Abigail Smart’s surname says a lot about the recent Pembroke Academy graduate 

  • Abigail Smart, president of Pembroke Academy’s Class of 2022, graduated on Monday evening. Ray Duckler / Monitor staff

  • Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester hosted Pembroke Academy’s graduation on Monday. Ray Duckler / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 6/7/2022 4:24:36 PM
Modified: 6/7/2022 4:22:27 PM

The Olympic-style medals hanging from her neck clinking together like a wind chime announced that Abigail Smart was nearby.

The hardware signified that Smart, who received her high school diploma Monday night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium had socked a home run during her scholastic career at Pembroke Academy.

Her parents, administrators and teachers always wondered how Smart – an appropriate surname, by the way – managed to cram so much work into a 24-hour day. Smart says, simply, that she’s an efficient person who, in time, learned to delegate authority, helping her to build trust and respect within her leadership positions.

“Yes, it can be hard,” said Smart, sitting in a closed-off section of tables behind the first-base dugout. “But I’ve learned to balance things, and I’m good at time management.”

Smart, the outgoing class president, spoke to the crowd during the early-evening ceremony, emphasizing the importance of both enjoying the moment and showing courage in the face of the unknown.

Summer Pescinksi and Kristina Schaible were honored as salutatorian and valedictorian. Craig Willis and Pegi Frostholm, advisers for the Class of 2022, reflected on recent years.

Meanwhile, Smart’s presence was felt everywhere Monday night. Headmaster Dr. Dan Morris presented her with the Headmaster’s Award, which came with the following words: “Natural leader, confident and curious learner, a great representative of the Pembroke Academy community.”

Frostholm has known Smart for about five years. She had Smart in her social studies class and she’s friends with her family, giving the teacher a good view of what has made Smart tick over the past four years.

“Determined and ambitious,” Frostholm said. “Incredible leadership skills. And all we had to do was ask her, ‘Can you get this done?’ and she finishes the job and it’s well done.”

Her list of achievements and activities, beyond ranking ninth in her class and her 4.0 GPA, is lengthy: Senior class president; National Honor Society; Spanish Honor Society; French Honor Society; top senior ranking in English and social studies; New Hampshire Seal of Biliteracy; and, the biggie, the Headmaster’s Award.

She’s also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and she’s working full-time at an ice cream parlor in Concord this summer.

Then, she leaves for Paris in late August to study international affairs, political communications and, of course, French. She and other students will live in an apartment on the Champs Elysees.

Smart said she’s learned quiet strength and leadership skills from her father, and another form of strength, with a tad more volume, from her mother. “A good mix of both,” She said.

She sees herself working in a national or global capacity, perhaps joining the Peace Corps and later polishing her diplomatic skills to represent the United States on the world’s stage.

She said she hasn’t considered running for president just yet, but mentioned a possible interest in one day serving as the secretary of state.

The ceremony concluded with a reading of the names of each graduating senior, 166 in all.

Smart read the names, of course.

Ray Duckler bio photo

Ray Duckler, our intrepid columnist, focuses on the Suncook Valley. He floats from topic to topic, searching for the humor or sadness or humanity in each subject. A native New Yorker, he loves the Yankees and Giants. The Red Sox and Patriots? Not so much.

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