Leavitt Area High School celebrates 132 graduates of the Class of 2022
LEWISTON—The graduating class of Leavitt Area High School threw their mortars Sunday afternoon toward the Coliseum ceiling, cheered on by family members of Greene, Leeds and Turner.
During the opening march, 132 students lined up in rows of metal chairs placed in front of a stage as the Leavitt Concert Band played “Pomp and Circumstance” to the buzz of onlookers’ voices.
Family members gathered behind the graduates and in the stands. Camera flashes flicker in the sea of faces.
Behind the stage podium, Elliot Misiura, the senior class president, welcomed his classmates, urging them to “take their experiences and use them in (their) next journey.”
Misiura was attended by Principal Eben Shaw, who read Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If”.
The middle of the ceremony was marked by a performance of Steve Hodges’ “Camino del Sol” by the Leavitt Concert Band, followed by the farewell speech by Jade Crowell, who extolled the advice she and her comrades received from Leavitt faculty. .
“I want to thank all of the teachers, family and friends who helped me and the rest of the graduates on their journey through high school,” Crowell said.
Crowell and Salutatorian Chloe Bolduc were among those honored at the academic recognition and scholarship presentation, during which students were praised for their attitudes and work ethic inside and outside the classroom.
Prior to graduation, the Leavitt Chorus performed “This is Me” (from “The Greatest Showman”). And afterwards, the Leavitt Concert Band played the recession theme as the students walked out and were then hugged by family members and friends.
“I think the fact that these guys were able to persevere through so much trash in the world – every graduating class all over the country today – that makes them special. They will always be known as that,” said Chris Gray, science teacher and football coach at Leavitt.
“I love them all. It’s tough every year. It’s moving to see these kids grow, especially as members of the community,”
Barbara Knox and her husband drove in from Lewisburg, Pennsylvania to see their grandson, Philip Almeida, walk through the stage.
“The ceremony was very nice,” she said. “I liked the speeches given by the graduates. They were realistic and encouraging.
“It’s not really installed yet, but it’s pretty awesome,” said Turner graduate Ethan Ricker, who plans to study computer engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. “It was amazing to have everyone here. I’m glad we were able to do this unlike the class before us.
“The last two or three classes before us didn’t graduate, at least not like that, so that was good.”
“It’s crazy! I didn’t think I’d get this far, honestly. I didn’t think I’d make it past college. I think the choir did well, and so did the band. And everyone who spoke spoke very well,” said Ricker, then describing his planned year off, before embarking on a career in the entertainment industry.
Crowds of graduates and their families poured into the parking lot, forming small groups to take photos against the glare of the sun. A line formed next to a Darling’s Ice Cream for a Cause truck.
Nivea Thibodeau and Cadence Darling were in solidarity, both admittedly unchanged but enthusiastic for the future.
“To be honest, it’s the same thing,” Thibodeau said as Darling nodded.
Darling added: “It’s quite exciting, but I don’t feel much different. I can’t wait to go to university.
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