Twenty Fourteen: Graduation

Lish Ventura , Contributor

As the room slowly filled with antsy families, the graduates class of 2014 graduates were growing more and more impatient to come out on stage. The high school band played a collection of upbeat songs to rest the audience, varying from “Schools out forever” to well known Toy Story songs, that brought back childhood memories.


As “Pomp and Circumstance” echoed off the walls of the room, the teachers, dressed in their robes, were  the first to walk down the aisle. Soon, the graduates followed behind, walking gracefully up the stage while  waving to family members.


When all of the students were seated, John Vasington led the audience in the pledge of allegiance, followed by the high school chorus singing the “National Anthem” and “Amazing Grace”. Some of the seniors in the choir were emotional, and the audience erupted in a loud applause after the singing concluded


Dr. Graham then began the ceremony by addressing the class behind him as a “funny, creative, kind group of individuals”, and pointed out the iconic “T Shirt” story, where the entire school wore “Keep Calm and Parry On” shirts for the principal’s  first birthday here at Nashoba. His speech concluded with him saying that it was a great pleasure to be their principal. He successfully put the students at ease with his warm and encouraging words.


Michael Wood, Nashoba Regional School District’s superintendent, then took the stand, painting the ideas of optimism and independence into the audiences’ heads by using a metaphor for the future. He taught the audience that your future is like a path, and that when one chooses to build their own path, they should “go about it with little stones”. He also stated that “your path is only done when you say so and you decide where it goes” and noted that they should always look behind them to look at the path they marveled. Nashoba Regional High School was a part of that path, and they should always remember it.


Up next was the valedictorian and salutatorian speeches. Emily Castner, also used a metaphor in her speech; “life is a dance”. The speech went on about how we need to embrace challenges and improvise at times, but one of the most important ideas about life is that you must be yourself. Her poetic, sing-songy language made the speech seem to go by at a faster rate. Pablo Aldape was the salutatorian of the class, and the purpose in his speech was to address the idea that one’s mind is their entire universe, and nothing else exists but himself. He also questioned if we were in control of our own future, all the while making sure that the audience was not falling asleep to his speech. He ended by saying that he hoped the class sitting behind him was glad to be a part of the Nashoba community. His speech had very intelligent language that was a little hard to understand at times, but most of the audience was entertained by his words of wisdom.


The highly anticipated chieftain, written by Matthew Curtin, concluded the speeches. His speech related to the past four years at Nashoba and being forced together freshman year, and then slowly evolving into the aspect of a “chieftain”. He noted the diversity in the community of people he grew up with, and at the end of today, it will be bittersweet for them to leave. He hoped the class would stay together and not grow apart. His speech finished off with him saying ” Once a chieftain, always a chieftain, and you can always choose to take that with you”. The large crowd in front of him grew emotional, and his grade behind him seemed to appreciate the message that he was expressing.


The class gift was presented by the class officers, which was two picnic tables that will be set up by the concession stand by the turf. After this, the diplomas were finally handed out to each and every student. Even though Dr. Graham pleaded for families not applaud until the end, many of them yelled at the top of their lungs when their graduate was handed their diploma.  One family even stood up holding printed faces of the graduate on popsicle sticks.


When the very, VERY long process ended, Dr. Graham asked the students to stand, and announced that they were officially graduates of the Class of 2014. The students threw their caps up into the air and cheered along with the crowd in front of them. The ceremony ended with the band playing “Celebration” by Kool & the Gang. Congratulations to the Class of 2014! You did it!