SPRINGFIELD, Vt. — Families, friends and Springfield educators and officials congregated in the Riverside Middle School’s gymnasium to celebrate the graduation of Springfield High School’s 73 seniors last night.
Keynote speaker Jennifer Anderson, or as she is known among the students as “Nurse Jenny,” told the graduates to anticipate a series of feelings through the coming months, from the initial “wow” feeling and the imminent “what do I do now feeling” to a bittersweet feeling.
Anderson, who retires this year after 30 years as a school nurse in the district, sympathized with the graduates who will also depart the school system.
“Well, this is my second time leaving since I graduated from here 42 years ago,” Anderson said, quickly adding, “Don’t start trying to figure out how old I am.”
As with Anderson, class valedictorian Jocelyn Hunt's message to her classmates was to trust themselves and take care of their wellbeing.
“Use your gut, use your brain but don’t forget to use your heart,” Hunt said.
From her experience this year in the Junior College Program, Hart told her classmates that while the future may seem intimidating, the transition to adulthood does not come all at once. Quoting the critic G.K. Chesterton, Hunt advised the graduates that doing something poorly is better than having never tried and to truly invest in their passions.
Opening the ceremony, Superintendent Zach McLaughlin lightly apologized for holding the ceremony inside the auditorium on a beautiful and warm summer evening, explaining that after a week of weather swings between sunny dryness and steady rain his feet found the field “a little squishy.”
McLaughlin also recognized three seniors who will enter military service: Britin Baldwin, who will join the Army, and Evan Holmes and Nikolas Jendrzewski, who will join the Marine Corps.
As a parting gift to next year’s incoming seniors, Class President Alan “AJ” Aldrich announced that the graduates raised enough money to purchase new sofas and furniture for the Senior Lounge, saying that next year’s seniors will need and deserve a place to unwind.
Editor's note: There were three errors in the print edition of this story. The event was held in Riverside Middle School's gymnasium; the valedictorian's name is Jocelyn Hunt; and she quoted G.K. Chesterton, not H.L. Menken. The Eagle Times regrets these errors.