Bedford School District shares student’s winning essay

Courtesy photo​ Jillian LeVeille being recognized by Governor Chris Sununu, Chief Justice Robert Lynn, Senate President Chuck Morse, Speaker of the House Gene Chandler and Commission Chairman Renny Cushing. Joining in the celebration were members of the Executive Council.

To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the State House in Concord, The New Hampshire State House Bicentennial Commission (NHSHBC) recently sponsored a statewide Bicentennial Essay Contest. Any child between the ages of 5 and 21 that resides in New Hampshire and is a public, private or home educated student in kindergarten through 12th grade was eligible to participate.

The essay contest theme was: “The New Hampshire State House and its Meaning Today.”

In the High School Division, the third place statewide winner was Jillian LeVeille, a senior at Bedford High School. Here is her essay:

“We Are Now Boarding”

I love airports. I love the sound of luggage wheels rolling across the cold, tiled floor and the echo bouncing off every wall and surrounding every family, every businessman or woman, and every sojourner who is searching for their next home. There is the faint nutty smell of honey roasted peanuts tickling at my nose, as sweet and pleasurable as the thought of reaching an unknown destination. More importantly, airports connect thousands of different people together because of their common desire to travel to a place or a territory, waiting to discovered. This power is only shared among a few prestigious locations in the world, including the New Hampshire Statehouse.

Apart from its tiled floors and the echoing clicks of heels on it, the Statehouse and an airport share a bond more bound in its purpose and its meaning. They represent thousands of different individual ley lines intersecting at one point, indirectly connecting each and every person who walks through their doors. Despite the color of your skin, gender, interests, pasts, futures, and any other differences that divide the world, the desire to move forward and travel into the future propels those clicking heels and rolling luggage.

My uncle, State Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, volunteered to guide my class around the statehouse when I was in fourth grade. While holding his hand, I marveled at the vaulted ceilings, the chambers and the governor’s office with a gleam in my eye, like a kid in a candy shop. Even though he is older than me, the same gleam glittered in my uncle’s eyes. At that moment, my uncle and I weren’t two different people, one being in the later years of his life and one being just barely tall enough to ride a roller coaster at an amusement park. No, we were nothing more than two people who shared the same passion for government and its significance in our lives. That same passion that pulled me onto a journey of campaigning during election season, attending ALA Granite Girls State, and interviewing for an internship with The Statehouse opened a new gate, a new ley line for me to journey across.

The Statehouse does more than just connect people; it connects the past to the present and to the future. The Hall of Flags, with its 107 flags presiding quietly, remind everyone of the bravery and honor that led the United States to what it is today. The United States is constantly evolving and improving, but the without the past, that Statehouse would be nothing more than an architecturally beautiful building. The past allows people to aim to our goals, hope for improvement, and dream of peace. The Statehouse houses our past and our future, a way station between them.

Brick by granite brick, the monument was built, providing security and strength. A permanent center of stability, like how granite forms as the foundation for all land continents, the Statehouse represents all people, not just people from New Hampshire. Its golden dome supports the nation’s eagle, a symbol of strength and the American spirit. Like the eagle, the laws, ideas and principles soar towards the horizon, towards the future and beyond. Different perspectives and ideas can coexist, bouncing off the inner walls of the chambers, like the echoes of the luggage in the airport, and tingling and stimulating each mind and its thoughts, like the smell of honey roasted peanuts.

The roar of a plane’s engines seems so similar to the clapping after a session of the Houses, symbolizing the take off of an idea into parliamentary procedure, into the process of becoming a bill, or even into a revolutionary period in history. All the energy and vitality that collides at this one place creates a beacon, a shining city upon a hill, like the lights on a runway or the illuminated golden dome sitting on top of the New Hampshire Statehouse.

Jillian is the daughter of Lynn and Brian LeVeille. Next year, Jillian will be attending Syracuse University at the Newhouse School of Public Communications to study Newspaper and Online Journalism. Her favorite subject in school is English, but she love’s school and being a student, and finds every class enjoyable!

She wishes to acknowledge all of the Bedford teachers who gave her so many opportunities, so much time and so much support. All of the teachers involved in the IB Diploma Programme curriculum as well as the other staff in the school and district have been nothing but outstanding role models for her to look up to and aspire to become.