Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 06-13-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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6 GRADUATION 2019 JUNE 13-19, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION way to a colorful sunset as graduates celebrated their accomplishments, many of which took place over the past year as students completed their senior projects. Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea paid tribute to those accomplishments in her commence- ment address, commending students for their involvement in civic affairs. Among the students who received shout outs were Class President George Malian, whose senior proj- ect brought Gorbea to speak to the class about the importance of vot- ing, Emma Grant and Will Reyes, who organized a service trip for their classmates to Guatemala, Alyssa Narodowy, who organized the state- wide Unity Ball for the unified sports program, and Colby Girard, who helped design an exhibit at the state archives titled "Waterways: Past and Present." "You may not recognize it, but these are all examples of civic leadership, and I'm here today to encourage you to continue on that path and continue to be involved," said Gorbea. The list of accomplishments continued in the remarks of Town Administrator Gary Ezovski and Valedictorian Morgan Kruzan, who noted the projects of Courtney Deslauriers, who designed a system to safely dispense snacks to sports teams, Kyle Karspeck, who led a construc- tion project during the Guatemala trip, Evan Freiberger, who wrote and recorded an EP, Riley Crozier, who raised money for Evan's Crew to fund research on brain tumors, and Amanda Lanciault, who worked with Trinity Rep to put on a show for individuals with special needs. The students, said Kruzan, benefitted from an outpouring of support from com- munity members who offered funds and other assistance as students pur- sued their passions. "It's easy to find support in such a small community as North Smithfield. Everyone knows everyone, and we all grew up together," she said. Kruzan recalled fond memories from the class's journey from kinder- garten to graduation, including pulling out their winter boots to switch classes during snowstorms at Halliwell, attending the step-up dance, partici- pating in trips for We the People, cho- rus and band, and visiting Martha's Vineyard on their senior class trip. Students, she said, experienced the support of family and classmates, and also enjoyed watching the many improvements to the North Smithfield High School facilities since 9th grade. "While it is sad to leave this com- munity that has offered us so much support over the past 13 years, it's time to move on into the real world," she said. Salutatorian Jarrod Dube avoided the traditional graduation speech, choosing instead to make a statement on the educational system. While he commended his teachers for their hard work to support students, Dube said he thinks education in general is in need of many improvements to keep up with changing times and attitudes by students. Technology, he said, affords students many opportuni- ties to cheat and take the easy way out on schoolwork, resulting in a system that values grades over individual work. He added he plans to advocate for changes to the system to ensure all students receive the education they need to do well in life. "I feel honored to have gone to this school, and I know every teacher in this school understands my want for students to succeed," he said. In addition to remarks by School Committee Chairman James Lombardi and Supt. Michael St. Jean, the program included performances of "Baba Yetu" by the high school chorus under the direction of Regina McAdam and "March from 1941'" by the symphonic band under the direc- tion of Kevin Plouffe. As in previous years, the music selection highlighted the importance of the program at North Smithfield High School as more than half the class rose to participate in the performances. The ceremonies also included an emotional tribute to Kaitlyn Ferra and Evan Mandeville, two members of the class of 2019 who lost their lives long before graduation day. Ferra was NSHS From Page One BREEZE PHOTO BY ROBERT EMERSON Under dramatic skies, members of NORTH SMITHFIELD HIGH SCHOOL'S 51ST GRADUATING CLASS walk to the athletic fields for commencement exercises last Thursday night. Continues on next page CALL TODAY TO PLAN YOUR OUTDOOR DREAM SPACE 401-766-9035 EASTERN LANDSCAPING e-mail: Design • Planting Seeding & Sodding Lawns Walkways & Patios • Fire Pits Commercial & Residential

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