172 graduate from SSVT
COHASSET — The 172 members of the South Shore Vocational Technical High School Class of 2017 have been urged to be champions of others — they are already champions themselves.
“You have character, a strong work ethic and talent,” Superintendent-Director Dr. Thomas J. Hickey told his graduates Friday, June 9 during ceremonies at the South Shore Music Circus. “You’re a group of young adults who are ready to fix, to build, to lead, to create, to heal, to serve. I see champions everywhere I look.”
Introducing his theme with an audio highlight clip of Super Bowl LI, courtesy of 98.5 Sports Hub Radio Producer Howie Sylvester, Hickey urged the students to remember the word “champion” is also a verb.
“When we champion the causes of others, it means we are there to support and rally to others in need,” he said. “Because there will be people in your lives, at home, at work, who will be down 25 points, and they may not have a Brady or an Edelman, or a Belichick behind them. But they will have you.”
Student speakers, too, spoke of the difference the Class of 2017 has already done in their four years at SSVT.
“We were artists and actors, craftsmen and friends,” said Valedictorian and Senior Class President Benjamin Duncan. “Each one of us having a unique skill set and talent that we were ready and eager to share with the world.”
Duncan shared the last of his infamous annotated emails to his fellow seniors, offering a 13-point to-do list for life after high school. Expressing gratitude, smiling often, living simply and showing persistence were among those goals.
“Let’s throw ourselves out into the open and let’s not be afraid to make mistakes, because who knows where taking those chances will lead us in the future,” he concluded.
Salutatorian Dakota-Lyn Bagley used her volleyball team’s growth in her four years as an example of how she has also grown as a student, an athlete and a person.
“High school is difficult,” she said. “It is awkward and an emotional rollercoaster for everyone. … I was lucky to find stability at SSVT and I cannot put into words how thankful I am that I met all of you people that helped me find it.”
She said the process will start all over again with the start of college in the fall.
“But my time at SSVT has taught me that I will be OK,” she said.
Student Body President Jacob Cormier also lauded the school for providing each student the opportunity to discover their own unique talents.
“The experiences during the time at Vo-Tech have shaped every single one of us in some incredible way,” Cormier said. “If I hadn’t come to this school, I would be a completely different person.”
Assistant Principal Mark Aubrey summed up the Class of 2017 in a different way before handing out the diplomas:
“Every graduating class is a little unique,” he said. “Looking back at this class, the best way I can describe it is — young at heart. This is the class that brought a bouncy house to school last week. That’s before some mean, older guy told them they had to take it down.”
Whitman and Hanson graduates of SSVT are:
Sarah Achin, David Anderson, Olivia Baker-Buckley, Matthew Bennett, Cassidy Burt, Steven Coates, Ashley Corkery, Corissa Crowley, Alex Cullinan, Mitchell Ellis, Alexis Green, Shawn Holland, Christopher Kearns, Jared Keith, Liam Leonard, Christopher Martell, Sarah Maul, Nathan Maynard, Owen McLaughlin, Alex McPherson, Jonathan Mills, Kelly O’Sullivan, Cassie Rapoza, Alexandra Reiser, Christian Tanner.
Brian Buchanan, Brian Burns, Alexander Cross, Tylor Fleming, Harry Gauthier, Colby Ingemi-Jolie, Dylan Key, Matthew McAndrew, Kade Milewski, Harrison Newcomb, Christopher Pellerin, Emily Sansone, Derek Stalker.
W-H lauds its CES graduates
They’ve already taken the road less traveled toward earning their high school diplomas, so Community Evening School Co-Director William Glynn had some suggestions for the 18 students of the Class of 2017 — keep blazing different trails.
Be the first one to dance at a party. Eat weird foods — try mayonnaise on your hot dog. Read books no one has made you read and authentically share your life with others.
He also asked the students to step up to help change their world, by being themselves.
“This evening’s ceremony not only celebrates the countless hours of hard work of our graduates, but the dedication of those who have supported the students throughout their journey,” Co-Director Dianne Nicol said in her welcoming remarks Thursday, June 1. “Everyone sitting in this auditorium has contributed to each student’s success — give yourself a well-deserved round of applause.”
The keynote speaker, Glynn has been a part of the graduates’ entire high school experience. He asked the students if they felt nervous on the occasion he felt “terrified — and I’m from Whitman, so imagine how the people from Hanson feel right now,” he quipped.
He congratulated the students from the heart.
“You did this,” he said. “Of course, people helped you — family, friends, even some teachers, all looked out for you. They guided you, they goaded you, in some cases they affectionately dragged you here to this moment. But you did this.”
He said many had overcome challenges that would have stopped others in the room dead in their tracks.
“It will provide a place of strength from which you can better face the challenges, seize the opportunities and enjoy the splendors of the world that now lie before you,” Glynn said. “Get out there and experience it.”
He urged them to go places they’ve never been, to meet new people and try new things — including that bit about mayo on hot dogs. He also urged them to listen to new music and work a bunch of different jobs.
“Some things will work out beyond your wildest expectations,” he said. “Some things, to speak the truth … might feel like soul-crushing disasters.”
Both kinds are invaluable experiences that can enrich and ennoble life and neither is forever, Glynn said.
School Committee Chairman Robert Hayes noted that while CES students may not go through the “typical program of studies, but it got them here” as graduates of WHRHS.
“You have to stay committed and finish — finish everything that you do. It’s a must,” Hayes said. “As you know, this was not an easy task. … the future has great hope for all of you. Stay focused and committed.”
He also advocated that the students dream big and remain life-long learners.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ruth Gilbert-Whitner also addressed the class, in the same theme of the meaning of success as her address to the 282 students who graduated Friday, June 2.
“When success is defined as favorable or desired outcomes, each one of you is a success, having accomplished all the requirements to obtain a high school diploma,” she said.
She also urged them to savor the moment.
“Memories that will last a lifetime are being created right now,” Gilbert-Whitner said. “For those of us who graduated from high school some time ago, those memories are rekindled as we proudly watch the Class of 2017 receive their diplomas.”
Students then received their diplomas from persons each had asked to make the presentation.
CES Class of 2017
Rebecca Helen Ames presented by Bruce Gardner, Owen Robert Andrews, Jesmelia Isabel Brandao presented by Emelia Ortiz, Aaron Douglas Brown presented by Vivki Brown, Paulo Roberto De Oliviera presented by Maureen Garrett, Taylor Grace Fitzgerald presented by Paul Fitzgerald and Kim Baker, Sarah Catherine Folan presented by Shana Folan, Katrina Lucille Freeman presented by Jeffrey Andrews, Thomas Ray Hines was absent, Cameron Charles Hunsinger presented by Rachel Hunsinger, Katherine Anne Lee presented by Kerry DeSista, Ryan Patrick McCabe presented by William Glynn, Cole James McCarthy presented by William Glynn, Joseph Scott McHugh presented by his father, Bailee Frances Poirier presented by William Glynn, Mark Joseph Smith presented by Bruce Gardner, Shelton Caribe Terry presented by William Glynn and Debra Rose Williams who was absent.