Bedford High School held a graduation ceremony for its Class of 2013 on Saturday, June 15. Principal William Hagen led the ceremony for 278 graduates. Class Vice President Sam Daly and Leadership Award recipient Morgan Coleman took part in the ceremony, and Class President Taylor Watts gave the keynote address. Students graduated in small groups organized by their school advisers, with many performing special handshakes or poses to commemorate their final moments together. (Jon)
Future looks bright for Bedford graduates
Bedford celebrated its graduating seniors Saturday morning, not just as the town's Class of 2013, but as Bedford strong.
The large crowd that spilled beyond the bleachers at Bulldog Stadium on June 15 heard repeatedly that this was a class that was ready to go out and meet any challenges life happens to have waiting in the wings.
"We are more than ready to take on another freshman year," said Morgan Coleman, who won this year's Leadership Award. "This is our chance to embrace boundless possibilities at college or work and redefine ourselves."
Coleman added that the graduates may face obstacles but they have what it takes to overcome those road blocks.
"Milton Berle said, ‘If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door,'" said Coleman who added she wasn't sure who Berle was.
Unlike other commencement ceremonies where graduates are quickly handed a diploma and hurried across the stage so people can head home to family parties, Bedford took its time and gave each graduate a moment to shine. Their names were called, their hands were shaken and all 278 graduates received bear hugs and high fives from their class advisers who were on stage with them.
As a town, Bedford showed its support and appreciation for the class by coming to watch the ceremony and by cheering warmly for each graduate.
Principal William Hagen grabbed a moment at the microphone to brag a little about the Class of 2013 and Bedford's tradition of nurturing its young people.
"There were 20 community organizations that gave $45,000 in scholarships," said Hagen. "It's just another example of how this town values its students and education."
Bedford already has three famous comedians among its notable town residents, and class president Taylor Watts seemed like she could easily follow in the footsteps of Sarah Silverman and Seth and Josh Meyers if she chose when she gave her speech.
Watts talked about moving to Bedford the summer before starting high school. Watts' mother enrolled her and her sister in soccer camp so they could meet new friends, and they did. The two teenage girls spent a couple of weeks at camp playing scrimmages and doing drills with a group of 8- and 9-year-old boys.
"At the end of the summer, I started Bedford High and they headed off to Peter Woodbury Elementary School," she said with a laugh.
Watts told her fellow graduates it was hard to be a new kid in Bedford, and she picked up some confidence reading a pile of Oprah magazines.
"People are always going to knock you down," she said. "But as my girl, Oprah, would say, ‘Failure is just life moving you in another direction.'"
Superintendent Timothy Mayes spoke about meeting people in town who don't know who he is and what he does for a living.
"I tell them I am the superintendent and they say, ‘Oh, what a horrible job,'" said Mayes.
But Mayes said his job is anything but horrible.
"The best part of the job is we get to work with kids like this class," he said. "They make us feel like we work with the best kids in the world."