NORTH KINGSTOWN—With excited minds and a single red rose in hand, students of the North Kingstown High School Class of 2013 processed into the Ryan Center in order to cap off their four years of hard work, a diploma waiting at the end. Family members crowded into their seats this past Friday evening as students fixed tassels and talked about what they’ll miss, where they’d be going to college.
Superintendent of Schools Philip Auger first addressed the Class of 2013, urging them to be proud of the efforts to which they have committed in high school and grateful to all the teachers and family members who have helped them along the way.
“You have achieved a diploma recognizing your completion of a rigorous curriculum from a high school that has a proud tradition of being recognized as one of the finest high schools in our state and nation,” said Auger. “North Kingstown High School is one of the finest anywhere for its wide range of clubs and programs in the arts, music, and athletics, all of which regularly bring our community acclaim for their excellence.”
“The people around you tonight represent our whole community, and they have worked hard and sacrificed mightily to produce this opportunity for you,” he continued. “Collectively, the love and commitment of your families and your community and the expertise and sacrifice on your behalf from dedicated teachers and staff members is worth more than you’ll ever know!”
Valedictorian Nathan Lambert and Salutatorian Brenton Kreiger gave their speeches as well amid cheers from their fellow classmates, imploring them to follow their own unique paths in life.
“When I ventured into the doors of North Kingstown High School, barely 4’10” and 180 pounds, I was intimidated to say the least, and the greatest challenge I was facing was the endless fight against gravity,” said Kreiger. “If there is anything [NKHS] has taught us, it is to grab hold of opportunity.”
“We must carry this ideal close into the college experience and remember how to have fun,” he added.
Lambert echoed the thoughts of Auger.
“It is our parents, siblings, friends and teachers, most of all our classmates, who have pushed us to this great achievement,” said Lambert. “It is our proud moments that distinguish us, and you have all amazed me.”
“In addition to our students is a community backing our endeavors,” he continued. “It is now in our hands.”
Ann-Marie Harrington, CEO and Founder of Embolden, a digital communications group, asked students to commit to what they love, but understand that those impressions will always change, and that it is ok to change with them.
“It is never too late to learn,” said Harrington, relating her experiences as a social worker turned businesswoman. “Some of you know exactly what you want to be, but my guess is that many of you don’t know, and that is ok.”
“Your life roadmap will not take you from point A to B to C in a linear fashion,” she added. “No matter what you do, you all have choices in your life, so chase your passion and believe in your intuition.”
As the diplomas were handed out, students looked to the crowd to wave at family members, smiles written widely across their faces. This was the graduating class of 2013. Although there will be future classes walking the same path, struggling through the same issues and figuring out the same lessons of life, this class will hold its own unique place at North Kingstown High School that only they will share.