By Cynthia Prairie
With all the anticipation that befits a coming adventure and the sadness of leaving a place of comfort, Green Mountain High School’s Class of 2012 graduated Friday, June 15, as the sun set behind the school. Graduation ceremonies took place on the front lawn, on a cooling evening warmed by friends and families gathered for the event.
The graduating class was lead in as the GMUHS Band played Pomp and Circumstance. In his speech, Salutatorian Orrin Amsden said,“There are some (fellow graduates) I may never see again after tonight, despite how close we have been or could have been.” That sentiment was brought home by Dick Farmer of the American Legion, who told the crowd, “Fifty years ago tomorrow was another graduation one town over. Tomorrow night, I’m going to see people I haven’t seen in 50 years.”
Class Valedictorian Cydy Palang spoke of moving to Vermont from the Philippines four years ago. “My first year in GMUHS, I would only say ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ and nod and shake my head.” But, as she became more accustomed to the language and more inquisitive, she would ask “what is goulash; what is OCD; what is epic, what is calzone?” She told the crowd she was grateful for the patience of her classmates. Palang also spoke of the independence that each graduate soon will be facing. “We will have to pay our own bills, negotiate the purchase or rent of our own home and learn new skills.” Then, on behalf of her fellow seniors, she thanked the teachers, counselors, administrators, staff, friends and family for what they have given.
Guest speaker and English teacher Dylan Bate, who admitted to not having graduated high school and avoiding “what was difficult” in his youth, told the class: “This is what I wish for you – to find the peace that comes from putting your heart into your work and doing your best.” Then representatives of the school board and the administration presented diplomas to the graduates as their aspirations were read aloud. (For the Class of 2012 Awards and Scholarships winners click here.) The Class of 2012 also presented the school with a cherry willow, before tossing their mortar boards into the air and departing as graduates to the song “One Day.” Click the first photo to launch the photo gallery.
About the Author: Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor for 30 years, having worked at such publications as the Raleigh Times, the Baltimore News American, the Buffalo Courier Express, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Patuxent Publishing chain of community newspapers in Maryland. She and her family moved to Chester, Vermont in 2004.