By Sara Brown
The Revere High School Class of 2018, representing over 14 countries, graduated the largest number of students in over a decade. At the Harry Della Russo Stadium, 480 students gathered on Thursday evening in their caps and gowns to reflect on their last four years and to look ahead to what the future brings.
“I am optimistic about your generation, and I believe you will fill the breach of leadership because you are a new generation of leaders unafraid to connect and unite for a cause,” said Mayor Brian Arrigo. “Rise, and let nothing hold you down.”
Arrigo told the students to become the best citizens they can be. “Rise above the anger that somehow has taken root in our world,” said Arrigo, who also serves as School Committee chairman. “Rise above the differences that alienate people.”
RHS Principal Lourenco Garcia noted that over $1 million in scholarships were awarded to the graduating class, stating, “You are leaving our system well prepared.” Garcia, the moderator of the ceremonies, reminded the graduates that their lives were just beginning, “filled with hopes and dreams.”
Class Valedictorian Patrick Adolphus admitted he was nervous about his big speech. “Up until yesterday morning, I had no idea what I’d share with you,” said Adolphus. “Sure, I’m a nerd, but that doesn’t mean I’m a preacher.”
He will be attending Harvard in the fall. He did lighten up the crowd with a few jokes. “Now we can start counting down the days to what really matters, our retirement,” said Adolphus.
Adolphus said now that his peers have graduated, they have a clean slate and can enjoy the “real world” to the fullest. “No one is going to care what your class rank is or what your GPA is,” he said.
Every year the graduating class votes for a teacher or faculty member to give the final speech during the ceremony before handing out the diplomas. This year, the class voted for Assistant Principal Janel Kennedy. She will be leaving the high school to start her new job at the Garfield Middle School in the fall. “You all have taught me that I am the Grinch,” said Kennedy, “not the Grinch at the beginning of the book, but the Grinch at the end of the book, and you are all my Whoville.”
Class President Megan Nguyen told her class to “set the world on fire” but to always remember to know where they come from. “Revere High School is not like any other school,” she said. “Revere High School was home to us.” She will be attending Georgetown in the fall.
School Committeewoman and former School Superintendent Carol Tye hoped that the Class of 2018 remains dreamers. “You are dreamers,” she said. “Dream every kind of dream. Dream a path to citizenship for everyone. May you stay forever young.”
Class Salutatorian Amy Lee, who will be attending Tufts University in the fall, reminded her peers to live in the present. “The future awaits us, but now take a moment to pat yourself on the back,” she said. “Don’t always look towards the future, be in the now.”
One theme throughout all the speeches was how Revere High School will always be a part of the students’ lives no matter what they do with their futures. “Wherever you go and whatever you do, you are forever the Revere High School class of 2018,” said Arrigo.