Nashua North graduates now at 'the door to the future'
MANCHESTER - Nashua High School North Titans know how to celebrate a graduation.
Class of 2017 President Casey Henry, who aspires to be a Hollywood and Broadway actor, entertained his fellow graduates Saturday afternoon with a speech that he began with a rap to the rhythm of the "Fresh Prince of Bel-air" theme song.
"Now this is a story all about how your lives get flipped, turned upside down, so I'd like to take a minute just sit right there, I'll tell you what I believe why but you prob'ly won' care."
He ended his talk with spot-on imitation of President Barack Obama. "Uhhhh...My fellow Titans, God bless, and stay in touch."
Jordan Anthony Buckmire did a back flip when he walked out on stage to receive his diploma, bringing cheers from an appreciative crowd numbering in the thousands at SNHU Arena.
Many of the 383 graduates had decorated their caps with flowers and glitter. Some announced what college they were going to -UNH 2021 - and others had pithy sayings.
"Finally done with this B.S.," Adrianna Jean Stizza wrote on her cap that was centered with a peach-colored rose and edged in white lace.
While she may be over high school, the 18-year-old and licensed nursing assistant is not done with her schooling. She will be studying nursing in the fall at Rivier University in Nashua.
"See, I told you my cap was cute," she said to a friend after a reporter snapped a photo of it.
Valedictorian Annie Wang, who will be attending Johns Hopkins University, told her fellow graduates that a piece of wisdom to live by is "to err on the side of compassion. Be ambitious and driven and eager, but be sure that your pursuits have human value."
Titan Pride Award winner Gabrielle Masseur noted that the graduation marked their journey from adolescence to young adults. "Today, we stand at the door of the future, there is no going back, there is only moving forward," she said. "So open the door and forge your way, carry the lessons you learned growing up and put them to good use!"
The graduates received only their diploma jackets Saturday. Each will have to take one more trip back to the high school beginning next Wednesday to pick up the actual diploma.