Alvirne Class of 2019 by the Numbers

June 21, 2019

by Laurie Jasper

Alvirne High School’s Class of 2019 celebrated commencement on Thursday, June 13 at Southern New Hampshire University Arena in Manchester.  Throughout the evening, numbers seemed to be a consistent theme.

The 280 students are the 69th class to graduate from Alvirne.  JROTC Color Guard members presented the Colors as 12 military-bound seniors led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.  It is interesting to note that all branches of the United States Military will soon be represented by 2019 class members:  Tahira Houghton – Army; Brian Fortier- Army National Guard; Josh Charron, Kayli D’Amico, Dylan Levesque – Navy; Jacob Briand, Alex Fitzpatrick, Kyle Harkins, Owen Worth – Air Force; Draven Clancy, Dylan Nutter – Marine Corp; Josh Allard – Coast Guard.

Dean of Academics Sue Bureau welcomed family and friends and announced the names of 13 district educators and staff who will retire at the end of the school year. They are Kathy Bouchard, Nanette Constant, Deborah Darrigo, Karen Elgart, Karen Fornash, Dan Hogle, Deborah Hughes, Marjorie Inderbitzen, Judith King, Linda Linscott, Nancy Mercurio, Shirley Nadeau, Linda Noone.  Combined, these retirees dedicated 341 years to the students of Hudson.

William Hughen, district director of School Counseling, presented the annual Chester Steckevicz Award to Haley Peaslee, who will be attending Wagner College in the fall. Steckevicz was Alvirne’s principal from 1952 until his death in 1972.  Alvirne gymnasium is named in his honor.

Salutatorian Kelly McDermott shared that she was stumped on what she should say in her speech, so she chose to consult every millennials’ go-to — Google.  McDermott shared that she soon realized the internet, and even Siri, is not the place for answers about life.  “Live in the moment and don’t let it pass you by …  None of these dreams will come true if we keep looking at our phones for answers,” McDermott concluded.

Valedictorian Ryan Weston addressed his classmates about family, friendships and teachers, and the role numbers play throughout life.  “Our entire lives, we have been led to believe that our level of importance is based on numbers,” Weston began.  He listed test scores, team statistics and grade point averages as part of school life. As constant as numbers are, though, “In the end, what really matters is not the numbers themselves; it is the people behind those numbers that helped you along the way,” Weston determined.

Class of 2019 President Madailein Lindsay, Hudson Chamber of Commerce’s Junior Citizen of the Year, gave a heartfelt, humorous speech, recalling life lessons learned throughout elementary, middle and high school.  Wall ball, recycling club, rotating schedules, Colt Time, the fourth-floor pool and even mitochondria brought knowing smiles and chuckles from her classmates.

The B-Naturals performed “Stop This Train” by John Mayer, a sorrowful song about getting older. “So scared of getting older, I’m only good at being young.  So I play the numbers game to find a way to say that life has just begun,” state some of the lyrics.

Prior to the presentation of the diplomas by School Board Chairman Malcolm Price and Superintendent Lawrence Russell, Principal Steve Beals shared his five wishes for the students.  “I wish you good health … I wish you good relationships … I wish all of you grit … I wish that you will avoid foolish risk-taking behaviors … I wish that you will reduce your cell phone usage and social media presence …”

Principal Beals acknowledged Druh Patel for having perfect attendance throughout his four years at Alvirne, three years at Memorial and every year in elementary school except when his family took a trip to India in second grade.  Beals also recognized six students with the Principal Award for their perseverance:  Vitoria Barbosa, Caige Frost, Tahira Houghton, Matt McMahon, Gabby Santos and Liz White.

The members of the Class of 2019 joined Beals for one final group dance, to the ever-optimistic Journey song “Don’t Stop Believin’,” and participated in one more Bronco Battle Cry, led by Madailein Lindsay.

“As we close the chapter in your Alvirne book, please be a good adult and keep opening new chapters in your lifelong learning novel ahead.  I will miss you.  May my wishes for your future all come true,” concluded Beals.  And with that, the Alvirne High School Class of 2019 recessed from the arena, and into their futures, while the Rascal Flatts song “My Wish” filled the air.