DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

June 20, 2012

LHS valedictorian gives Class of 2012 lessons on life

By Julie Huss
jhuss@derrynews.com

LONDONDERRY — As a member of the Class of 2012, James Giles said he was proud to be Lancer.

In his valedictorian address on commencement night, June 15, the Londonderry High graduate told fellow classmates it was a fun ride, but a lot of hard work at the same time.

Using a lot of humor in his speech, Giles said he wanted to share a few things he learned in his last four years at LHS.

First of all, he said, he owed a lot to the anti-drug program DARE, which he proceeded to announce he failed.

"I failed DARE," he said. "This shocked me since I've never done drugs. The only trips I've been on are field trips."

By not succeeding in a program like this, Giles said, he was more inspired to do his best and overcome failures in his life, something everyone has to deal with from time to time.

"Winning isn't everything," he said.

Giles said he arrived at the top of his class through many years of working hard, studying extra hard, and being a good person to his family and friends.

He sported his valedictorian honor around his neck at graduation and said it was a first.

"This is the first medal I've every earned," he said.

More life advice — never judge a book by its cover.

"Don't make judgements based on appearances," he said. "But I did go to the prom with the prom queen and that decision was based purely on looks."

Another honor to be proud of, Giles said, is that he never, ever missed a day of high school.

Quoting Steve Jobs, Giles said, "You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward."

Jobs had it right, Giles said, but dots will get connected in the future as he and his classmates head off to jobs, college or the military.

"No doubt, all of us will be successful in our own way," he said.

Giles said LHS prepared him well as he heads off to college at Dartmouth in the fall.

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