2017-06-22 / Front Page

CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF 2017

Lawn School graduates boast diverse array of talents
BY RYAN GIBBS


Among the 51 Lawn School eighth-graders graduating tonight are Hayley Piret, Cora Lawson, Julia Totten, Casey Westall, Kyle Takata and James Clark, left to right. Above, the six classmates Tuesday afternoon after one of their final lunches together. 
PHOTO BY ANDREA VON HOHENLEITEN Among the 51 Lawn School eighth-graders graduating tonight are Hayley Piret, Cora Lawson, Julia Totten, Casey Westall, Kyle Takata and James Clark, left to right. Above, the six classmates Tuesday afternoon after one of their final lunches together. PHOTO BY ANDREA VON HOHENLEITEN Fifty-one students will bid a fond farewell to their hometown’s school district tonight as they embark on journeys that will take them across a bridge when the fall arrives.

Following the final day of classes yesterday, Lawn School eighth-graders will return to the gymnasium tonight for their graduation. While diplomas will be proudly presented, the pomp and circumstance also will include musical performances and a proclamation read by Mike White, vice president of the town council, declaring this “Jamestown Graduates Week.”

Performances by the band and chorus are customary for the ceremony, but guidance counselor Janelle Goodburn is expecting a bit more this time around.


Lawn students named to the National Junior Honor Society were Nayan Sayers, Zack Koehr, Sarah Mikolay, Layne O’Connell, Molly Egan, Julia Totten, Mary Pflaum, Alexandra Sabourin, Emily DeMieri, Ella Junge and Audrey Raupp, left to right. 
PHOTO BY PAULETTE JUNGE Lawn students named to the National Junior Honor Society were Nayan Sayers, Zack Koehr, Sarah Mikolay, Layne O’Connell, Molly Egan, Julia Totten, Mary Pflaum, Alexandra Sabourin, Emily DeMieri, Ella Junge and Audrey Raupp, left to right. PHOTO BY PAULETTE JUNGE “They are one of the most talented musical groups … to have gone through this school,” she said. “We had five or six All-State musicians in just the eighth grade.”

One of these All-State musicians is Kyle Takata, who was awarded Wednesday night as the top jazz musician in the Lawn class of 2017. His instrumentalism knows no boundaries — he can tickle the ivories, keep a beat on the drums and strum the bass guitar. It was his skills on the tenor saxophone, however, that led to his spot on the All-State band, in which he was first chair.

“It was a really good learning experience,” said Takata, who will continue playing music at North Kingstown High. “It was great to be in a band with a bunch of really great musicians.”

Another standout was Julia Totten, the piccolo soloist for the All-State band. When she auditioned for the ensemble, Totten played her regular instrument, the flute. But the ensemble’s directors specifically chose her to showcase the smaller woodwind.

“I wasn’t really a piccolo player that much before, but as I began to become better at it, I learned that it has a unique sound compared to the flute,” she said. “This year, I was the only piccoloist in the whole band. In every single solo, I felt like I stood out, so it was a different experience. It was really unique and I really enjoyed it.”

Out of all of her teachers, Totten said she will miss music teacher Karyn Kauffman the most.

In addition to her musical prowess, Totten excelled across all academic fields. She was honored last night with the award for highest academic achievement. Her twin brother, Matthew, is graduating alongside her tonight. He was chosen to lead the class through the Pledge of Allegiance at the ceremony.

Music won’t be the only thing that this year’s graduating class will be remembered for. Several students were members of the girls’ basketball team that finished this season with a 10-6 record. The Warriors made the state playoffs for the first time since 2009. Casey Westall, whose father is the team’s coach, was one of its co-captains.

“We were all really excited, and we all pushed ourselves a lot harder just to get there,” she said. “It was something different that I’ve never felt before.”

For her athletic and academic achievements, Westall was one of two students awarded the Ali Dunn Packer Memorial Award, along with her classmate Finn Gaudreau.

Several eighth-graders remarked that their trip to Washington earlier this month was a particular highlight of their final year in Jamestown. Over the course of their

“It was not only a learning experience, but they made it fun, too,” Takata said. “Going to all the monuments was really cool. The Jefferson Monument was my favorite. It was very pretty because it was on the water with the cherry blossoms.”

“We learned a lot,” Totten added. “We saw many cool memorials and museums, but we also gained an amazing experience with our peers and teachers.”

Although most of the eighth-graders will head to North Kingstown this fall, other students have chosen to start ninth grade at Narragansett High School, the East Bay MET in Newport or one of the private schools surrounding the island.

Cora Lawson has opted to attend Narragansett, which became an option for

At Lawn, Lawson was a member of the chorus and basketball team. For her achievements in music, she was named the class’ top solo vocalist. At tonight’s graduation ceremony, she will be one of two soloists who will perform “Make Them Hear You” from the musical “Ragtime.”

James Clark is one of two students who selected the MET. He became interested in the career and technical school after a representative came to speak to his class.

“I thought it was really interesting because it was very individualized,” he said. “I probably want to go for engineering. I just find machines and design very interesting.”

Goodburn said having alternate choices makes “a lot of sense” for the student body.

“They are coming from an environment where it’s been the same 50 kids for nine years, with about 25 percent being military,” she said. “It allows them and their parents to select the option that best fits their needs.”

Hayley Piret will be one of several Lawn students who, as children of military personnel, will not join their friends this fall. At the end of June, her family is moving Mandeville, La. Piret was homeschooled before her family moved to town in 2016.

“I think public school has been pretty fun,” she said. “This was basically a new experience for me. There was a lot of personalized learning because the classrooms were so small. You make a lot of friends fast, so it’s easy to get to know people and become really good friends.”

At Lawn School, Piret was a member of the soccer, swimming and basketball teams, and received this year’s Shining Star Award for her work ethic and positive attitude in class.

The graduates have mixed emotions about leaving the school district for larger schools and higher-grade levels, but they are excited for their impending graduation.

“It’s bittersweet,” Totten said. “I’m excited to go on to a new world, but I’m leaving another world behind.”

The Class of 2017

Jack Barry, Nathaniel Berry, Beckett Bessinger, Ian Brayman, Cameron Chadronet, James Clark, Hugo Contant, Julia Cote, Emma Cotsonas, Victoria Coulter, Benjamin Cowan, Wyatt Daft, Kendal Donovan, Ryan Eves, Charles Elsworth, Finn Gaudreau, Josh Gaudreau, Matthew Gibbs, Sara Head, Aiden Hollingsworth, Isaac Hull, Kathryn Hutchinson, Michaella Junge, Zackary Koehr, Cora Lawson, Reed Limoges, Harry Lloyd, Maeve Malloy, Tyler Messinger, Sarah Mikolay, Dean Mitchell, Brent Newell, Layne O’Connell, Hayley Piret, Analiese Poisson, Audrey Raupp, Hailey Richardson, Mia Ryng, Alexandria Sabourin, Jonathan Sanchez, Isabella Sheehan, Riley Sprague, Kyle Takata, Olivia Tokoian, Julia Totten, Matthew Totten, Benjamin Turenne, Abigale Tuthill, Isabella Varrecchione, Gabriel Weber and Casey Westall.

The winners are

These students were honored in the following areas:

English: Kathryn Hutchinson and Maeve Malloy

Science: Cameron Chadronet and Michaella Junge

Mathematics: Zackary Koehr and Julia Totten

Foreign language: Zackary Koehr and Audrey Raupp

Social studies: Isaac Hull and Miichaella Junge

Good citizenship: Hayley Piret and Julia Totten

Warrior’s heart: Wyatt Daft and Analiesse Poisson

Principal’s award: Sarah Mikolay and Dean Mitchell

Art: Harry Lloyd

Fine arts: Hailey Richardson and Mia Ryng

Engineering: Cameron Chadronet and Michaella Junge

Humane society’s award: Layne O’Connell, Audrey Raupp, Beckett Bessinger, Hayley Piret, Cameron Chadronet

Shining stars: Emma Cotsonas and Hayley Piret

Library’s award: Layne O’Connell and Annaliese Poisson

Support personnel’s award: Julia Cote

Solo vocalist: Cora Lawson

Band director’s award: Layne O’Connell

Instrumental musicianship: Alexandra Sabourin and Julia Totten

Jazz band: Kyle Takata

Piano: Audrey Raupp

Sportsmanship: Jonathan Sanchez and Riley Sprague

Unified sports: Jack Barry and Matthew Totten

Scholastic athlete: Finn Gaudreau and Casey Westall

Renaissance man: Kendal Donovan and Kathryn Hutchison

Highest academic achievement: Julia Totten

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