diego Luis Dela Cruz, University of New Hampshire; Alena Demidova, Queen’s University; Delaney DeShane, University of New Hampshire; Isabella DiRenzo, Brandeis University; Shane Donaghe, Elite Lineman Training Institute; Alexander Ellis, Evergreen Community College; Gavin Emerson, University of New Hampshire; Finn Ericson, Cornell University; Claire Falcone, University of Rhode Island; Ariella Fernandez-Arce; Olivia Ferraro, Colby-Sawyer College; Faith Filiault; Scott Fish; Keegan Fredette, Colby-Sawyer College; Elizabeth Freeman; Richard Gatto; Ella Gessner, Columbia University; Cheyane Gonser; Duncan Green, Syracuse University; Raymond Greene; Angus Hall, Union College; Trisha Hamilton, Colby-Sawyer College; Juliette Hampton, Smith College; Garrett Hansen; Birhanu Harriman, Georgetown University; Isabella Hastings, Salve Regina University; Samuel Hastings, Florida Institute of Technology; Joakim Honrubia; Keira Houdegbe, Dean College; Benjamin Howland, Coastal Carolina University; Trey Irizarry, George Mason University; Colt Janes, U.S. Army National Guard; Dustin Jarvis, Johnson & Wales University; Olivia Johns, University of Arizona; Bret Johnson, Plymouth State University; Carson Jones, Plymouth State University; Malayna Joslyn, River Valley Community College; Max Jovanovich, Manchester Community College; Larkin Jukosky, Colby-Sawyer College; Morgan Kantor, Quinnipiac University; Carlos Kennelly, Northern Maine Community College; Nathan Kenyon, Jr.; Victoria Kenyon, Maynooth University; Julian Kobayashi, DHWRI Surgical Technology Program; Finnegan Kopp, Plymouth State University; Elizabeth Kourbatski, McGill University; Nicholas Lamontagne, Plymouth State University; Noah Lamontagne, University of Maine-Orono; Joshua Legacy; Aidan Lewis; Yu-Shan Liang, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Deanna Lindberg, Suffolk University; Ella Lique, Colby-Sawyer College; John-Paul Martin; Keith Lauren Martinez, University of New England; William McGee, The Hotchkiss School; Clare McIntyre, University of New Hampshire; Connor McKinney, University of New Hampshire; Morgan Melendy, Saint Anselm College; Emily Melkonian, Clarkson University; Sadie Mielcarz, Mount Holyoke College; Sean Miller, Vassar College; Giovanna Moro, Ithaca College; Madelyn Newton; Vickie Ni, Plymouth State University; Samuel Nichols, Plymouth State University; Anna Numme, University of Rhode Island; Gavin O’Keefe, University of New Hampshire; Anita Palys, University of Ottawa; Abaigeal Pellegrino, University of Vermont; Christopher Perriello, Saint Lawrence University; Lillian Poljacik, University of New Hampshire; Ethan Price; Logan Rafter; Mary Rainey, Bowdoin College; Ean Ray, Fairfield University; Emma Raymond, Southern New Hampshire University; Taryn Raymond, Vermont Technical College; Anya Rendahl, Wellesley College; Owen Robb, University of New England; Savannah Roberts; Cesar Salcedo, Quinnipiac University; Andrew Sanchez, University of Denver; Will Sandmann, University of Denver; Rapha Scheller, Plymouth State University; Baden Schifferdecker,University of Massachusetts-Amherst; Lillian Schnack, Southern New Hampshire University; Mikka Scholtz, Gordon College; Rune Anastasia Seregina, Champlain College; Roy Shapard, College of the Holy Cross; D. Noah Sharkey; Natalia Somoff, University of Vermont; Aesha Soni, New York Film Academy; Madeline Spiller; Miles Sturges, Columbia University; Vincent Ta, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences; Meagan Thompson, Quinnipiac University; Gerad Thornton, River Valley Community College; Mikayla Thornton, Colby-Sawyer College; Angelina Truong, Brandeis University; Griffin Urnezis, Keene State College; Ryan Vallee, Colby-Sawyer College; Victor Vecherin, University of New Hampshire; Sawyer Chapin Weale, Bowdoin College; DellaRose Whalen, George Washington University; Aaron Williams II; Isaac Wolfe, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Thomas Wolfe, University of Vermont; Ellen Wolstenholme, Amherst College; Easton Wykes, University of Minnesota-College of Liberal Arts; Dallas Young.