ND Class of 2017 turns to new chap­ter

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

SHILOH — North Dorch­ester High’s class of 2017 closed a chap­ter Wed­nes­day, May 24, and be­gan writ­ing a new one at grad­u­a­tion.

The school hon­ored 105 se­niors, a group that col­lec­tively earned a school record of $3.17 mil­lion in schol­ar­ships.

“It has been one of my great pro­fes­sional priv­i­leges to watch you in­di­vid­u­ally and col­lec­tively walk your jour­ney and watch your jour­ney un­fold the last four years,” Prin­ci­pal Lynn Sor­rells said. “It is in­spi­ra­tional to see you sit­ting this stage. You are a class all of your own. You are a mag­nif­i­cent mo­saic of per­spec­tives, gifts and tal­ents.”

Beth Thomas and Jerome Thomas re­ceived the honor of co-vale­dic­to­rian for the class.

“It is my priv­i­lege to be a part of such an out­stand­ing class,” Beth Thomas said. “I will miss North Dorch­ester. To­day is the day to be thank­ful and cel­e­brate all the class of 2017 has ac­com­plished. With­out your in­spi­ra­tion and guid­ance, we would not be here tonight as suc­cess­ful grad­u­ates.

“One chap­ter in our lives may be com­ing to an end, but an even more ex­cit­ing chap­ter is await­ing us. I can’t wait to see what life has in store for us. Whether we are go­ing off to col­lege, go­ing to the mil­i­tary or en­ter­ing the work­force, each of us will al­ways re­mem­ber the sup­port sys­tem we had dur­ing our time at North Dorch­ester.”

Jerome Thomas thanked the par­ents, fam­ily mem­bers, teach­ers and fac­ulty mem­bers for help­ing the stu­dents.

“A great ed­u­ca­tion starts at home,” he said. “You sac­ri­ficed for us. You watched us grow and gave us knowl­edge. We ap­pre­ci­ate all the things you have done for us over the years. Thank you for mold­ing us into the peo­ple we are to­day.”

Jerome Thomas said the teach­ers and fac­ulty mem­bers pushed each grad­u­ate to strive for more.

“Thank you for com­ing in early and stay­ing late into the night,” he said. “I have formed many great re­la­tion­ships with the teach­ers here.”

He ended his speech by telling his fel­low grad­u­ates to “do ev­ery­thing to the best of your abil­ity.”

The co-vale­dic­to­ri­ans, along with Olivia David­son, Rachel Ewing, Jeffrey New­ton, Kelsey Arnold, Sier­rah Lana­han, Mar­guerite Ross and Amanda Til­gh­man re­ceived the Scholas­tic Merit Award.

Jerome Thomas re­ceived the North Dorch­ester High School Ser­vice Award for pos­sess­ing out­stand­ing qual­i­ties of depend­abil­ity, lead­er­ship, trust, co­op­er­a­tion and loy­alty to the school.

Five stu­dents were hon­ored for 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.

David­son won the award. Stella Thomas was the fourth fi­nal­ist, Til­gh­man was the third fi­nal­ist, Jerome Thomas was the sec­ond fi­nal­ist and Beth Thomas was the first fi­nal­ist.

David­son also 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.

She also won the NDHS Ser­vice Award and was named salu­ta­to­rian.

“No mat­ter how many times we write and re­write fu­ture chap­ters of our lives, not ev­ery as­pect of that plan may work out and that is okay,” she said. “Fail­ure can lead to ul­ti­mate suc­cess. Never be afraid to fail. Don’t let doubt dis­cour­age you.

“Al­ways fol­low your heart and mind. I am con­fi­dent ev­ery one of my fel­low class­mates will find suc­cess and hap­pi­ness in their fu­ture even if we have to bear some bumps along the way.”

Class of 2017 Vice Pres­i­dent Rachel Ewing and Brett Stiles re­ceived the Wil­lie James Syd­nor Me­mo­rial Schol­ar­ship Award for their char­ac­ter, schol­ar­ship, lead­er­ship, depend­abil­ity, co­op­er­a­tion and loy­alty to the school and com­mu­nity.

The cer­e­mony’s com­mence­ment ad­dress was given by 1966 North Dorch­ester High grad­u­ate H. Rex Richard­son. He is an aerospace en­gi­neer and is work­ing on the NASA Re­store-L Satel­lite Pro­vides Ser­vic­ing Mission, sched­uled to launch in 2020.

He told the stu­dents not to let fear of fail­ure get in the way of goals.

“ou have to be­lieve in your­self,” he said. “There will be un­ex­pected road­blocks and forks in the road but keep on mov­ing to­ward the prize. Be pre­pared to mod­ify your plans.

“You need a plan. Don’t limit your­self to one or two goals. The trick is to learn from your fail­ure, put your fail­ure be­hind you and move on. The chal­lenges you face along the way only help you in your cho­sen field. Fol­low your dreams and have fun.”


Co-vale­dic­to­rian Beth Thomas, left, and her best friend, salu­ta­to­rian Olivia David­son, share a laugh at North Dorch­ester’s grad­u­a­tion Wed­nes­day, May 24.

Co-vale­dic­to­rian Jerome Thomas re­ceives the North Dorch­ester High School Ser­vice Award for pos­sess­ing out­stand­ing qual­i­ties of depend­abil­ity, lead­er­ship, trust, co­op­er­a­tion and loy­alty to the school dur­ing the school’s grad­u­a­tion Wed­nes­day, May 24.







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