Gould '13 graduates
Gould Academy presented diplomas to 59 seniors at its 177th commencement exercises on Saturday, June 8.
Led by bagpiper and Gould alumna Hillary Hough ’07, speakers, faculty and graduating seniors made their way from Hanscom Hall and across Alumni Field, where several hundred family and friends gathered under the tent to celebrate the Class of 2013, the 177th graduating class at Gould Academy.
The Rev. Virginia S. Rickeman of the West Parish Congregational Church gave the invocation.
Wendy Penley, president of the Gould Academy board of trustees, introduced keynote speaker, Linda Greenlaw, a New York Times bestselling author and a life long commercial fisherman.
Greenlaw received public attention when writer Sebastian Junger called her “one of the best captains…on the entire East Coast” in his hit book “The Perfect Storm.” When approached by a publisher to tell her own story as a swordfish captain, Greenlaw wrote her first book, The Hungry Ocean, in 1999, which became a New York Times bestseller.
Since then she has written eight other books, including two more New York Times bestsellers, and has appeared in three seasons of the Discovery Channel’s “Swords: Life on the Line,” a reality series chronicling New England swordfishing boats.
Greenlaw is the legal guardian of her “daughter” Sarai, a Gould alumna who graduated in 2010. Their relationship is the subject of the author’s most recent book Life Saving Lessons: Notes from an Accidental Mother.
During her address, Greenlaw discussed five beliefs that she has carried with her throughout her life. Her fourth discussed her definition of what it truly means to be successful.
“The definition of success is individual and personal. Success is not always measured in dollars and cents. I’ve never measured my success by pounds of fish caught or number of books sold,” said Greenlaw. “I like the way I feel at sea. I am passionate about catching fish. That feeling, the feeling of loving what you work at, is very fulfilling, and that fulfillment is my greatest success.”
Student speakers and awards
In her humorous address, Class of 2013 Valedictorian Yutong “Karen” Li of Shanghai, China discussed the “nerdy” side of herself. As valedictorian, she is the recipient of what she laughingly calls the “nerd prize” and embraces that what makes her unique - as we all should.
“Whether you’re a nerd, a freestyle skier, an artist, or a filmmaker, we should all celebrate that special side of us,” she said. “For me, people sometimes make jokes about my nerdy behaviors, but what’s wrong with being a nerd? I do not want to live my life based on what those around me think I should be or do. You should not either.”
James Rambone of Georgia, Vt. was chosen by his classmates to present the senior student address. In an attempt to dispel the bad luck from the number 13, he listed 13 lessons and values he has come to learn over his time at Gould. His third lesson was a message invoking Gould’s famous mantra “to thine own self be true” – a familiar theme among all three commencement speakers.
“Look for advice in everyone and anyone. A wide range of opinions will allow you to take the most balanced approach towards any given scenario,” said Rambone. “At the same time, hold true to your own beliefs and don’t be afraid to make an unpopular decision if it is the one that is right or the one that you feel is right.”
In his first Gould Academy commencement ceremony, Matt Ruby announced the presentation of honors to members of the graduating class.
Kenzie Clark received the Headmaster’s Bowl, presented annually to the senior who has exhibited the highest standards of scholarship, character, and service to the school and participation in activities of the school.
Yutong Li received the Scholarship Shield, awarded to the senior with the highest academic average.
Seniors acknowledged for achieving a cumulative average of 90 or above over their careers at Gould are: Yuchun Bian, Margaret Cameron, You Rim Choi, Kenzie Clark, Ella Dorval Hall, Carlson Giddings, Zillian Krstic, Wan-Hsuan Kung, Yutong Li, Jaime Romero, Avery Rossow, Molly Stichter, Anran Wang, Zhuoyi Xu and Min Jae Yun.
Members of this year’s senior class elected to the National Honor Society are: Kathleen Baker, Yuchun Bian, Margaret Cameron, You Rim Choi, Kenzie Clark, Courtney Colaluca, Naomi Cunningham, Ella Dorval Hall, John Drew, Uel Gardner, Carlson Giddings, Liam Gillis, Peter Hoops, Sadie James, Yuta Kito, Zillian Krstic, Wan-Hsuan Kung, Yutong Li, James Rambone, Erick Robicsek, Jaime Romero, Avery Rossow, Molly Stichter, Anran Wang and Min Jae Yun.
Academic Book Prizes were presented to the following students: English: Margaret Cameron, History: Naomi Cunningham, Mathematics: Yutong Li, Science and French: Kenzie Clark, Spanish and Theater: Zillian Krstic, Computer Science and Technical Theater: Avery Rossow, Art: Wan-Hsuan Kung
The Linwood “Lindy” Lowell Award, an honor voted upon by the graduating class, is given annually to the member of the senior class whose friendly personality and helpful nature have brightened the lives of fellow students. The class of 2013 chose to award the honor to classmate Courtney Colaluca.
The Senior Point Award, given to that senior whose Senior Point project best exemplifies the three values at the heart of any Gould endeavor, “the energy to try, willingness to risk, and capacity to tolerate,” was given to Zillian Krstic.
The MELMAC Principals Scholarship is awarded to a graduating senior who has made a difference in the lives of others and that of his or her community and is a solid school citizen involved in extracurricular activities; a student who has exhibited a commitment to public service; and an individual with the potential to make a difference in the world. This year it was awarded to Carlson Giddings.
The Ralph Gould Music Award was given to senior John Drew in recognition of his improvement, excellence, and contribution to the school in the area of music.
The Rhode Island School of Design President’s Award recognizes an accomplished artist in the senior class for his or her effort and achievement in the arts, overall academic achievement, and creativity and talent. The Rhode Island School of Design established the award in 1984. This year’s recipient was Yuchun Bian.
Caitlin Deck and Tyler Janvrin received the Elwood F. Ireland Award, given to the boy and girl of the senior class who best exemplified the qualities for membership in the National Honor Society but who were not eligible academically for consideration.
The Town of Newry presents a monetary gift to each of the graduating seniors who are full-time residents. This year’s recipient was Blake Wilson.
Ella Dorval Hall received the Francis “Hi” Berry Award, and Blake Wilson received the Joe Roderick Award for outstanding competitive spirit through example and overall competence in athletics.
Naomi Cunningham received the Gould Academy Alumni Association Award, which recognizes the son or daughter, grandson or granddaughter of an alumnus or alumna whose attitude, involvement, and contributions typify the ideals of Gould’s alumni and its Alumni Association. Naomi’s mother, Nina Kempf-Miller, is a member of the class of 1986.
Carlson Giddings received the Annie Daley Courchesne Award, which is given in memory of Annie Daley Courchesne, Class of 1986, and celebrates the spirit of student involvement in social, political, and environmental causes.
Caitlin Deck received the Ouwinga Citizenship Award. The award honors a member of the Gould student body who embraces the spirit in which both the Ouwingas live their lives through acts of selflessness and thoughtful humanitarianism.
The Art Department Purchase Award for 2013 was presented to Caitlin Deck.
Courtney Colaluca received the Jan and Lorenzo Baker Award. The award is bestowed upon a member of the senior class who best exemplifies the qualities that the Bakers fostered: personal courage, an adventurous and creative approach, and a clear vision of him or herself and their world.
Matt Ruby and Wendy Penley then presented diplomas to the 59 graduating seniors, and the Rev. Rickeman gave the benediction.
On Friday evening before commencement, Gould held its traditional baccalaureate exercises at the West Parish Congregational Church with the Rev. Rickeman officiating.
The class of 2013 selected graduating senior Courtney Colaluca of Glen, N.H. and History Department Chair Dr. Brad Clarke to address them at the ceremony.
After baccalaureate, the graduates and their parents attended a reception under the tent and a special dinner in Gould’s Ordway Hall, followed by the annual Spring Concert in Bingham Auditorium.