Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 06-07-2018

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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8 GRADUATION 2018 JUNE 7-13, 2018 | VALLEY BREEZE | CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION your story, it's the end of the first chapter, and for me, too," she said, encouraging students to embrace every new beginning that comes when a door closes. "Today is your opportunity to start anew. You all get to leave today with a blank can- vas. The art you make, the image you paint is all up to you on this day of new beginnings." Class of 2018 Valedictorian Daniel Hasegawa encouraged his peers to take chances despite uncertainty. "Make sure you weigh the risk and reward, though. It's always been said to shoot for the moon and you'll land among the stars, but Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin probably would not have been OK with missing the moon and hurling for eternity into the dark reaches of space," he joked. He quoted the rapper 21 Savage in his speech, in an excerpt he said, "best fits our hopes, dreams and aspirations at this stage of our life: I got one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight (M's) in my bank account, yeah." "I'd like to think Mr. Savage is making a metaphor. The bank account is life itself, and he's count- ing the things of real value – that could be different for any one of us. As you go forward in life, I hope you'll consider what it is you want to be counting in your bank account," he said. In a moment of seriousness, he told classmates to "pause, breathe fresh air and count every beauti- ful thing you can see," and to take time to be thankful for the people who helped along the way, such as teachers, friends, family – and 21 Savage. Salutatorian Alexa Labossiere said, "People say it takes a village to raise a child, and I think it takes a village to graduate high school." She said senior year felt like the start of a race. She felt antsy, but prepared. "(Graduating) is the beginning of a race we'll run for the rest of our lives, and thankfully we can take with us the things we've learned and the people we've met … we've practiced, warmed up and gotten that pep talk from coaches and now we are just waiting for someone to say go. This is it. Get ready, get set and go do something great." Student Council President Hailey Joyce said the only part of high school she was worried about was following in the footsteps of her brothers, for better or for worse. A teacher told her she'd make her own name at LHS. "Now, four years later, I'd like to think she was right," Joyce said. "No two high school experiences are the same. We are all different. We all have different stories. The tests, quizzes and papers will come and go but the relationships won't," she said. In the Class Reflection, Class of 2018 President Samuel Chiacchia said he's most proud of his class for many reasons, from breaking sports records to mastering instruments, but is most proud of the way they came together for Spirit Week. "We will be together even when the walls of the school come crum- bling down around us," he said of the school construction set to take place this summer. "Some of us are going far, but we won't ever lose this community. We will take the identity of being a Lincoln High School graduate with us forever, be it to the newsroom, the lab, the courtroom, the stage or the classroom," Labossiere said. Principal Kevin McNamara said, "Over the past four years, we have not taught you all that you could possibly know. Hopefully, though, we have taught you how to think." He told graduates to choose to keep expanding their horizons and to always be present. "Don't let the world pass you by. Set your goals, pass your bench- marks. Don't just go with the crowd or take the easy path. Take a deep breath, roll up your sleeves and remember: You're the Class of 2018, and you can do anything." School Committee Chairwoman Kristine Donabedian told the Class of 2018 that being digital natives, their potential for success is expo- nentially greater than those who came before. "As graduates, you join the ranks of adulthood, you are credentialed with a diploma and you are ready to make your mark," she said. Town Administrator Joe Almond also encouraged graduates to make wise choices, as the decisions they make in the next few years will "have a lasting impact in your future values, self-confidence and happiness." LHS CLASS OF '18 From Page One BREEZE PHOTO BY ROBERT EMERSON Retiring School Supt. GEORGIA FORTUNATO has an emotional moment as she is honored by LHS Principal Kevin McNamara. A listing of senior awards begins on Page 11.

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