RAYMOND — Class salutatorian Shaun Spinney had no advice for his fellow Raymond High School graduates on Friday night.
Instead, he had "well wishes" for them and for better years ahead.
"I have no advice to give. I just don't really have any wisdom. I'm not saying I'm dumb. I'm an 18-year-old kid with no life experience," Spinney said.
Instead, he tried to inspire hope in his classmates as they move on to college, the Armed Services and full-time employment.
He told them he hoped the last four years will not turn out to be the best of their lives, because they have so many years ahead of them.
"I hope this is the best year of our lives so far, and I hope the same thing can be said next year or the year after that," Spinney said. Spinney was one of several students who spoke during Friday night's graduation ceremonies in the Raymond High School gymnasium.He also helped to ease the crowd and share all of their well wishes for a fellow student whose grandmother suffered a medical emergency and was taken to the hospital as the graduates were marching in.
Students cheered for their classmate who opted to stay and participate once his grandmother was conscious, and in the care of emergency care givers.
Spinney wished the student well and echoed everyone's thoughts that they hoped for the best.
Raymond police did not have an update on the woman's condition on Friday night.<br /><br />As the ceremony continued, parents in the large crowd snapped photographs, cried, laughed and cheered for their children as they proceeded down the aisle, earned scholarships and received their diplomas.<br /><br />The graduates also took a special chance to honor someone in their lives, and in the audience, who supported them through their first 12 years of education.<br /><br />"Tonight is about us, but it is also about all of you," class president Meghan Delaney said. "We know from experience it really does take a village to raise a child."<br /><br />Each graduate then delivered a rose, and often a hug, to someone special in the audience.<br /><br />Student council president Amanda Lundergan listed some of the many accomplishments achieved by her classmates in the last four years, from Jordan Richard's 1,000th point scored in a basketball game to Ryan Zahler earning his Eagle Scout award, as some of the reasons she has so much pride in Raymond High School.<br /><br />While awarding the Jack and Fran Barnes scholarship, former long-time state senator Jack Barnes asked the six students joining the Armed Services after graduation to stand and be recognized, and they received a standing ovation from the audience.<br /><br />"It's exciting to see the kids go through the four years and change and grow," principal Kirk Beitler said. "It's a busy week but an exciting week."