NEWPORT — Passion was called a key to success Friday night during commencement ceremonies of the graduating class of 2013 at Nokomis Regional High School.

Hard work got some of the credit, too.

Passion, said class president Nicholas LaGross during his welcome to classmates, friends an families. Passion, perseverance, dedication and fearlessness, he said.

“Stay focused and stay strong to fulfill your dreams,” LaGross said to a full house in the Nokomis gymnasium.

Passion also was on the minds of Andrea Pelkey, a native of Palmyra and 1998 graduate of Nokomis, who was the guest speaker for the graduation ceremony.

“You already have what you need to succeed — hard work,” she said. “Have curiosity and have passion. Know your faults and don’t be afraid of them. Perfection is an illusion.”

Pelkey received her bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College and her master’s degree from Emerson College and works as a producer for ESPN.

Ranked first in her class, Olivia McAnirlin, of Newport, was the valedictorian. The salutatorian was Hannah Paradis, of Corinna, who ranked second in the class.

Both were given a special presentation from the Legislature from Rep. Kenneth Fredette and Sen. Andre Cushing.

The 143 graduates of the class of 2013 entered the gymnasium to the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance,” played by Paula Graham on acoustic piano.

These Nokomis Warriors marched two by two in their burgundy caps and gowns.

A musical group played the class song, “Tattoos on This Town,” in which graduates were reminded that they would leave their mark on departing high school like tattoos on the town.

The motto of the Nokomis class of 2013 was, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367
[email protected]

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