Congratulations Class of 2018!

After some anxious moments with the weather the few days before Graduation Day Saturday June 2, 2108 at 10:00 AM in the morning, we were able to hold the commencement exercises for the Class of 2018 outside on the beautiful Perley Field.  Other than being a beautiful setting, one of the best things about having graduation outside is that we do not have to restrict the number of friends and family members who can attend. If it gives you any example, the maintenance staff set up 1000 chairs and almost every one of them was filled and that does not include the number of people who were sitting in the little bit of shade that we had available next to the fence. Our auditorium holds 450 people and we set up the cafeteria with a big screen television but it is definitely not the same!  Thankfully Mother Nature cooperated with us and, even though it was hot and humid, it didn’t rain and everyone who wanted to be there to celebrate the graduates was able to enjoy the ceremony live!

As I said to the graduates, they will be remembered as the class that had 11 sets of twins when they began their educational journey in Georgetown. They were the class that came together to deal with the death of a classmate that they respected and loved.  As a group, they got through this difficult time by coming together to share their grief, providing strength to each other and the family and by showing respect and love for their classmate and friend. Class President and Valedictorian  Kate Irons  lead the class and the audience in a moment of silence in memory of Cameron  Coy and a baseball shirt with his number 26 was displayed on the fence in full view of the graduates. I believe wholeheartedly that their friend Cam was there with them on Saturday giving them a big thumbs up.

They were also a close-knit class of friends and I expect that most of them will remain friends for life. Every once in a while this happens.  Retiring Principal Peter Lucia told the class before they began marching out to Pomp and Circumstance ,played by the Georgetown band, that he was honored to have this class be his last class.  I told them that I will remember them as a super great group of young people with great potential and the sky is the limit to what they can achieve. I believe this in my heart for this group of great young people!

The Class  of 2018 is ready to take the next step and we will miss them. Their diploma is the ticket but the way this class  took every advantage of what high school had to offer makes me confident they leave with bright futures ahead!  I urged them to continue their commitment to service not because they HAVE TO ((currently a graduation requirement) but because they WANT TO and they will never regret making a difference in the lives of others. I also encouraged them to find their voice and follow their passions. They are all unique individuals who stand for something and using their voices to be the change they want to see in the world ( Mahatma Gandhi ) is important and has never been needed more. All of the speeches were relevant and spoken with respect and love for this special class!

Kate Irons was the Valedictorian and Henry Pareto was the Salutatorian and both gave inspirational speeches sharing class memories throughout the years , showing their brilliant sense of humor and offering sincere words of encouragement to  their friends. Amazing job Kate and Henry!

Finally, we also celebrated two additional “graduates” who are not going to college but are walking into the world of retirement after long and successful careers of dedicated service to young people. Art teacher Nora Cannon  is leaving after 20 years in Georgetown and Peter Lucia is concluding a 37 year career in education, the last 15 as the Principal of the Middle High School.  Both of these wonderful educators have made a significant difference in the lives of the people with whom they have crossed paths and they will be truly missed! As I mentioned in my comments to Peter on that day that you know you have been successful when it is time to leave a place, if the place is better than it was when you came.  There is not doubt in my mind that Nora and Peter have done just that and we will always be grateful that we had the pleasure and privilege to work with both of them!

I know you join me in congratulating the class of 2018 and Peter and Nora on their retirement! Good luck and God speed!