Gould Academy Commencement 2011

June 2, 2011

Gould Academy presented diplomas to 68 seniors at its 175th commencement exercises on Saturday, May 28.

Led by bagpiper and Gould alumnus Hillary Hough ’07, speakers, faculty and graduating seniors made their way from Hanscom Hall and across Alumni Field where several hundred family and friends gathered under the tent to celebrate the class of 2011, the 175th graduating class at Gould Academy.

The Rev. Virginia S. Rickeman of the West Parish Congregational Church gave the invocation.

Richard Packard ’66, president of the Gould Academy Board of Trustees, introduced keynote speaker, John J. Riley III, Gould Academy dean of athletics and co-curricular activities, English teacher, and former entrepreneur.

John J. Riley III began his entrepreneurial career in 1985 when he and a partner negotiated the purchase of a woodenware manufacturing company. In 1991 he sold the company and moved into the medical device manufacturing industry, purchasing Micro Med Inc. Six years later, he negotiated the successful sale of Micro Med Inc. to a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Roche Group of Basel, Switzerland, where he served as company president until 2007.

Dedicated to education, Riley has volunteered on a number of educational committees and board throughout his career including service on the Governor’s Commission on Child Care and Early Education in New Hampshire, the Spurwink School board of directors in Farmington, NH, and the Sacred Heart School Development Committee in Hampton, NH.

From 2003 to 2009, he served on Gould Academy’s board of trustees and chaired Gould’s 2006 Strategic Planning Committee. In 2009, Riley accepted the position of Dean of Athletics and Co-curricular Activities and English teacher at Gould.

He is a graduate of Bates College, where he majored in English and was a member of the national foreign language honor society, Phi Sigma Iota.  He went on to receive an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Prior to Bates, he attended Noble and Greenough School in Dedham, MA.

Riley spoke to the class of 2011 about his own experiences after graduating from independent school and as a young businessman out of graduate school. He stressed the importance of finding passion and pursuing that passion in your life’s pursuits.

“Work hard even at having fun, and it will mean more to you. Your lives won’t be tidy, clean, and controlled. Fail fast. Find the edge, and be prepared to live on it. Develop a comfort level with ambiguity. Find support; give support; learn to say yes,” he said. Your burden – to choose a life with meaning, to live and work with passion for what you do and for how you live – is also your inspiration and opportunity.”

Student speakers and awards

Class of 2011 Valedictorian Erin Smith of Springvale addressed her class using her favorite subject, biology, to compare the process of cell specialization with the makeup of her class.

“Based on the components that we have started with and developed (at Gould) we will all find different roles wherever we go. Some of us will go on to be doctors, teachers, or musicians, but we will also have the components to be good friends, community members and leaders. We have begun this process of specialization similar to cells here at Gould but it will continue throughout our lives,” she said. “Certain cells live for only a few days and are constantly being replaced by new cells. Despite this they use their talents in the way that makes the most of them and helps their community the most….Live your life by developing your interests and talents and using them to do what you do best and makes you the happiest.”

Jacob Dorval-Hall, of Newbury, MA was chosen by his classmates to present the senior student address. He also used his own passion for music to serve as a metaphor for the Gould experience and its impact on the class of 2011.

“From day one, Gould has been building a rhythm inside all of us – a beat that gets us through the day and changes every week. Each of us positioned at a different tempo but within the community, we have all built similar melodies,” he said. “We may not realize it now but in the near future, the tune that Gould built will shine through us in our next classroom, in our future workplace, even on the beach enjoying the summer sun. Every melody and every remix will be with us at these moments, and it will show in our character and in our hearts, because we are Gould.”

Head of School Daniel Kunkle then announced the presentation of honors to members of the graduating class.

Nolan Dumont received the Headmaster’s Bowl, presented annually to the senior who has exhibited the highest standards of scholarship, character, and service to the school and participation in activities of the school.

Erin Smith received the Scholarship Shield, awarded to the senior with the highest academic average.

Graduates whose names will be engraved on Gould Academy’s Honor Plaque in recognition of their achievement of an academic average of 90 or above for their years at Gould are: Elyse Barnard, Gianna DeJoy, Yongkang Dong, Nolan Dumont, Junmei Guo, Alice Hotopp, Austin Jodrey, Yujin Lee, Devin Moore, Erin Smith, and Samantha Southam.

Members of this year’s Senior Class elected to the National Honor Society are: Shelby Aseltine, Elyse Barnard, Abram Bartlett, Alexander Cooperstone, Julie Cote, Gianna DeJoy, Yongkang Dong, Jacob Dorval-Hall, Sarah Doyon, Nolan Dumont, Junmei Guo, Alice Hotopp, Chayawan Jaikla, Austin Jodrey, Anne Kantelis, Yujin Lee, Emily MacMillan, Luc Perreault, Joseph Reis, Erin Smith, Samantha Southam, Ashley Swan, and Jiayun Zhou.

Meghan Costello received the Francis “Hi” Berry Award, and Taylor Peck-Moad received the Joe Roderick Award for outstanding competitive spirit through example and overall competence in athletics.

Austin Jodrey received the Gould Academy Alumni Association Award, which recognizes the son or daughter, grandson or granddaughter of an alumnus or alumna whose attitude, involvement, and contributions typify the ideals of Gould’s alumni and its Alumni Association.  Austin’s grandfather, Arlan Jodrey, is a member of the class of 1954 and his grandmother, Eleanor Jodrey, is a member of the class 1959.

Academic Book Prizes were presented to the following students: English: Erin Smith, History: Nathan Kirsch, Mathematics and Science: Chayawan Jaikla, French: Elyse Barnard, Spanish: Erin Smith, Academic Skills: Andrew Nesbitt, Theatre: Alexander Spongberg, Pottery: Karl Robicsek, Art: Blake Spesard.

The Linwood “Lindy” Lowell Award, an honor voted upon by the graduating class, is given annually to the member of the senior class whose friendly personality and helpful nature have brightened the lives of fellow students. The Class of 2011 chose to award the honor to classmate Benjamin Dohrmann.

The Senior Point Award, given to that senior whose Senior Point project best exemplifies the three values at the heart of any Gould endeavor, “the energy to try, willingness to risk, and capacity to tolerate,” was given to Isidore Cohan.

Alice Hotopp received the William P. Clough III award, which recognizes an on-snow athlete who has demonstrated outstanding character, attitude, and leadership.

The MELMAC Principals Scholarship is awarded to a graduating Senior who has made a difference in the lives of others and that of his or her community and is a solid school citizen involved in extracurricular activities; a student who has exhibited a commitment to public service; and an individual with the potential to make a difference in the world. This year it was awarded to Austin Jodrey.

The Ralph Gould Music Award was given to senior Elyse Barnard in recognition of her improvement, excellence, and contribution to the school in the area of music.

Isidore Cohan received the Gayle A. Foster Award for his outstanding work in photography.

Crosby Taymore received the Annie Daley Courchesne Award, which is given in memory of Annie Daley Courchesne, Class of 1986, and celebrates the spirit of student involvement in social, political, and environmental causes.  The award is in two parts:  a monetary contribution to a cause which Annie believed in and worked for, and an inscribed cup presented to a Gould Academy student who reflects Annie’s determination to make the world a better place.

Meghan Costello and Crosby Taymore received the Elwood F. Ireland Award, given to the boy and girl of the Senior Class who best exemplified the qualities for membership in the National Honor Society but who were not eligible academically for consideration.

Elise Berry received a monetary gift from the town of Newry.

In addition, Mr. Kunkle noted two awards announced at an Underclass Awards Assembly earlier in the week. Merritt Harlan received the Edmond J. Vachon Award given to a member of the junior class for outstanding contribution to the school and achievement in the community. The award was created by Gould Academy in honor of Headmaster Emeritus Edmond J. Vachon.  Mr. Vachon joined the Gould faculty in September, 1940, became Senior Master in 1941, Associate Headmaster in 1954, and Headmaster in 1959.  He also served on the Gould Board of Trustees from 1961 until his retirement as Headmaster in June of 1967.

Courtney Colaluca received the Carolyn S. Wollen Award given to a sophomore girl who reveals leadership potential through personal example and engages fully in school life. The award was created by Headmaster Emeritus and Mrs. William P. Clough III in honor of Trustee Emerita Carolyn S. Wollen who personified these qualities as a Gould Academy Trustee.

Dan Kunkle and Richard Packard then presented diplomas to the graduating seniors, and the Rev. Rickeman gave the benediction.


On Friday evening before commencement, Gould held its traditional baccalaureate exercises at the West Parish Congregational Church with the Rev. Rickeman officiating.

The class of 2011 selected graduating senior Casey Craig and foreign language teacher Sam Hoyle to address them at the ceremony.

After baccalaureate, the graduates and their parents attended a reception under the tent and a special dinner in Gould’s Ordway Hall, followed by the annual Spring Concert in Bingham Auditorium.


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