By Julie Huss
DERRY — Pinkerton Academy's top two students say their high school prepared them well for what lies ahead.
Renee Hensiek of Hampstead was named Pinkerton's valedictorian for the Class of 2012.
Taking second honors was John Keisling Jr. of East Hampstead.
On June 18, the pair received diplomas at Pinkerton's 194th commencement ceremony at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester.
Hensiek is the daughter of Tom and Amy Hensiek. Keisling is the son of Karen and John Keisling Sr.
For Hensiek, high school offered not only a place to find herself and fit in, but a close network of friends and teammates who made up her world while she participated in many activities and on sports teams.
"I had to manage my time," she said, "You want to be involved in a ton of different things. Just don't spread yourself too thin."
Her list of accomplishments and interests at Pinkerton, besides the academic honors, include participating in Student Council, cross-country, indoor and outdoor track, and many other committees and groups.
She will head to Northwestern University in the fall to study biomedical engineering.
For Keisling, it's now time to leave high school and find what life offers next.
He said Pinkerton helped him learn how to overcome anything good or bad that life might throw.
His list of Pinkerton activities also included sports like cross-country and track, and participating in the JROTC program all four years of high school.
He heads off this fall to Yale University on an Air Force ROTC scholarship and hopes to major in electrical engineering.
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