Class Night and Awards Ceremony
The annual Class Night & Awards Ceremony, the final awards event of the year, was held 6 p.m., Tuesday, June 11, in Alumni Gymnasium. Art Awards were given May 10, and Athletic Awards June 6.
In total, the NFA Foundation presented $408,088 in 410 academic, athletic and art scholarships and awards to 297 recipients. This figure does not include any governmental, corporate, or institutional financial aid or scholarships students receive separate from those provided by the NFA Foundation, Inc., and generously provided by Norwich Free Academy's alumni and friends. The Foundation exists to advance the educational opportunities available at Norwich Free Academy, including the oversight and stewardship of the many scholarship funds that benefit the Academy's students.
It is traditional for the Senior Class President to give the “Passage Speech” on Class Night.
Class President Brooke Noelle Rondeau, Tuesday, June 11, 2019
These last few weeks of high school have caused me to look back at my time at NFA, about who I was when I first arrived here in ninth-grade, and the transformation that has occurred since. The Brooke Rondeau you see here today is not the same person who entered this school four years ago. I’m sure you can say the same about yourself. But more than reflecting on the person who I’ve become, these last few weeks have given me pause. They’ve encouraged me to consider who has helped shape who I’ve become.
Anyone and everyone.
Think about those who have affected you: Close friends and family; The people you were somewhat friends with freshman year, but the relationships didn’t stick; Your teachers, favorite or otherwise, who’ve instructed you; That kid in math class you just met and got to know a little this year; or the people you were best friends with, but no longer hang out the way you once did. Every single person has made you into the person you are. I am grateful for all the people who have been brought into my life, and I urge you to consider those who have passed through yours.
I came from Bozrah. I graduated with a class of 20 in a school of 200. And like Bozrah--quiet, unassuming, insulated--I operated with the same understated personality.
Until I came to NFA.
Admittedly, freshmen year was rough. I was shy, unsure of myself, and nervous when talking to strangers. I was almost in culture shock, like going to a foreign country. Ironically, one of my best friends from Bozrah forced me out of my shell. A friend from my quiet little town pushed me to develop a louder voice. She dragged me everywhere and threw me in front of everyone. She made me become more social and connect with others. She will never know her significant influence upon who I am today. By the end of freshman year, I had definitely cast off a little bit of my small-town shyness.
Different experiences, friends, and pasts have shaped all of us during our time at NFA. Everyone’s story is not mine, but each one of you has your own story. We all have had people, like my friend freshman year, who changed us in many different ways at NFA.
But, don’t think only about how you have changed; think about how you might have changed others. You may be the friend who helped someone out of her shell. You loved your friend’s art and gave him the push he needed to pursue his passion. You are the teammate who drove others to work harder and stronger than they ever had. You may have been the catalyst for someone to start a new version of her life, or maybe you helped shape a small part of another that makes up the whole. No one’s role, no matter how big or how small it may seem, is insignificant in the long run.
As I said before, these last few weeks have given me the opportunity to look back and see all of those people who were crucial in helping me find myself. There are too many to count, students and teachers alike. Without many of you, I would have surely become lost. So many of you helped build my confidence and pull this one-time hermit from her shell. Ms. Binder unknowingly helped me decide upon a career path. Mr. Kirker instilled an appreciation for Shakespeare while expressing his deep-rooted aversion for Romeo and Juliet, a shared dislike I still carry to this day. Mr. Howard gave me the confidence to believe that I could create change. Mrs. Botelle, Ms. Jones, Mr. Brown, Mr. Joyce, and so many other teachers here at NFA, and many of you have generously shaped who I am.
As we go through our last days before graduation, I ask you to think about those people who have done the same for you - those who have taken the time with you and recognized your goodness and helped you give it light. But most importantly, moving forward, take this light and use it to help others see the same goodness in themselves. I can only hope I’ve had the impact on others that his class has had on me.