BFA Graduation 2021


BFA’s 2021 outdoor graduation ceremony at the Collins Perley Complex. Photo credit: Larissa Hebert

Rachel Ledoux, Writer

After four years of hard work, a pandemic and struggles by the score, Bellows Free Academy’s class of 2021 walked across the stage and accepted their diplomas on June 12.

This event, despite the turmoil of the past year-and-a-half, was a gratifying experience for students.

In the words of commencement speaker Kieran Kivlehan, the ceremony aimed to celebrate students, “…reaching this point in spite of all the challenges life imposed on [them].”

Kivlehan, who teaches English at BFA and NCTC, was nominated by the senior class to be their commencement speaker.

The ceremony was held outside at the Collins Perley Sports Complex.  It also featured a lot of rousing speeches and performances from students and staff members. In particular, audiences got to listen to renditions of “The Star Spangled Banner” and “We Are The Champions” from senior members of the BFA chorus. 

Most notable, however, were the speeches of Principal Brett Blanchard, Kieran Kivlehan and valedictorian Nathan Smullen. All three described having an incredible amount of pride in the 2021 class for what they have accomplished.

As Smullen put it, “Not everything will be easy, but after a year as complicated and difficult as this one, I am certain that we can overcome anything.”

This attitude was reflected by other members of the class as well. It seems that being faced with joint challenges and overcoming them as a group was a source of inspiration.

“I have no doubt that when we all meet again in a decade for our class reunion, we will have made a pretty decent dent in the world,” Bella Bonasera (’21) said.