Westport Central graduates 10

Westport Central School graduates pose for pictures prior to the June 22 commencement ceremony.

Westport Central School graduates pose for pictures prior to the June 22 commencement ceremony. Photo by Jim Carroll.

— There were lots of smiles, a sense of completion, and most likely some tears this year as 10 Westport Central School students took the stage for their 2013 graduation on Saturday, June 22.


Westport valedictorian Charlotte Staats.

Clad in their school blues and whites, Rachel Abrahamsen, Abbey Cramer, Harry Hudson, Jack Newberry, Ashley Quaglietta, Garrett Reynolds, Gabriel Schrauf, Charlotte Staats, Joshua Terry and Evan Viens said farewell to their alma mater to begin on the next of their journeys.

As salutatorian, Harry Hudson, quoted the infamous Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

After the processional and the welcome, a slideshow of the graduates displayed memories of the graduates’ childhoods, growing up within Westport Central and the led into the people the students have become.

The commencement address was given by Jason Fiegl, a science teacher at the school.


Westport salutatorian Harry Hduson receives his diploma from school board President Alice LaRock.

“When I was asked to speak, I had to really think about what I wanted to say—one particular memory stood out, while I was traveling Europe, a man asked me ‘Who are you,’” Fiegl said. “Thinking of this, I then compiled who the class of 2013 is.”

Fiegl then began to list the traits that the class of 2013 viewed themselves as, and then, qualities and traits that the school had instilled to them such as: friendship, allowance for independence — to be who you are, small town community, and how to make the most of something small.

Valedictorian Charlotte Staats, finalized the graduation ceremony with her farewell address that was spiced with nostalgia and the gratitude of only what a community like Westport can provide.

“To our teachers, Mrs. Friedman, Dr. Gallagher, other students, parents and families: I would like to thank you for guiding us, teaching us, and encouraging us to believe in and be ourselves,” Staats said. “Our strong foundation helps define who we are, and what we will be. Mrs. Phillips said at the Academics Awards banquet that a whole is equal to its parts, and that every student makes Westport a magnificent place. Mrs. Friedman always has us celebrate how wonderful every student is, but we couldn’t do it without Westport’s aid. Each person is an individual; a whole on its own. We are each made up of parts, one of which is Westport, and that is something that we will carry in our hearts through college, and the rest of our lives.”

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