An­chors Aweigh

Com­mu­nity cel­e­brates North Dorch­ester grad­u­ates

Dorchester Star - - Front Page - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com

SHILOH — The North Dorch­ester High School com­mu­nity cel­e­brated the 94 grad­u­ates as they took their walk across stage to re­ceive their high school diplo­mas.

The class of 2016 earned more than $2 mil­lion in schol­ar­ships with stu­dents start­ing new chap­ters in col­lege, the work­force and the mil­i­tar y.

“The ma­jor­ity of us have been to­gether since mid­dle school, and some of us since ele­men­tary school,” said North Dorch­ester Vale­dic­to­rian Austin Lo­ef­fler. “Over the years, we have been wit­nesses to growth. We truly are on the path to suc­cess.

“I ask that each of us set goals for our lives that are in­cred­i­bly large,” he said. “When they are achieved, set higher ones.”

Lo­ef­fler said he has ex­tremely high hopes for the Class of 2016.

“I know ev­ery­one has the de­sire to push them­selves through the chal­lenges life has to of­fer,” he said. “We are all headed in dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions, but re­mem­ber, North Dorch­ester High School will al­ways be home.”

Lo­ef­fler closed by thank­ing his fel­low class­mates who are head­ing into the U.S. Mil­i­tary, and said he looks for­ward to join­ing them af­ter he grad­u­ates from col­lege.

Lind­sey Corkran re­ceived the honor of Salu­ta­to­rian. She also re­ceived the Pa­tri­cia H. Hop­kins Me­mo­rial Schol­ar­ship Award given to a se­nior on the ba­sis of schol­ar­ship, ac­tiv­i­ties, de­pend­abil­ity and po­ten­tial for suc­cess in a cho­sen ca­reer. Corkran ad­di­tion­ally was awarded the Wil­lie James Syd­nor Me­mo­rial Schol­ar­ship based on her char­ac­ter, schol­ar­ship, lead­er­ship, de­pend­abil­ity, co­op­er­a­tion and loy­alty to the school and com­mu­nity.

She said life has many steps, and each tasks helps build a foun­da­tion for a greater suc­cess.

“Today, we have suc­ceeded,” she said. “These are the lit­tle tests that add up. So con­tinue to work hard and reach your goals.”

Kayla Allen re­ceived the Wil­liam R. Wheat­ley Na­tional Honor So­ci­ety Stu­dent of the Year Award for pos­sess­ing the qual­i­ties of ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties par­tic­i­pa­tion, cit­i­zen­ship, school spirit, loy­alty, per­sonal in­tegrity and re­li­a­bil­ity.

Des­tiny Brown was awarded the North Dorch­ester High School Award for a se­nior in recog­ni­tion of schol­ar­ship, loy­alty and achieve­ment as ev­i­denced by the po­si­tion of lead­er­ship and trust held in school.

Brown, along with Grace Brins­field, re­ceived the North Dorch­ester High School Service Award for pos­sess­ing out­stand­ing qual­i­ties of de­pend­abil­ity, lead­er­ship, trust, co­op­er­a­tion and loy­alty to the school.

North Dorch­ester High class of 2007 grad­u­ate Cor­nell Stan­ley Jr. served as com­mence­ment speaker. He served as his se­nior class pres­i­dent and went to Mor­gan St. Univer­sity. He now works as a fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sor for Mer­rill L ynch.

“You should be very, very proud of your­selves for ac­com­plish­ing this mile­stone,” he said. “Grad­u­a­tion is one of those mile­stones in life that de­fines a com­ing of age. The end­ing of one era of life as a stu­dent, and the mov­ing to the next stage at which you are a leader, a trailblazer, an achiever in our world.

“The com­ing times will be ex­cit­ing times,” he said. “They will be try­ing, but they will all be de­pen­dent on you and your de­ter­mi­na­tion.”

Stan­ley said life does not al­ways fol­low the plans that have been laid out.

“You will ex­pe­ri­ence the highs and the lows of life — the dif­fi­cult and the easy,” he said. “Un­for­tu­nately, there may be too many times where it seems like you are go­ing against the cur­rent. True suc­cess will be de­fined by how you han­dle both of these times.

“Set forth on an un­charted path,” he said. “Go where oth­ers dare not to go. The im­por­tant thing is you have al­ready taken the ini­tial steps to build a more promis­ing fu­ture. Ev­ery class you have taken, ev­ery lab, ev­ery essay has pre­pared you to adapt to our chal­leng­ing and chang­ing world that we live in.”

This year’s Se­nior Class Pres­i­dent Bai­ley Lowe said fin­ish­ing high school is both ex­cit­ing and ter­ri­fy­ing. He said all the tasks achieved and com­pleted in high school will have each stu­dent pre­pared for the fu­ture.

“With these events, we’ve laid the foun­da­tion for who we are and who we will al­ways be,” he said. “These four years of high school are not some­thing we can just put be­hind us. These years are us.”

North Dorch­ester High Prin­ci­pal Lynn Sor­rells had the fi­nal word be­fore dis­miss­ing the Class of 2016 for the fi­nal time.

“I told you guys you would do good,” she said. “There is no ques­tion that you as a group are aca­dem­i­cally pre­pared to move for­ward. You have com­pleted a rig­or­ous pro­gram of study.

“Each of you have an added dis­tinc­tion of be­ing a North Dorch­ester High School grad­u­ate,” she said. “As an ea­gle, you will all have a nest to re­turn to as a fam­ily to lean on. I wish the class of 2016 pro­tec­tion and bless­ings as you be­gin the next chap­ter of your life.”

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

North Dorch­ester High School 2012 grad­u­ate Ni­cole Ver­sis holds her brother, Ryan Ver­sis, af­ter sur­pris­ing Ryan at his North Dorch­ester grad­u­a­tion Tues­day, May 24. Ni­cole is a mem­ber of the Navy ROTC at Old Do­min­ion Univer­sity. Ryan plans to join the U.S. Navy.

North Dorch­ester High School Class of 2016 mem­bers throw their caps in the air af­ter grad­u­a­tion Tues­day, May 24.

North Dorch­ester High School Class of 2016 Vale­dic­to­rian Austin Lo­ef­fler walks across the stage to re­ceive his award at grad­u­a­tion Tues­day, May 24.

North Dorch­ester High School Salu­ta­to­rian Lind­sey Corkran also re­ceives the 2016 Pa­tri­cia H. Hop­kins Me­mo­rial Schol­ar­ship Award and Wil­lie James Syd­nor Me­mo­rial Schol­ar­ship Award at grad­u­a­tion Tues­day, May 24.

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