NEWPORT — A brief shower failed to dampen the spirit of the 62 students in the Class of 2019 at its graduation ceremony Wednesday, June 5 on the Newport Common.
The soon-to-be graduates sat through the shower as the ceremony continued on the gazebo. Some three dozen spectators came prepared with umbrellas that were opened up to deal with the rain.
There were speeches from each of the three Valedictorians. Alia Gonzalez, Benjamin Jachim-Gallagher and Elizabeth Tremblay.
There were also three Valedictorians in the Class of 1989, exactly 30 years ago. They were Mark Tremblay, (Elizabeth Tremblay’s uncle), Dawn Boucher and Denise Colby. The Class of 1983 also featured a trio of Valedictorians, Darrin Rodeschin, Sandy Demeis and Susan Budd.
Gonzalez was the leadoff Valedictorian speaker at the graduation exercise of the Newport High School Class of 2019.
“We have been led down a road for our whole lives until this very moment,” Gonzalez stated. “Our supportive families held our hand as we walked into Kindergarten. Then amazing teachers grasped the other to help us become the people we are now.
“Tonight, we start our own journey. Once we graduate, the road ahead is our own to navigate. Gonzalez continued. “After surviving high school, arguably the hardest time of our lives socially and stressfully, you can make it through any roadblocks the future throws at you.
“Even on the road ahead, whatever road that may be, don’t be afraid to turn around. This community will always accept us back into its loving arms if we get lost on the road ahead, whatever road that may be,” she continued.
In closing, Gonzalez spoke to her classmates.
“Thank you all for everything you’ve done for me on the road I’ve been on for the past four years. Being accepted into your class has been one of my greatest blessings, and I hope all of your paths take you into a bright future.”
“I don’t know what I’m going to do. I actually have no idea. And I think that’s okay,” said Jachim-Gallagher. “Traditional indicators of achievement—grades, position, influence, basically all the boxes—are fine enough, but they don’t dictate happiness.
“The biggest thing I’ve learned across these four years of burning myself out, time and time again, is that you don’t need to check all the boxes. For me, it’s more important that I’m happy with myself, rather than how impressed other people are with me,” he revealed.
Jachim-Gallagher also had a suggestion for his classmates. “Take some time in the next few days and think about what set you on the path you are on now, and if it is really what you want to be doing, or if it is just what you have been told will be best for you. Try and go after what you really want without a fear of failure. Don’t be afraid to fail,” he concluded.
Tremblay said over the years she has learned a lot from school, much of which she has already forgotten, but there are a lot of things that have stuck with her.
Tremblay mentioned things she learned from several Newport teachers and coaches
‘From Mrs. McHugh I learned that teachers care about us more than we know. And some of them are more than willing to let us use their classrooms as closets when need be.
“From Mr. and Mrs. Thurlow, I learned that value of keeping up to date on the latest news, while also remembering not everything has to be done with technology.”
“And finally, from the community, parents, teachers, friends and graduates, I learned that the old platitude is true. It really does take a village. I have grown up in this community and I have been shaped every step of the way by the people in it. We all have.
“The close-knit hometown feeling is what has molded so many great teachers. This place, this town, and especially the people in this audience, really care about its youth. I would like you to all know that we, the youth, really care about you all as well, even if we don’t show it as much as we should.”
Selena Coronis, President
Megan Howard, Vice President
Emily Wellman, Secretary
Emily Guyett, Treasurer
Kayleigh Spadafora and Bill Thurlow, Class Advisors
Austin Malool-Juneau and Annika Randall, Class Marshals
Selena Coronis, Vaios and Mary Spanos Memorial Scholarship
Selena Coronis, Remington B. Woodhull Scholarship
Selena Coronis, Bill Bates Memorial Scholarship Award
Benjamin Jachim-Gallagher, Sugar River Bank Scholarship
Gavin Lovely, American Legion Model Student Award
Elizabeth Tremblay, Class of 1976 Model Student Award
Ayesha Nezambadi, Condon-Teague Memorial Scholarship
Selena Coronis and Benjamin Jachim-Gallagher, The Jake Maxfield Connection: The Spirit of Jake Maxfield Scholarship
Selena Coronis, The Davis C. Hemingway Athletic Scholarship
Ethan Carley and Gavin Lovely, U.S. Marine Corps Awards
Anna Pysz, Tyler Currier, Allison Howe, Mary Felicia Falzarano Scholarships for Alumni
Anna Pysz and Daniel Chassee, Newport Lions Club Scholarship
Allison Howe and Anna Caccavaro, Alumni Trust Fund Scholarship
Abigail Paquin, Justin Rollins Memorial Scholarship
Natasha Whipple and Mason Martell, Peer Pride Award
Class of 2019
Joseph David Ackerman
Aiden Mark Almstrom
Joshua Scott Almstrom
Reilly Benjamin Avery
Isaac James Bailey
Jacob Robert Bailey
Odell Brice Bedell
James Andrew Blaine III
Monique Amber Nicole Bocash
Catherine Elizabeth Boles
Jennifer Rae Boomhower
Angel Ann Branch
Victoria Alynn Burroughs
Abigail Jules Carley
Ethan James Carley
Ann Rose Caron
Kaitlin Michelle Carroll
Kristie Marie Clingenpeel
Selena Aexis Coronis
Marisa Nichole Cota
Lisa Marie Currier
Nathan L. Currier
Michael James Denaris
Austin Riley Eaves
Rileigh Beth Frye
Kobe Thomas Gallo
Alia Lynn Gonzalez
Emily Ruth Guyette
Logan Connor Harper
Joshua Wayne Hannigan
Logan Connor Harper
Megan Riley Howard
Benjamin Daniel Jachim-Gallagher
Kayla Marie Jensen
Sylvanna Rose Landry
Gavin Meacham Lovely
Abigail May Lee Lussier
Hannah Lane McFadden
Cole Ryan McNamara
Jackson Blake Miller
Brittany Lynn Mills
Michael James Osgood
Abigail Louise Paquin
Nolin Otis Rankin
Anthony Michael Robertson
James Robert Smith III
Dylan M. Stark
Nathan Eric Andrew Stark
Isaiah Andrews Stephens
Trunks Xavier Thomas
Elizabeth Mae Tremblay
Maria Faustina Wallace