Campbell High Graduates 101

Seniors Filled with Respect, Reflection and Remembrances

June 20, 2014

by Doug Robinson

The back page of the Campbell High School Graduation program simply states, “Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart,” Kongz.  Throughout the entire graduation ceremonies, speaker after speaker spoke about that passion, that desire, to “go with all your heart,” while drawing on the students’ reflections and remembrances of their educational experiences in Litchfield.

Men gowned in red, and ladies in black, the graduates joined their teachers and administrators as they marched into the Campbell High School gymnasium through an archway with the word “character” written above.  Only the teachers and the administrators draped their tassels to the left side of their mortar boards.  Soon, the 101 men and women of the 2014 Campbell High School graduating class would also hang their tassels on the left

Taking their seats at center court, the high school band continued to play “Pomp and Circumstance” until all were seated.

Hanging on the walls of the gymnasium rest silent, yet bold remembers of victory after victory this graduating class shares together.  NHIAA Sportsmanship Award (2010-2011), softball champions, wrestling champions, basketball champions list only a few of the dozens of athletic accomplishments of the 2014 graduating class.  At times the cheers and applause of those in attendance became deafening.  Cameras clicked continuously, capturing those moments of pride forever.  “Kayla, over here,” “Stuart, we love you” and ”Missy” were only three of those 101 names being heard as parents and loved ones shouted for their pride and joy.

“It took us 12 years to get to this moment,” stated CHS senior Molly Gillespie.  This is “nothing compared to each and every accomplishment” you have done.  And in keeping with that tradition, the graduates were encouraged to present a red carnation to someone they loved and who had supported them.

Class Essayist Jacob Parzych, spoke of his memories being “snapshots.”  “These snapshots will last us forever, the rest of our lives.  You will remember who is in them.  These memories define how we are remembered.

Leah Stagnone’s Salutatory speech encouraged her classmates to look up to a new beginning.

You “have been given the basic tools.  Strive for personal growth and learning.  This ceremony is recognizing the past and celebrating what is to come.  You are not a number.  All that matters is to go forward with passion and self-respect.  Create your own definition of success.”

Student Council President Ryan Perigny titled his speech “Reflections.”  “What is consistent between all is that we are all products of our small town.  Remember your pond, your family, sister, and community which watched you.”  They are the “factors that created the men and women who cross the stage.”

Michael Boutselis, teacher and class adviser, was the invited guest speaker for the graduation.  “Graduating from high school is no small feat.”  Boutselis commented that his preparation for the speech afforded him the opportunity to read previous year’s news clippings, previous speeches, and remember the various projects that had been completed by the graduating class during their four years at CHS.

“As I sifted through, I was overcome with pride.”  Boutselis not only spoke of the athletic accomplishments, he spoke of many individual accomplishments.  Referring to “countless charities, finest colleges, thousands of dollars in awards, armed services, and no banner can capture what you are, what defines you.  You are determined and you strive to stand out.  This class is unique and diverse.”  Boutselis offered the graduates three words of advice:  Time:  cherish it.  Life is defined by what time we are given.  Passion:  with passion there are endless possibilities.  Learn:  “challenge yourself to the best you can be.”

Benjamin Billings’s Valedictory speech spoke about each individual’s ability to “make up our own minds, find our own truth, and leave our mark on the world as we want to.  He spoke of his faith and the spiritual connection between off of us in this world.  “Find your own truth, define your own success,” commented Billings.

Superintendent of Schools, Brian Cochrane, Ph.D., commented that “the graduating classes of 2014 are a great group of students.  They have a lot of enthusiasm and they are a very talented class.  They exhibit the values of CHS:  character, courage, respect, and responsibility in all aspects of life.  I wish them all the best in their coming years.”