Mount Hope Class of 2012 Celebrates Successes, Laughter
The group said farewell to high school in front of friends, family, and teachers.
Saturday, June 9th, Mount Hope said goodbye to, according to Principal Donald Rebello, a group of "truly... exceptional" students at Roger Williams University in a ceremony where 267 seniors recieved diplomas.
"I am the principal of one of the best high schools in New England." He stated. "The young men and women that sit to my right and my left are the best testifiers to that fact."
"This class has met some incredibly high standards to earn that diploma" Rebello said.
Scott Macgovern, President of the Class of 2012, acted as the Master of Ceremonies on the occassion, who, after inviting David Lam, Class Vice President to lead in the pledge of allegiance, and the Mount Hope High School Vocal Ensemble in singing the Star Spangled Banner, addressed the audience himself, arguing the Class not only already lives in "the real world," but is "succeeding in it." He highlighted a number of success stories, from a biology student working on curing Celiac disease, a member of the class who has been accepted to West Point Military Academy, and a number of successful artists.
Harsha Kumar, Salutatorian, addressed the crowd as well, saying she "can't thank [friends and teachers] enough for showing faith in me and my abilities."
"Our wonderful teachers helped us reach this milestone" she added.
"It seems as though high school started and ended without much time in between" stated Valedictorian Jocelyn Alexandre, "but within those four years we made a lot of memories." She continued, telling the auditorium full of guests "I'm glad to have been surrounded by positive people in high school who know when and when not to take things too seriously."
Superintendant Melinda Thies also spoke, giving guidelines for the future.
"The employee of 2020 will be less likely to live in a suburban or rural area, own a car, or own a home. Urban centers will provide more opportunities for employment... These young men and women who sit before us today will experience more than six career changes in their lifetime. With the educational background, tech savvy skills, and bold entrepeneurial spirit, they will adapt to the changing needs and demands of the marketplace and have the ability to recreate themselves."
Change wasn't praised so unwaveringly by all at the ceremony, however; Patrick McConaghy, while stating he was "excited for what the future holds" for his graduating daughter Kayla, he said he was "still sad, I guess because... you know, she's my little girl... the youth is slowly fading... She's blossoming into an adult."
Graduates experienced a wide range of emotions themselves -- for some, like Joe Costa, the feeling was "fantastic." For other students, like Adam Sylvia, the day was "nothing special," but the end to a "comical" high school experience.
"[it was] just a funny environment" he explained.
Bristol Town Clerk Louis P. Cirillo, who was in attendance, stated "it's really nice to see the results of our efforts here for the Bristol-Warren school district," stressing he was "honored" to be invited to the ceremony.
Paul Silva, representative of the Bristol-Warren School Committee, also spoke, praising the group for maintaining a high number of honors students while also being involved in a number of extra-curricular activities.
"This class is multi-dimensional. It can't be pidgeon-holed" He stated.
Other highlights included the passing down of the "Baton of Leadership" from MacGovern to Angela Mascena, President of the Class of 2013. Tyler Murgo and Jillian Moreira, Student Council Representatives, presented the class gift -- the repainting of the lockers in the high school to match the school's colors, purple and white, for which the class will pay half. Musical numbers included "Lean on Me," performed by the Mount Hope Chorus and Vocal Ensemble, directed by Virginia Boyle, and "Majestia," performed by the Mount Hope High School Band, and conducted by Robert Arsenault.
Music was not the only vessel for performance at the ceremony. Samantha Egge, winner of the Gardner/Burke Oratorical Award, performed a dramatic reading of "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds" by Paul Zindel. Egge was introduced by Carol Schlink, Drama Advisor, and the monologue served as a poignant reminder of what it means to be inquisitive.
"The universe itself must be like a great world of atoms, and I want to know more about it." Egge qouted.