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July 2017

The Class of 2017

Superintendent Dr. Marty Semmel

Another school year is over and our students are moving on to thoughts of summer! I sat down a few weeks ago with members of the Class of 2017 and asked them to respond to a few questions. In my article this month, I wanted to share some of those thoughts. As I finish this column, I am preparing to attend the graduation ceremonies for the 117 students of the class of 2017. These young men and women have bright futures ahead of them and I wish them nothing but success and happiness. We wish them all the best and hope they will come back to Plymouth as productive adults and perhaps even raise their own family here in town. What makes the class of 2017 outstanding? The group agreed that the class pushed themselves both academically and athletically. They spoke about the increase in the number of students who are challenging themselves to AP (Advanced Placement) courses than previous classes. The students talked about the importance of the bond that they had all created within this class and how many friendships they had forged. They were also proud of the athletic accomplishments of the Class of 2017. However, they stressed that their legacy is more about the community service that they have provided to the town over everything else. While they are required to complete 25 hours of community service to graduate, the students with whom I spoke had far surpassed that total long ago. In fact, many of the students no longer felt the need to track their hours, as they were not doing it for the recognition, but the great feeling they received from giving back. What are some of your dreams for the future? For the group I spoke with, most of their dreams focused on furthering their education. The students had a wide variety of ideas of what they thought their future holds and were excited to share. I was not able to capture each dream but responses included: Civil Engineer, Pediatric Oncologist, Marketing, ROTC followed by a military career, Aerospace Engineering and a Photojournalist. These students are interested in curing cancer, sending people to Mars, building airports, sharing the human story, protecting our county, and one big thinker is even interested in creating the next “big thing”, whatever that is. I was impressed by the complexity of thought and how everyone seemed to be interested in joining a career that helped people in some way. In three words, how would you describe your class? This question turned out to be difficult for all of the students and I had to agree it is not easy to summarize a group of 117 students with just three words. Collectively they thought that the class could be captured with the following words and phrases: well-rounded, creative, unique, and full of potential. What will you miss most about THS? I was impressed by their responses as they stated they were going to miss the members of the class of 2017 the most. They felt that they had become family and that everyone knew everybody and cared for each other. Of course, with all families, disagreements would pop up sometimes but in the end, they believed that there was a genuine support for each other. They also felt the staff was “solid” and were truly concerned about their success. They had a specific shout out for their school counselors (Mr. McGowan and Ms. Lusitani) for all of the work they did to help them finish their high school career. In addition, they all seemed to love and appreciate our newest member of the guidance, Ms. Dill (guidance secretary). We are going to miss the Class of 2017 but we are confident they will make us proud. For the rest of our students, we cannot wait to work with you again in the Fall. 

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