NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

June 9, 2014

'You only have one pass at life'

Triton graduates 138 with rousing send-off

(Continued)

After a short musical interlude, Salutatorian Devon Brown Shuman stepped to the podium for a speech on the theme of “The Past.”

Shuman saluted the students joining the Armed Forces for their bravery and spoke of the graduates who will join the workforce.

“Not everybody here today will be going to college next year,” he said. “Some graduates have elected to enter the workforce, which is a smart decision because for the next four years, they will be able to see something which will be foreign to us college students: money.”

Shuman listed the five lessons he learned during high school: even the smartest make mistakes, failure isn’t the worst thing in the world, don’t forget to enjoy life while you look toward the future, do something that you’d like to do and remember that it’s never too late to do something great.

Shuman pulled from sources far and wide, recalling JK Rowling’s 12 rejections of the Harry Potter manuscript alongside his “smartest person in the world” chemistry teacher’s accidental explosive incidents, reminding the audience of perseverance in failure and humility in victory.

He was led out by 2014 graduate Conner Faucher and Triton’s choral singers performing Faucher’s own “This Won’t Be the End,” an original melody for guitar and voice.

Valedictorian Nicole Lin Indingaro took the podium for the final address of the day.

“You learn the most from your mistakes,” Indingaro said. “It is by our failures that we can improve ourselves as people ... Hopefully, we’ve learned from these experiences and become wiser.”

She also encouraged her classmates to volunteer for causes that are important to them and not to waste their time, recalling math teacher Kathy Norton’s phrase, “You only have one pass at life, so make the best of it while you can.”

Indingaro’s speech was followed by a short presentation of the class gift: six picnic tables made by the Tech Department and a donation to the Taylor Brown Foundation.

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