Gould Academy Graduates its 178th Class – The Class of 2014

June 9, 2014

Gould Academy presented diplomas to 60 seniors at its 178th commencement exercises on Saturday, June 7.

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 2014.

The Reverend Richard Bennett of the West Parish Congregational Church gave the invocation.

Wendy Penley, president of the Gould Academy board of trustees, introduced keynote speaker, Sasha Rearick, head coach of the U.S. men’s alpine ski team and Gould Academy alumnus, class of 1995.

During his tenure on the U.S. Ski Team, Rearick has coached some of the top men’s alpine skiers in the world like Ted Ligety and Bode Miller. He has coached in three Winter Olympic Games, including two as head coach where his teams have amassed seven Olympic medals, including three in this year’s games in Sochi, Russia.

While at Gould Academy, Rearick skied under former Head Alpine Coach Tim Lavalle and current Head Alpine Coach Kurt Simard.

During his address, Rearick discussed the need for passion, hard work and heart to achieve self-directed success in life. The enthusiastic coach and Gould alumnus focused on the importance of graduates being intrinsically motivated and mindful of how they reach your goals.

“I am fired up when I look at the class of 2014,” said Rearick. “I am fired up because the world needs your enthusiasm and optimism. I am fired up because the world needs your energy and imagination. When I think of all that you can do, all that you can accomplish by living a full life devoted to your passions, I am inspired. You have a clean canvas in front of you to fill with color as you choose, make sure you are proud of how you do it.”

Student Speakers and Awards

In his forward looking address, Class of 2014 Valedictorian Marcello DeLuca of Hanover, ME explored what he calls the ‘1,000 year idea’ – a solution so significant that it changes the course of human history and is remembered over a millennium.

“In the near future, we’ll have to approach many more seemingly old issues with 1,000 year ideas – the environment, the energy crisis. We’ll have to approach some brand new ones too,” he said. “Stephen Hawking thinks we won’t last another 1,000 years. One of us could be the one to have the radical idea that proves him wrong….We aren’t just capable of doing this – it’s our obligation. I know it’s a lot for us to think about considering we’re not even two decades old yet, but the world requires us to come up with these ideas. So, will Mr. Hawking be right, or will he be wrong? That’s for us to decide.”

Salutatorian Jongkuk “JK” Lee of Seoul, Korea was chosen by his classmates to present the senior student address. His speech invoked the power of relationships created and developed over the course of the class of 2014’s Gould experience, relationships that have helped forge a sense of self in each graduate.

“Each of us has our own precious person who had a great impact in our lives at Gould,” said Lee. “We will be who we are in college and in the future because we had four or three years of teenage life at Gould with each other. Whether you are really eager for a new start or melancholy to leave friends back in your memory, you are the product of all memories we have gone through.”

Head of School Matt Ruby then announced the presentation of honors to members of the graduating class.

Marcello DeLuca 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. He also received the Scholarship Shield, awarded to the senior with the highest academic average.

Seniors acknowledged for achieving a cumulative average of 90 or above over their careers at Gould are: Marcello DeLuca, Lingyi Fang, Zahara Foyston, Sawyer Harkins, Jongkuk Lee, Shu Jing Lian, Delaney Pals, Justin Stearns, Reed Thurston, and Lan Hoang Truong.

This year Gould Academy was granted charter with the Cum Laude Society. The Society was founded in 1906 to recognize scholastic achievement of seniors in secondary schools. The first members of the Gould Academy Cum Laude Society are: Marcello DeLuca, Zahara Foyston, Sawyer Harkins, Jongkuk Lee, Delaney Pals, Reed Thurston and Lan Hoang Truong.

Academic Book Prizes were presented to the following students: English and History: Madison Hertzog, Mathematics: Sawyer Harkins, Science: Justin Stearns, French: Lan Hoang Truong, Computer Science and Theatre: Reed Thurston, Mandarin: Jongkuk Lee, Spanish: Marcello DeLuca, Art: Seungsu Han, and Pottery: Connor Kelly.

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 2014 chose to award the honor to classmate Connor Kelly.

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 Morgan Heckerd.

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 Shu Jing Lian.

The Gayle A. Foster Award for outstanding work in photography was given to Jules Arsenault.

The Ralph Gould Music Award was given to senior Stephen Dexter in recognition of his improvement, excellence, and contribution to the school in the area of music.

The Town of Newry presents a monetary gift to each of the graduating seniors who are full-time residents. This year’s recipient was Alexandra Bullen.

The Rhode Island School of Design President’s Award recognizes an accomplished artist in the senior class for his or her effort and achievement in the arts, overall academic achievement, and creativity and talent. The Rhode Island School of Design established the award in 1984. This year’s recipient was Morgan Heckerd.

Molly Bruce and Connor Kelly received the Elwood F. Ireland Award, given to the boy and girl of the senior class who best exemplifies service, leadership and character.

Alexandra Bullen received the Francis “Hi” Berry Award, and Marcello DeLuca received the Joe Roderick Award for outstanding competitive spirit through example and overall competence in athletics.

Morgan Heckerd 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.  Morgan’s grandmother, Vera Leighton Heckerd, is a member of the class of 1943.

Connor Kelly received the Ouwinga Citizenship Award. The award honors a member of the Gould student body who embraces the spirit in which both the Ouwingas live their lives through acts of selflessness and thoughtful humanitarianism.

Stephen Dexter received the Jan and Lorenzo Baker Award. The award is bestowed upon a member of the senior class who best exemplifies the qualities that the Bakers fostered: personal courage, an adventurous and creative approach, and a clear vision of him or herself and their world.

The Art Department Purchase Award for 2014 was presented to Connor Kelly.

Morgan Heckerd 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.

Matt Ruby and Wendy Penley then presented diplomas to the 60 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. Bennett officiating.

The class of 2014 selected graduating senior Connor Kelly of Freeport, ME and Alpine Ski Coach Bruce Johnston 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 Commencement Concert in Bingham Auditorium.

In case you missed it, Mr. Ruby gave a surprise performance to send off the class of 2014.


One Response

  1. Avatar Nancy says:

    Glad I got to hear Mr Ruby again! Thanks for posting the video:)

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