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Malden High graduates 446 at Macdonald Stadium


The Class of 2017 did Malden proud on Sunday as the 446 graduates walked across the stage at Macdonald Stadium to receive a diploma and a handshake from school and city leaders. The stands were packed with family, friends and fans of the graduates, who seemed completely at ease with the idea that they were winding up a major part of their lives and heading into a future of unknown possibilities and challenges.

“You are about to begin a long and successful journey and we are proud of each and every one of you,” said Mayor Gary Christensen, looking out at the field of faces framed by Malden-blue caps and gowns.

Four years at the most ethnically and racially diverse high school in the state seems to have given the graduating class a keen sense of how to navigate the world and its social and cultural complexities. Class Valedictorian Cleverina Cong, who will now head off to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study computer science and management, told fellow graduates to celebrate their diversity and everything they’ve learned because of it.

Cong said that she has learned over the past four years that playing it safe isn’t always the best choice. “Take a chance, take a leap, take a risk, take an L.,” she said. “Then take a bow.”

Principal Ted Lombardi is a Malden native but this was his first year in the head office at Malden High School and his first chance to be part of the official send-off for a graduating class.

“It was a great class for me to come into and have them teach me the ropes,” he said with a laugh.

Lombardi described the graduates as high achievers who are well-rounded and always willing to jump in to support school and community projects and events. They are leaving Malden High with plenty of accomplishments, awards and GPAs to brag about. But they are also heading out with an understanding of how life works and an appreciation for relationships that make it work better.

“They are worldly kids,” said Lombardi. “They went through a lot and they have a sense that they got through it together.

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