, Derry, New Hampshire


June 20, 2013

Pinkerton Academy awards 741 diplomas

Pinkerton Academy marks its 195th commencement


Headmaster Mary Anderson told graduates to always be brave, keep the faith and follow their dreams.

“All of your dreams can come true, if you have the courage to pursue them,” she said, quoting Walt Disney.

She told graduates to always remember where they came from, remember their years at Pinkerton, and never forget to come back and visit.

“You will always have a home at Pinkerton,” she said.

Student scholarships and other awards were announced including NH State Scholars, National Merit finalists and Honors Diploma recipients.

Other college and university scholarships and awards, along with community awards and honors ,totaled more than $9.5 million this year, the highest in Pinkerton history.

In addition to awarding diplomas, Pinkerton announced longtime trustee Harry Burnham Jr. as the recipient of the annual Trustees’ Meritorious Service Award for his many years serving Pinkerton.

There was no hint of any controversy stemming from a situation last week that had many in the community fuming. School officials told senior Brandon Paquette, 18, a cancer survivor, he couldn’t walk with his class because he was one credit short, having failed geometry.

Paquette was told last week he would not be able to take part in the commencement ceremony after administrators stood by their policy.

Brandon blamed his academic trouble, in part, on absences as doctors tested for a possible cancer relapse. He said he missed instructional days and fell behind in his studies.

Brandon and his family said they understood school officials refusing him a diploma, but not barring him from participating in the ceremony. He intends to take a summer class in geometry to fulfill his requirements and get his diploma in hopes of serving in the U.S. Air Force.

His name appeared in the list of members of the Class of 2013 in the graduation program.

In addition to handing out diplomas, Pinkerton also announced its next installment of Hall of Fame inductees including William Cofrin, Maureen Burns Boak, Brian Thacker, John Almy Rider, Brendan James Ernst, and Glenn Ahrens.

They will be inducted in a special ceremony on Sept. 27.

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