Part 1 in a series

GROTON -- On May 31, 13 area students graduated from Lawrence Academy during the school's 220th commencement exercises in Groton, Massachusetts.

Danielle Breen was presented with The David Thomas Kinsley Prize for Public Speaking during the graduation ceremonies. A four-year student, she earned academic honors and high honors throughout her final two years at the school, and her activities included yoga and fitness programs, as well as seasons on the varsity track and softball teams. A finalist in the school's junior year poetry recitation competition, she made her acting debut this spring in the annual student-directed one-act play series, performing in a student-written mystery titled Five Little Soldier Boys.

During her first Winterim, a two-week experiential learning session that takes place every March, Danielle performed community service in Panama, learning about the indigenous people and their culture and exploring the local ecology. In other sessions, she learned the art pottery making, studied the United States Legal system, and, this spring, learned to sail in the Caribbean's Leeward Islands, while studying marine conservation and exploring the area's Colonial history and culture.

The daughter of Lisa and Peter Breen of Groton, Danielle will attend Monmouth University in the fall.

Joseph Casper earned academic honors for several terms and was presented, earlier this spring, with the Class of 1965 Prize for Theatre for his dedication and achievement in that area of his studies. He immersed himself in theatre and theatre tech courses throughout his four-year career, serving on the stage and technical crews for several productions before appearing in Sweeny Todd, The 39 Steps, an adaptation of The Odyssey, and two original cast-created plays: The Trip, which explored the immigrant experience, and Oklahoma! City., a musical which involved researching the tragic 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and interpreting how it might have impacted high school students witnessing that event.

As a junior, he performed in the school's student-directed one-act play series and, this year, he participated in the yearlong Honors Theatre Ensemble class and took on the role of director for a presentation of How to Survive in Corporate America.

Joe sang with the LA singers and the a cappella groups SLACS and On Air! He participated in the dance program and will travel to Scotland in the summer with LA's dance troupe to perform its original choreography, titled "See Change," at Edinburgh's highly regarded international Fringe Festival.

For his senior year, Joe participated the school's Independent Immersion Program, creating a self-designed curriculum that allowed him to focus on a study of theatre and film-making. Throughout the year, he produced numerous satirical films and sketches, as well as a long-form documentary. His year culminated with presentations of his work and a summation of his training and growth throughout the year.

During his first Winterim, a two-week experiential learning session that takes place every March, Joe studied and applied many aspects of theatre production and performing as a member of the Something for Nothing Players. In other sessions, he scripted, directed, filmed, and produced a short horror movie; created, recorded, and produced an original song; and, this spring, traveled with a group to Ireland, where he learned to use photography to capture the country's spirit.

The son of Karen and Peter Casper of Pepperell, Joe will attend the Savannah College of Art and Design in the fall.

To be continued.