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Lincoln-Sudbury principal sings tune for grads

Posted by John C. Drake June 8, 2007 11:42 AM

Ritchie.jpgguitar.jpg
(Globe archives)

SUDBURY

Last night's graduation ceremony at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School had its heavy moments, with remembrances of the Jan. 19 fatal stabbing of a freshman on campus.

But superintendent and principal John M. Ritchie also wanted to make sure students were able to enjoy their graduation.

So, before they received their diplomas, Ritchie surprised the audience by pulling out his guitar and asking one of the students to join him in singing his interpretation of Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler," whose lyrics begin: "You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away, and know when to run."

The principal's rendition paid tribute to the class' role as the last to have had classes in both the school's old building and its new digs, which opened in 2004. Graduating senior Nia K. Ferguson joined him in singing his added lyrics.

"We learned that what matters most is the humans, not the bricks."

And the last line.

"Just go out there and do your best, and that's our last command."

-- John C. Drake

*Read today's story: Lincoln-Sudbury grads look ahead, past tragedy

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