WHS Class of 2018 Graduates

Tuesday, June 12, 2018
By Kate Anslinger

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity,” said Winthrop High School Principal Matt Crombie during his welcome address to the class of 2018.

Shane Plunkett, Charlene Piris and Giulya Pimenta wait before the ceremonies began.

The theme of the evening was good fortune as Crombie made it clear that what the graduating class has is not luck, and instead it is hard work, dedication and perseverance.

Crombie made sure that the graduates were well aware that it wasn’t luck that got them the national cheerleading title when they were freshmen and it wasn’t luck when the drama society won the state championships two years in a row.

It wasn’t luck when they saw their names listed on the honor roll and it wasn’t luck when they aced their AP exams. Instead, their achievements over the last four years, were due to boundless determination and hard work.

Preceding his speech, Crombie gifted the graduates with a Massachusetts Mega Millions lottery ticket, choosing the number 18 as the first in the numbers that he hand selected for the class. Offering up his words of wisdom, he made sure that it was in the class’s best interest to have a backup plan in the event that their “luck” ran out.

“Make your own luck, leaving nothing up to chance,” he said. “Work hard and embrace the challenge.”

The luck theme continued when Valedictorian Yuriy Melnyk got up to speak. Melnyk shared his struggles about coming to America from the Ukraine in 2014. Having no experience with the English-speaking language, Melnyk was faced with a challenge that he approached with the support of his parents.

At just 14 years old Melnyk spent countless hours learning the language while also being faced with adapting to a new school, new friends and a new culture.

“Not going to college was not an option for me,” said Melnyk, who quickly learned that there is nothing that will take the place of persistence in life. “You work hard, you gain the skills you need, and you don’t give up.”

Melnyk will be heading to UMASS Boston in the fall majoring in computer science.

“Your voice is on one the most powerful tools you have and your experience at Winthrop High School has equipped you with what you need to tackle everything in life,” said Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, who applauded the class for their student activism surrounding gun safety laws.

The 109 graduates celebrated their accomplishments and tossed their widely decorated hats in the air, ready to embrace everything that lies ahead.

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