DERRY — Pinkerton Academy’s top two students in the Class of 2014 have both agreed their Derry high school years prepared them well for what lies ahead.
Ian Vossoughi of Derry and Natalie Kukshtel of Atkinson took the top spots, respectively, and said having the opportunity to attend a school like Pinkerton made all the difference.
“This was a nice preview of what college is all about,” Vossoughi said.
Vossoughi, 18, will attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the fall to study chemical engineering.
While at Pinkerton, his favorite subjects were Latin and math. He said he was prepared well for what comes ahead as the school not only focused on the academic skills, but also the relationships between students.
“I think the camaraderie is an important aspect,” he said.
Vossoughi urged his fellow graduates to embrace the memories of those relationships and details made at Pinkerton. In his valedictorian speech during commencement, he offered his insight into keeping high school memories close.
“If you want proof that your high school life has been as full and rewarding as you had hoped, there’s no better way to shake off any regret than by remembering the truly important events you’ll hold in your hearts forever,” he said.
Vossoughi said his school memories included things like chemistry explosions, pre-math tests and even the favorite Campus Corner cookie to make everything better.
Those simple memories may not rate up there with a prom or exciting sporting event, he said, but they are important just the same.
“If you have simple memories of the typical day that you can look back on fondly, you have nothing to regret in your high school life,” he said.
Kukshtel said she began her first grade year at Atkinson Academy when that school was turning 200 years old. It’s fitting she is now part of Pinkerton’s 200th year anniversary.