NORTHBOROUGH – Friends, family and faculty packed into Algonquin Regional High School’s gymnasium on Sunday morning for the school’s 60th annual graduation ceremony.
The over 300 graduates filed into the ceremony single file, high-fiving and waving to loved ones along the way.
Senior vocalists performed the “Star Spangled Banner” before Superintendent Greg Martineau delivered the ceremony’s welcome address. Martineau recalled that while working as an exterior painter during high school, he accidentally spilled paint all over a customer’s rooftop. The unfortunate experience became an important life lesson, he said.
“Don’t carry too much at once,” he said. “The art of balancing too many things simultaneously rarely ends well. Often, saving time by piling on more tasks only leads to inefficiency and wasted effort. Instead, embrace the wisdom of taking multiple trips and not taking on [more] than you can handle… It’s OK to prioritize and distribute your responsibilities wisely.”
After Martineau, two student leaders addressed the crowd. Student Council President Benjamin Schanzer shared his appreciation for Algonquin.
“As they say, life is about the journey and not the destination. For the class of 2023, this is especially true. Here we are at the destination – we are about to receive our diplomas and embark on the next stop of our lives, yet when we look back at our time at Algonquin, this ceremony is not what we will remember. We will remember the memories and friends we made along the way,” Schanzer said.
Class President Sarah Coldwell said that the graduates are at an important and unique junction in their lives.
“In this life, we have very few real opportunities to pause and to reassess what is important to us… This is one of those moments. Wherever you go from here, remember that right now you have a rare chance to decide what you want to hold onto and carry forward in your life and what you want to leave behind… We all have a chance to take a step into the future as our very best selves,” Caldwell said.
Class Essayists Jackson Gamache and Joseph Russell took the stage afterward before Principal Sean Bevan gave the last speech of the day, wishing the class of 2023 well in the future.
“Go out and do amazing and wonderful things in college, in the military, and in the world of work. Do those things just as you did them here – with kindness, good humor, and with an earnest desire to help others,” said Bevan.
Stacks of maroon-covered diplomas were then conferred to the graduating class. Graduates walked across the stage to thunderous applause and cheers as Class Advisors Lauren Hesemeyer and Kerriann Lessard read their names aloud. At the end of the stage, Bevan shook hands with each graduate and presented them with their diploma.
After the turn of the tassel, the newly graduated class threw their caps in the air and headed to celebrate with their loved ones.