Peoples Academy class of 2020

Kara Allen, Haley Audet, Elizabeth AuTorino, Connor Barbour, Shawna Beattie, Nathaniel Belanger, Peyton Bowen, Hilary Braun, Annamay Brown, Skyler Brown, Joseph Buonanno, Katelyn Charette, Natalee Chauvin, Benjamin Craig, Elizabeth Craig, Emily Choquette, Aliyah Cross, Cherelle Daley, Joseph Dewan, Brooklynn Dewey, Justin Diamond, David D’Muhala, Taigyn Draper, Owen Ebert, Hunter Fleming, Lucien Gonzales, Kendra-Marie Griggs, Johnny Hill, Allison Hurlburt, Michael Isabell, Tanner Keene, Devin Lacasse, Mayah Leavitt, Grace Lemery, Aaron Machia, Jacques Mason, Kaitlyn McAllister, Lindsey McCormack, Andrew McDermott, Leah Merriam, Madeline Moffett, Athena Myers, Bryce Noel, Alexandra Olsen, Benjamin Paine, Cole Palmer, Kelcee Phelps, Paige Pierce, Emilie Prive, Patraporn Ratanapratum, Brianna Reeve, Zachary Roger, James Salvas, Kyle Shackett, Calvin Smith, Elijah Smith, Alexander Southworth, Isiah Stotesbury, William Tanner, Garrett Urquhart, Jeremy Weller, Jacob Wilson, Jennica Wing, Amy Yando, Nina Zheng

•••

Congratulations to the Peoples Academy class of 2020, inventing a new form of graduation made necessary by the coronavirus.

Class members walked across an outdoor stage on Friday to collect their diplomas, one by one. Seniors emerged from waiting cars on a schedule, walked individually to the stage, were photographed receiving the diplomas, then rejoined their families in the waiting cars.

A congratulatory car parade is planned Saturday through Morrisville.

Here are photos of the 65 graduating seniors, plus comments offered by several of the graduates:

Connor Barbour

Accomplishments: National Honor Society member, player on the Peoples Academy varsity basketball team that made it to the Barre Aud this year, recipient of the Harvard Book Award.

Postgraduate plans: Attend the University of Vermont this fall, majoring in sociology. After UVM, hope to attend law school.  

Statement: My time at PA was filled not only with four years of great academics, but also the amazing teachers who taught me. Shout-out to Mr. Dolan and Mr. Vandernat for making my time at PA much more enjoyable. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for being by my side on this crazy journey! 

Shawna Beattie 

Accomplishments: High art achievement, 2017 and 2018; two-year member of National Technical Honor Society; Vermont photography state champion in 2019; received full scholarship to participate in a school field trip to Costa Rica. 

Postgraduate plans: Attend Northern Vermont University-Lyndon, majoring in graphic design. 

Statement: This senior year hasn't been ideal, but it has taught me some things. The biggest one is to stay positive. If you can’t change it, then why stress about it? The second thing is to cherish the time you have. Life goes by quickly; all you have are memories to look back on, so make some good ones! 

Joseph Dewan

Accomplishments: Salutatorian, National Honor Society, Newport Music Festival wind ensemble (2018, 2020), Vermont Division 3 state champion cross-country team (2019),Vermont Science Olympiad (gold in astronomy 2019, silver in geologic 2019, bronze in thermodynamics 2019, silver in astronomy 2018).

Postgraduate plans: Pursue a bachelor’s degree in astrophysics at Brown University

Statement: Here are some jokes about the coronavirus to keep you smiling during these times:

I’ll tell you a coronavirus joke now, but you’ll have to wait two weeks to see if you got it.

You know what they’re saying about 2020. It went viral faster than anyone thought it would.

Brooklyn Rae Dewey 

Accomplishments: Morrisville Interact vice-president; successfully passed a math class; passed my driver’s license exam in fewer tries than my uncle; a hat trick’s worth of placing first in the Voice of Democracy; and completing my goal of entering and leaving high school in record time, both ticketless and without extradition. 

Postgraduate plans: To attend Norwich University as a psychology major, as well as continue my family's tradition of learning through travel. 

Statement: Thanks to all who taught me something over these few years. To the ones no longer with me, for the lessons and memories I will carry always. To the ones still here, for continuing to teach me. Best to the class of 2020, and to my mom.

Justin Diamond

Accomplishments: Completed early college at NVU-Johnson, elite swimmer on the Stowe Swimmers swim team, qualified for age-group championship meet, member of the cross country/track & field team at PA.

Postgraduate plans: Attending Hartwick College in the fall, member of the Hartwick College men’s swim team,

Statement: It’s going to be hard, but hard does not mean impossible.

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