Weston celebrates Class of 2013

Weston High School Class of 2013 Speaker Levi Wayland praised the school’s teachers for taking the time to help their students succeed. - Kirk Boxleitner
Weston High School Class of 2013 Speaker Levi Wayland praised the school’s teachers for taking the time to help their students succeed.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

ARLINGTON — The Weston High School graduating class of 2013 was urged to take pride in their accomplishments by their peers and Arlington School District staff during their commencement ceremony at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center on June 5.

Just as Weston High School Principal Annie Verellen-Grubbs credited her students with helping her develop a greater sense of perspective, even if they didn’t realize it at the time, so too did Salutatorian Tiffany Boitano and Class Speaker Levi Wayland take care to share credit with the school’s staff for giving them the tools and the drive to achieve what they have, in spite of the obstacles that many of them have faced.

“Several of us took four years, some took a little longer than four years to get here today,” said Boitano, who offered special thanks to Cindy Christoferson, Will Nelson and Renee McArt for not giving up on her, even when she was tempted to give up on herself. “I’m sure everyone in this graduating class has a teacher that pushed them to do more and work harder, and helped them when they needed it the most.”

Boitano quoted Mary Kay Ash’s advice to tell her classmates not to limit themselves, because “you can go as far as your mind lets you,” a sentiment that Boitano insisted applies as much after graduation as it did during their high school carers.

“Don’t lower your expectations by thinking you can’t do it, because you can,” Boitano said.

Wayland seconded Boitano’s praise for Nelson by attributing his own success on his culminating project to his teacher taking extra time to help him out.

“All the teachers here have gone out of their way, by changing their schedules to make sure we could catch up on our work, or by helping us be motivated to finish projects,” said Wayland, who acknowledged that Weston was not the first high school that he and many of his classmates had attended. “I know the challenges we faced were not ordinary, but we faced them head-on and can proudly say we won.”

Wayland’s quote of “learn from yesterday, live for today and hope for tomorrow” came from Albert Einstein.

“Many of you have faced more challenges in your short lives than many adults have or will in their lifetimes,” said Verellen-Grubbs, who has been inspired by how her students have dealt those challenges, and said of her own life’s difficulties in comparison, “Whatever I have going on, I just need to lighten up.”

Arlington School District Superintendent Dr. Kristine McDuffy deemed the Weston High School graduates the embodiment of Mario Andretti’s quote, “Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal, a commitment to excellence, that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”


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