SCHOOL 062019 Hinesb grad (7)_CMYK

Photo by Luke Zarzecki

Co-principal Suzan Locke gives the final address to students, encouraging them to stick to the school’s “Be a STAR” acronym.

Just before her graduation last week, Hinesburg Community School eighth-grader Graycen Elkins wondered where the time had gone.

“In the moment, it feels like it goes slow,” she said before the June 13 ceremony,  “but I can’t remember what happened to the time.”

Parents, grandparents, friends and community members likely wondering the same thing filled 350 seats in the school gymnasium. Many others stood elbow-to-elbow along the back wall. They gathered to support this year’s 68 graduates seated on stage at the culmination of their elementary school journey.

Elkins noted that the next phase of their lives is starting soon and it comes with an expectation and marks “the beginning of the next four years.”

The gymnasium sparkled with twinkling lights and basketball hoops turned into lantern holders, on par with this year’s “enchanted forest” theme.

Co-principal John Pontius commended the work of the staff, parents and others who helped decorate for the occasion calling it “the most beautiful graduation I’ve ever seen.”

Pontius offered the graduates some words of advice, reflecting on how the students’ mistakes reminded him of his own.

He said that he was not always the best student, noting that he sometimes could be lazy in class and disobedient. However, Pontius said he turned those behaviors around and others can do the same.

“Remake yourself in high school,” he said. “Be nice and work hard – that has worked for me pretty darn well.”

Awards were handed out before diplomas. They included:

  • President’s Education – Outstanding Academic Excellence Award: Elise Ayer, Lucas Barton, Kira Bergeron, Sam Decker, Graycen Elkins, Maddie Kittell, Skylar Francis, Miles Glover, Lilly Greenwood, Corinna Hobbs, Avery Murray, Ella Polli, Alex Provost, and Tom Roberts.
  • Citizenship Award: Mario Robertson, Gavin Hay and Perry Bourgault.
  • Academic Achievement Award: Mia Marino, Gavin Hay, Kieran Jurgenson and Will Cheney.
  • Community Action Award: Graycen Elkins.

While students filed across the stage, Pontius read aloud from a list of their favorite memories that they shared ahead of time. Students mentioned a class trip to Montreal, various sports team triumphs, defeats and everything in between.

Sumner Depot recounted a story of how one day, he decided to smack his fist down on a yogurt tube. To his amusement and others’ frustration, the tube exploded and yogurt hit “everyone within a 5-foot radius,” including a teacher.

“I stood there laughing since it was the greatest thing I’ve ever done,” Depot recalled, adding that his teacher ordered him to the principal’s office.

To close out the ceremony, co-principal Suzan Locke reminded graduates to keep in mind their school’s “Be a STAR” acronym, which stands for “belonging, sharing, trust, accepting responsibility and respect.”

“No matter who you are or where you come from, there is enough space for you to belong here,” she said. “HCS (is) a home away from home.”

Community News Service is a collaboration with the University of Vermont’s Reporting & Documentary Storytelling program.


Essential Arts Awards

French Award – Madison Kittell, Sam Decker

Spanish Award – Elise Ayer

Music Award – Miles Glover, Lily Greenwood, Tom Roberts

Art Award – Skyler Francis, Eric (Aidan) Carroll

Physical Education Award – Alex Provost

Athletic Award – Mia Marino, Connor Brien

Drama Award – Ella Polli, Frances Murray-Gurney

Technical Theatre Award – Corinna Hobbs

Hinesburg Community School Class of 2019

Eliza Amsbury

Elise Ayer

Emerson Ayer

Quinten Barbeau

Lucas Barton

Hayden Berard

Kira Bergeron

Sophia Bisbee

Sienna Boivin

Bryce Bortnick

Perry Bourgault

Connor Brien

Ryan Brooks

Ty Burritt

Eric (Aidan) Carroll

Jaedyn Champagne

Will Cheney

Julia Cichoskikelly

Ethan Cook

Geo DeBrosse

Sam Decker

Sam Dennison

Sumner Depot

Jason Douglas

Graycie Elkins

Hailey Elwood

Aliza Emmons

Devon Fay

Daniel Fitzgerald

Skylar Francis

Tom Garavelli

Zach Garvey

Miles Glover

Emmett Gohacki

Lilly Greenwood

Thomas Hamlet

Gavin Hay

Corinna Hobbs

Simon Johnson

Isaac Jurgen

Kieran Jurgenson

Maddie Kittell

Chloe Kuhn

Sean MacDougal

Mia Marino

Aidan Miller

Calder Miller

Shaunna MonFreda

Anna Morton

Avery Murray

Elliot Murray-Gurney

Frances Murray-Gurney

Carissa Parent

Liam Paronto

Ella Polli

Tanner Poquette

Cody Potter

Alex Provost

Tom Roberts

Aiden Robertson

Mario Robertson

Taylor Rock

Dakota Ryan

Josie Sayre

Ronald Spivack

Cameron Steele

Sawyer Thorpe

Xander Walker

We use a Facebook Comments Plugin for commenting. No personal harassment, abuse or hate speech is permitted. Comments should be 1000 characters or fewer. We moderate every comment. Please go to our Terms of Use/Privacy Policy "Posting Rules and Interactivity" for more information.