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The legacy of Saugus High Class of 2022

The 165 students will become the first to receive their diplomas at Christie Serino Jr. Memorial Stadium as the school holds its 151st commencement exercises tonight

The 151st Commencement Exercises that Saugus High School is set to celebrate today (Friday, June 3) will be highlighted with some firsts. Tonight will mark the first time that the new Christie Serino Jr. Memorial Stadium hosts a graduation ceremony. It will also be Brendon Sullivan’s first graduation presiding as the Saugus High School Principal. Saugus Public Schools Superintendent Erin McMahon attended last year’s ceremony, but as a guest. This will be her first graduation as the town’s top educational leader.

The graduation ceremony is set for 6 p.m. today at the stadium, where 165 students will receive their diplomas. In the event of rain, the event will be moved inside to the auditorium at the Saugus Middle-High School.

For many students – like Crystal Fosung Kembo, a top 10 student who will be headed to Brown University in the fall to study International and Public Affairs – the night will be extra special for her and her family. “I will be a first-generation college student,” Crystal said, making note of a major family milestone.

She is excited about her future as she looks toward her college career. “I plan on studying international relations in college to become more knowledgeable about global issues and work towards creating solutions for them. I especially value community service as a National Honor Society member and have been a peer mentor at various points throughout high school,” she said.

Crystal is the epitome of a well-rounded student with a variety of interests. She played field hockey for six years and has been an avid member of her school’s drama community for seven years. “Some of my most prized extracurriculars include captaining the SHS improv troupe and acting as a leader within my school’s Young Feminist Alliance,” she said. “Upon working with the Saugus School Committee, we have recently reformed our school’s dress code. I’m passionate about human rights advocacy.”

Crystal is just one of 63 students in this year’s class who will be blazing an educational trail for their families as First Generation College Students. They account for 48 percent of 132 students who will continue to pursue post-secondary education in two- and four-year colleges and professional trade schools, according to statistics provided by Saugus Public Schools.

 

Overcoming COVID-19

Having endured parts of three of their four years in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s class is considered a special one by education officials – just through their ability to focus and persevere through difficult circumstances.

“The Class of 2022 overcame challenging times, set the bar high and passed it with ease,” School Committee Member Ryan Fisher said yesterday. “They’re going to go far. Congratulations to them on all they’ve achieved, and on very bright futures!”

School Committee Member John Hatch also remarked on how this year’s graduates distinguished themselves through hard work and a commitment to getting the best education they could get. “I think the Class of 2022 has overcome great challenges and shown their spirit to achieve by going through the pandemic and coming out the other side and trying to move forward as normal as possible,” Hatch said in an interview yesterday.

“If anyone attended the awards ceremony, seeing the number of academic achievements and scholarships given out is truth to how resilient this class is. It shows what type of leaders and how special these young adults will be in the future,” he said.

Hatch has a special attachment to this year’s class, having worked with the kids years ago as a youth baseball coach. “As I was sitting on stage the other night at the senior award ceremony, I was reflecting on the great accomplishments of this class,” Hatch said. “And then I noticed four players that I coached on my Little League baseball team that happened to be sitting in front of me. It was a little bit surreal.”

 

Tonight’s student lineup

Victoria Rose Quagenti, President of the National Honor Society, will give the opening address. In the fall she plans to attend Clark University, where she will study Biochemistry and Molecular Science while minoring in Psychology.

Jason Patrick Ciampa, who is headed to Endicott College to study Computer Science, will give this year’s Valedictory Address as the Class of 2022’s top ranking scholastic student with the highest grade point average.

Lindsey Rose McGovern, who plans to attend the University of New Hampshire to study Neuroscience, will deliver this year’s Salutatorian Address – the honor bestowed upon the second top-ranking student in the class. She is also President of the Student Council.

Madison Bridget Goyetche, who plans to study Business at Nichols College, is President of the Saugus High Class of 2022. She will also be giving a speech at this year’s commencement exercises.

Former Saugus High School Principal Michael Hashem won’t have to worry about the logistics of this year’s graduation after deciding to go back into the classroom after last year’s ceremony. But it’s still going to be a big night for him. His daughter – Mikayla Chelsea Hashem – will be singing the National Anthem. She is a National Honor Society member in this year’s class, and she will head to the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in the fall to study Theater.

Krista Ann Castle, the class Vice President, a member of the National Honor Society and an Advanced Academy Scholar, will give the Pledge of Allegiance. She plans to attend University of Massachusetts-Lowell, where she will study Pharmaceutical Sciences in the fall.

This year’s class marshals:

Anthony Jeffrey Cicolini: He is the Class Treasurer and is headed to Bentley College in the fall to study accounting. He is an Advanced Academy Scholar and a member of the National Honor Society. He is the son of Saugus Selectman Jeffrey Cicolini.

Dominic Rocco Trabucco: In the fall he plans to attend the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where he will study Business Administration. He is an Advanced Academy Scholar and a member of the National Honor Society.

Elisha Cristin Rivera: She plans to attend Cleveland State University in the fall to study Music Therapy. She is an Advanced Academy Scholar and a member of the National Honor Society.

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