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Raymond High School News


William Harmon, Amanda Dupuis are Raymond High Class of 2015 Top Scholars
By Penny Williams    6-10-15

The two young people chosen to be the Class of 2015 Valedictorian and Salutatorian at Raymond High School are both distinguished, college bound students. William Harmon, 18, the valedictorian, is headed for the Ivy League at Dartmouth College in Hanover, while Amanda Dupuis, 18, will enroll at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y.

Harmon said his valedictory speech at graduation focuses on how the members of the class of 2015 have grown.

"The main point of my speech is how over the years we have grown and learned about ourselves and begun to understand who we are," he said. "Now we are graduating and are leaving everything familiar to us behind. We cannot let only our high school experiences define who we are - we have to make a life for ourselves after high school. I chose this because (high school graduation) is the official point where we are no longer children and must go out on our own."

Dupuis’s speech centers on success.

"In my speech, I am planning on congratulating the class of 2015 for all of their successes, and I plan on focusing around the concept of success and what the success of graduation means for members of the class of 2015," she said. "I think it is important to recognize all of the success that the graduating class has had throughout the course of a challenging four years in high school, culminating with graduation, and all of the successes that they will continue to have in the next phases of their lives. Graduation is just one of many successes that they have had to this point and should never be forgotten or trivialized, even as other life successes come along."

 

William Harmon and Amanda Dupuis are the valedictorian
and salutatorian of the Class of 2015 at Raymond High School.

 

Both students expressed pride at being selected to represent their classmates.

"I am very proud to be valedictorian and very relieved because my two older sisters were valedictorians before me - I could not let them beat me," Harmon said.

"I feel honored to represent the class of 2015 as the graduating salutatorian, and I know that this accomplishment validates all of the hard work and dedication that I have put into my studies throughout the last four years," Dupuis said.

Both young people spoke with feeling about what motivated them and about the support they had received.

"My motivation is high standards set by my parents early in my life to do my best - not necessarily that I must get an A, but if an A is my best, I should work to achieve it," said Harmon. "That made me believe that I have to put my best effort into everything. I will not discount the achievements of my sisters as motivation to not be the worst child.

“My high school experience has forced me to look at who I am and to accept people as who they are,” he added. “I'd like to thank everyone who has supported me because without them I would not be as motivated or as capable as I am today."

Dupuis said, “It has been challenging at times but I am proud that my determination has helped me get to this moment in my educational career. I think the greatest motivating factor for my success throughout high school came from my parents. They always encouraged me to strive to be my best, and they were always by my side to support me and help me through the good and the bad times.

“In addition, my teachers at Raymond High School also provided support and motivation for me to continually strive to do my best, instilling the notion that striving to achieve excellence is an extraordinary trait to be cultivated,” she said. “All the teachers at Raymond High School truly want you to succeed and to be your best. And I would like to thank my parents for their continuous support throughout the years. I know that I have not always said thank you to them for all they have done but they have been an inspirational part of my journey and know they will continue to be in the journey that lies ahead.  I would not be who or where I am today without them.

“I would also like to thank my brother Andrew for pushing me to be my best and always being a great friend,” she added. “And I would like to thank my friends, in and outside of Raymond High School, for always being there for me and providing me with unconditional friendship and support. "

Harmon plans to major in engineering, noting that math and science are the subjects he likes best. “I want to be able to use those to make a difference in the world," he said.

According to Dupuis, her experiences both at Raymond High School and at special programs she attended elsewhere have shaped the path she has chosen to pursue.

"I plan on majoring in Government with a focus in pre-law and legal studies," she said. "I decided to pursue this field of study after taking several classes at both Raymond High School and during my Advanced Studies Program classes at St. Paul’s School. After visiting the Federal Court during my summer at St. Paul’s and learning first hand about the legal system, I discovered that I have a passion and genuine interest in the workings of the legal system, and decided then that I wanted to further my education in the study of government and law in college. I feel as though the classes I have taken at Raymond High School as well as my summer enrichment programs have prepared me for college and have given me a sense of the topics that I enjoy."  

Asked about their favorite memories from high school, both students identified memories linked to sports. Harmon is a serious track runner and spent the day before leaving for his senior trip competing in Londonderry.

"My favorite high school memory is when I learned that my fastest 600m time was half a second faster than I thought," he said.

"My favorite high school memory was during my sophomore year when I first qualified to the New England Championships for gymnastics and I was able to compete in Massachusetts while representing Raymond High School," Dupuis said. "I was representing the high school in the sport that I love. Qualifying to the New England championships took a lot of dedication and hard work and I am very proud of that moment because it reinforced with me that hard work, dedication and a true passion and love for something, in this case gymnastics, can help you achieve great things.  I love gymnastics and was honored to represent Raymond High School at that competition."

Harmon is the son of Andy and Debbie Harmon. Dupuis is the daughter of Mark and Sherry Dupuis.