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ConVal graduates urged to be direct, honest and sincere

Sunday News Correspondent

June 17. 2017 10:16PM

ConVal High School in Peterborough says goodbye to its senior class at commencement Saturday. (Meghan Pierce/Sunday News Correspondent)

PETERBOROUGH - ConVal High School said goodbye to 203 seniors at its 2017 commencement ceremony Saturday morning.

"According to Google, the definition of the word 'opportunity' is a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something. The unique, and honestly the best part about ConVal is that the school helps to establish those circumstances so that each student can create their own opportunities," graduating senior Meaghan Farrell said in her address to classmates. "Many people say that the four years that you spend in high school are when you become yourself. But I couldn't disagree more. High school has been for exploring the different versions of ourselves. I discovered the 'I'm going to dye my hair blue and be a rebel without a cause' version of myself sophomore year and realized that person didn't agree with who I really am. Yet, I still don't know who I am. I'm not even 100 percent sure who I want to be. However, I've been able to figure out and explore different versions of myself at ConVal and for that I'm grateful."

Valedictorian Sarah Johnson and Salutatorians Caroline Riffle and Sawyer Cawthern also spoke.

The Faculty Award went to Michael Zrzavy. The award is given annually at commencement to a graduating senior who, in the opinion of the teachers, embodies the spirit of the school, unselfishness, service, leadership and accomplishments.

"He is spread too thin, but that is probably because he is so curious," English teacher Elizabeth Moore said. "He excels at music, theater, foreign language, humanities and sciences."

In a message to seniors, teacher Eric Bowman warned the students against apathy and insincerity.

"One of the reasons I'm being blunt is because I think we've lost the sense that some things matter. We are so afraid of feeling pain that we often fail to feel joy or anything. I think we've learned not to care, not to commit. ... It's easy to be insincere. It's the ultimate cop out."

While it's easier to be sarcastic than to care, words and actions do matter, he said.

"Insincerity and irony rule the day," he said.

He urged student to be direct, honest and sincere.

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