KEENEVALLEY-The KeeneCentral School class of 2011 enters the world with confidence.
That's what valedictorian Kayla Hebert said at the June 25 graduation.
"In ninth grade, everyone writes a personal odyssey, our lives over the next 30 years," Hebert said, adding that every story began with graduation, and now she was seeing that project become reality.
"After today, we all get to go off and start over and become whoever we want to be," Hebert said. "Our lives to come will not include preconceived notions or expectations."
Some graduates were going to college, some were joining the workforce, some were joining the military, and some were moving away.
"Each of these directions entail similar qualities: responsibility, dedication, independence and passion," she said. "These attributes can be accredited to our time at Keene Central."
She said the class of 2011 would move forward and succeed.
"We are prepared for our next step in life, whatever it may be."
Harry Fine, KCS dean of students and the commencement speaker, said the graduating class had responsibilities to the world.
"Pollution, global warming, war, peace, justice, the international economy, all are changed by your votes, your resource consumption, and your willingness to be informed and participate in a thoughtful way," Fine said, adding that while much work remained, America's history represents a lot of what is good about humanity.
"You have a responsibility to our nation and our history to continue the struggles and live up to our Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and Martin Luther King's 'I Have A Dream' speech," Fine said.
Fine told the graduates to ask themselves hard questions.
"Do you live by values and principles that heal rather than hurt, that accept rather than exclude?"