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Posted June 11, 2013 | comments Leave a comment

Wakefield honors students at commencement ceremony

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Katie Brown gives the valedictory address at the commencement ceremony at Wakefield County Day School June 1. Courtesy photo

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Marc Cugnon gives his salutatory address to the senior class at Wakefield County Day School in Huntly on June 1. Courtesy photo

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Wakefield graduating senior Sam Lilburn poses for a photo with retiring administrator Rachel Bechtold at graduation ceremonies at Wakefield Country Day School in Huntly on June 1. Courtesy photo

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From left, Katie Brown, Rachel DuMez, Caroline Murray and Makenzie Magaro attend graduation ceremonies at Wakefield Country Day School in Huntly on June 1. Courtesy photo

Wakefield Country Day School held its 34th commencement exercise on June 1 in the school's Senior Garden in the early evening. Twenty seniors graduated and received their Wakefield diplomas.

Head of School Jessica Lindstrom presided over the ceremony. The Rev. Mark Moretti delivered the Invocation, and Deb Richard delivered the Address to Graduates. A former professional golfer and philanthropist, Richard has built two successful non-profit foundations: one to provide college scholarships for physically-challenged children and one to develop a new generation of responsible leaders.

Richard encouraged the graduates to follow their dreams, telling them to dream big and dream often because dreams do come true. She used her career as a golfer and what followed for her as examples for the seniors to consider.

Student government president, Katie Brown, was the class valedictorian and Marc Cugnon was the class salutatorian.

In her speech, she addressed her classmates and referenced some of the high points of their shared experience.

A press release from Wakefield quoted excerpts from Brown's speech.

"Wakefield students are taught by a phenomenal collection of teachers and staff to go for the gusto," Brown said. "To have their ideas be seen and heard and talked about. And we do so with a great deal of style. Every day is memorable here."

"I think there are three things that really encompass this school: its traditions, its people, and its depth," Brown added. "It's tradition that fosters a sense of accord, of interconnection between every individual lucky enough to experience this place. Everyone cares about you here; it's absolutely infectious. You not only learn things, but you learn how to learn things. You understand how to appreciate the world, how to question, and how to be passionate."

In his remarks, Cugnon urged his classmates to strive for excellence, to be passionate in what they do and to make positive changes on society.

"We're in a perfect position to forge our own paths, to be the architects of our own dreams, and to make a mark on the world," he said. "I think that's pretty special, don't you?"

Numerous awards and prizes were presented to the seniors and other members of the Wakefield Upper School. Also Wakefield grandparent Louise Eastham and past parent Mary Ann Cowherd presented Shannon Weir with the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award.

Lindstrom recognized three departing faculty members, math and science teacher Alex Popkin, biology teacher Nabers Johnson and teacher and administrator Rachel Bechtold.

Members of the graduating class, including Brown and Cugnon, were Grace Albert, Alexandra Cancio-Bello, Daniel Chadduck, Rachel DuMez, Mike He, Henry Johnson,
Brittany Kwolek, Mary Leskovec, Sam Lilburn, Carl Liles, Makenzie Magaro, Caroline Murray, Conor O'Heir, Alejandro Rodriguez, Will Scaring, Dhruv Thummar, Hannah Tufts and Shannon Weir.


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