By Julie Huss
---- — MANCHESTER — The Class of 2013 is a fabric made up of many kinds of students, all on a journey to do their best and succeed.
That, according to school officials, is why this year's graduating class was one of great commitment, hard work and plenty of community spirit.
Londonderry High School celebrated its 34th annual commencement Friday night at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester.
Lancer Nation colors filled the Verizon. Three hundred ninety-eight students, wearing blue and white gowns, marched into the arena to "Pomp and Circumstance," played by the LHS band, under the direction of longtime district music director Andrew Soucy.
Principal Jason Parent greeted the school's 34th official graduating class and said they were among the best he's ever seen.
"And it's one of the nicest classes we've had at LHS," Parent said.
He offered a retrospect of the past year at the high school and how students banded together as friends, all working together to make a difference in their school lives and in the community.
"There were no labels with this class," he said. "They saw each others as individuals, bringing an amazing dynamic to the group."
Students valued not only each other's friendship, but values were shared to try and be the best they could.
Among the high points of the past year, he said, were efforts to raise thousands of dollars to support various charities like the Relay for Life and other community efforts.
There were 200 students who cut their hair to support the annual Pantene "Beautiful Lengths" campaign. The Lancer marching band was honored to play in Washington, D.C., for President Barack Obama's second inaugural parade and 14 seniors are set to join the armed services.
Add in the 137 New Hampshire scholars and dozens more honored for community service and the list is long of accomplishments, Parent said.
He challenged graduates to go out in the world and do good, be civic and socially minded, and reach for the stars.
"And seniors, please don't change who you are, because you are perfect as is," he said.
Valedictorian Ethan Doherty told his classmates not to forget their high school years and to think big because good things will happen.
"Great moments are born from great opportunities," he said. "That's what you have earned here tonight, one incredible future."
Class of 2013 officers presented the annual class gift to the school. This year the gift is a student/picnic area near the school's playing fields.