Spirits aren’t Dampened – Commencement effortlessly moved from Miller Field to Holland Gymnasium

Saturday, June 13, 2009
By Cary Shuman

Although Mother Nature derailed the Class of 2009’s plans to have the first nighttime outdoor commencement ceremony under the lights of Miller Field Friday evening, nothing could deter the graduates from an impressive, well-orchestrated graduation inside the artfully decorated Holland Gymnasium at the high school.

This was a beautiful ceremony, tinged with the graduates’ emotions and knowledge that it would be their last official gathering as a class as Winthrop High. The camaraderie of the class and the respect they had for each other was evident as each graduate accepted his/her diploma.

It began with Class Marshal Casey Holden, baton in hand, proudly leading the procession of his classmates down the aisle and to their seats. You could see the beaming pride that Mr. William Holden, Casey’s father and a Winthrop School Committee member, had as his son performed the traditional task as marshal.

The ceremony ended with Class President Vanessa Carruccio, a popular student leader and athlete, delivering a lively, upbeat speech that said to all in attendance: We enjoyed immensely our four years at Winthrop High. Our teachers, class advisers, and administrators did a great job, and we thank them for the caring and dedication they exhibited every day.

In between, there was a display of superb vocal talent as Shannon Hagan performed a splendid rendition of the national anthem and Ashley Goodhue lit up the gym with her outstanding voice, drawing appreciative applause from her classmates and the parents and guests in attendance.

The valedictory address by Madeline Corona and the salutatory address by Ben Sena were emblematic of the academic excellence they achieved at Winthrop High, and it was clear that both students accepted their prestigious roles in the ceremony with seriousness and considerable thought in their speeches.

The comportment of the students was excellent and respectful throughout the ceremony, and may we add the sound system made it easy to hear the speeches at both ends of the gymnasium.

We congratulate Principal Gail Conlon and her staff and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steven Jenkins for making the graduation ceremony such a special night for all of the graduates and their families.

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