Frontier senior class president: ‘I feel really lucky to have gone to this school’

  • Senior Class President Tenzin Tsedon addresses her classmates during Friday's commencement ceremony. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo

  • Frontier Regional School Senior Class President Tenzin Tsedon receives a scholarship during Friday’s commencement ceremony. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo

  • Tenzi Tsedon in the gym of Frontier Regional High School on Thursday getting ready for Friday’s graduation ceremonies. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Frontier Regional School seniors rehearse for Friday’s graduation on Thursday. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo

Recorder Staff
Friday, June 02, 2017

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Frontier Regional School’s Senior Class President Tenzin Tsedon is a shining example of Franklin County’s youth, even if she’s a relatively new arrival.

“She’s a true representation of someone who’s gone through the public school system and taken advantage of opportunities,” said Frontier Principal Darius Modestow Thursday, after a graduation rehearsal in the North Main Street school’s gymnasium. “She’s everything you want in a senior class president — an extremely caring person, for her peers and the overall community.”

On Friday evening, Tsedon — born in India, whose grandparents are from Tibet — walked across the graduation stage with 84 classmates; a culminating and sweet moment that will stay with them wherever they go.

“The people we are today, Frontier has played such a big part in that. The school is amazing, and I’ll forever be indebted to the faculty,” Tsedon said earlier in the week as she anticipated her last days at Frontier.

Chief among the lessons Tsedon has learned at Frontier is “keeping an open mind.” She said “I feel really lucky to have gone to this school. My parents could have moved anywhere in the state.”

About six years ago, Tsedon moved to Sunderland from northern India, where she grew up, with her father, Dawa Tsering, mother, Nambyai Yanzon, and siblings, Tsundue, Kunsang and Deter. They moved so her father could study at the University of Massachusetts, and then “fell in love” with the region.

In younger days, she remembers going to school in India, where the primary educational tool is memorization — a drastic contrast to Frontier Regional, where Tsedon said interactive learning is emphasized.

The Union 38 school also provided opportunities for social engagement through clubs and academic competitions. During her four years at the school, Tsedon participated in a plethora of activities and clubs including National Honors Society, Model U.N., student council, and “As Schools Match Wits,” an academic quiz competition.

“I should have brought my student resume. I don’t remember them all,” she said with a laugh. Tsedon was also a part of the Spanish Club, which helped her discover what she wants to study in college and make a career.

In the fall, the Frontier graduate will move into the Commonwealth Honor’s College at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she’ll study Spanish with a pre-med intent. Tsedon wants to become a doctor and work with disadvantaged populations in third-world countries.

“I’ve always believed that communication is a key part of health care. I want to travel through war torn countries — Sierra Leone or Syria — and help the people there,” Tsedon said. In addition to some Spanish, Tsedon speaks Tibetan and Hindi. “I want to help. And to help, I feel like I need to communicate.”

Words of encouragement

“Hatred seems to be the main language (of the world). But going out of this school I’ll have with me the goal of spreading kindness, and keeping an open mind,” she noted.

As this year’s graduates leave the protected educational environment of Frontier, Tsedon offered words of encouragement to her classmates.

“I just want to say how much I love them, every one. I’m grateful to have met them. Despite our differences in personality, there is one strong component that ties us together, and we’ll never lose that. I’d like to wish them all good luck in the future,” Tsedon said.