Baccalaureate Ceremony Honors Student Voices and Experiences

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Baccalaureate is one of New Hampton’s annual traditions that allow the senior class to come together in an intimate setting to share stories, memories, and insights from the last four years. Student speakers volunteer to share their remarks and a faculty speaker is voted on and selected by the graduating class. This year, our Baccalaureate celebration looked a little different than years past as this New Hampton tradition was forced to take a 21st-century digital twist. Nevertheless, the messages shared by graduates were familiar tales of lessons learned, lifelong friends and mentors, and a determination to carry this momentum into the next chapter of their lives and make their stamp on the world.

Bella Burghart ’20, center, experiences her first New Hampton Orientation trip with her advisor Ms. Frame.

Overcoming Adversity

Our senior spring was the time when the world was falling apart. When no one, not even our most organized teachers, were prepared for a school year with such tremendous obstacles to happen. When our expectations of wearing caps and gowns and celebrating a real graduation couldn’t be met.

Nevertheless, we kept fighting, we kept working hard, and we kept believing in our dreams and future goals. We are the ones who didn’t give up but were strong enough to accept the challenge. And hey, we did it, and we did it together.”  – Bella Burghart ’20

Max, who spoke at Baccalaureate, leaves as someone who took chances and made memories.
Max Taylor ’20 performs in his first school musical with a little encouragement from his friends.

Taking Chances

“My most memorable experience from Junior year was the spring musical. After two of my friends convinced me to audition as a background character I thought “what’s the worst that can happen? I have to sit in the back, move some stuff around and pretend to dance from time-to-time.” Then I was told that I had been cast into a part with lines, a song, and a little dance. I had proved myself wrong, that was the worst that could have happened. After some arguments with my friends I decided that I would take this role and just try my best. It was unexpected that I’d end up enjoying the experience. Being apart of the musical allowed my friends and I to try something new together, which looking back was a ton of fun.” – Max Taylor ’20

Bonnie is one of a few students selected to speak at Baccalaurate this year.
Bonnie Anderson ’20 enjoys a meeting of the Robotics team where she gained some lifelong friends and unparalleled experiences.

The Power of an Open Mind

“From my time at New Hampton, I’ve learned to make myself an asset. I’ve learned I have the skills to make myself valuable to others, and I discovered that my attitude is one of the most important skills I have. In college, I’m forcing myself to gain new experiences, and if I can’t get anyone to gain them with me, I’m gonna go it alone, and gain new friends. If we go outside of our comfort zones, I think we’ll find that it keeps expanding, and so will our opportunities.”  – Bonnie Anderson ’20

Kerem offered an international student perspective at this year's Baccalaureate.
Kerem Ozturk ’20 has risen to every occasion. From student leader to team captain, and now New England Champion. He offered an international student perspective at Baccalaureate.

Meeting the Highest Expectations

“I’ve had the chance to meet a lot of special people from my teachers to the staff. I think I’ve ranted at Dr. Duncan about the freezing weather here more than I have to my mom. I’ve cooked dinner in Mr. Sampson’s kitchen for a Spanish project and I’ve never even cooked dinner in my own home. The relationships I formed will be remembered my whole life and it’s safe to say I have a new family. People I can trust no matter what.

Adding to that, the resources that New Hampton has offered me have helped me grow as a person remarkably. Mr. Lebrun gave me the chance to be a proctor and my teammates honored me by choosing me to be the captain of the basketball team for two years. All of these things helped me get ready for the next chapter of my life. I’ve gotten the chance to end my basketball career at New Hampton with a NEPSAC AAA title and the way we achieved this was special. Every player and coach on this team, especially Big Can my Turkish roommate and buddy, helped me understand what true friendship is and how much overcoming adversity as a whole means to a group. I love all of you.”  Kerem Ozturk ’20

Coach Daye leads the Men’s Varsity B Basketball team as coach and mentor.


“I’ve seen you at your best and your worst. We’ve shared laughs, tears, stories, and even playlists. I’m honored and thankful that you come to me for guidance in all aspects of life, you trust me with helping you build your future. You all have prepared yourselves to conquer anything that stands before you. You have proven that you can adjust and face challenges at the highest level to reach the goal at hand. You bet on yourselves and it has paid off. I hope that I made a lasting impression on each one of you because this class will hold a place with me forever…You have all of the tools, opportunities, and encouragement from the New Hampton School community to follow your dreams. This experience at New Hampton will serve you well in your future.”  – Faculty and Coach, Ryan Daye

To watch a full recording of the Baccalaureate Ceremony, click here.

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