Lynnfield High School hosts ‘Graduation Part Two’

Jul 29, 2020 by

Published July 29, 2020

FOURTEEN MEMBERS of the Class of 2020 and their families attended Lynnfield High School’s second graduation ceremony on July 24. (Dan Tomasello Photo)

By DAN TOMASELLO

LYNNFIELD — Lynnfield High School hosted its second graduation ceremony for 14 members of the Class of 2020 and their families on July 24.

The high school was forced to hold two different commencement ceremonies after Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Commissioner Jeffrey Riley recently announced only drive-up or virtual graduations could take place in June and that the soonest in-person graduations could be held was mid-July. Lynnfield High hosted a drive-up graduation on June 5, which featured most of the 153 members Class of 2020.

Students were allowed to bring up to three family members to the ceremony, and they sat together on the Pioneer Stadium field. Students and families wore masks and were spread apart during the ceremony, which lasted 23 minutes.

The graduates who attended the ceremony were Valedictorian Lexi Allain, Kyle Delaney, Anthony Ferrara, Khanhdu-Sara Viet Ho, Mia Ichimura, Matthew Juliano, Jack LaCoste, Samantha Lebruska, Alejandro Lynch, Matthew McGrath, Alexander Pellegrini, Gianfranco Sacco, Elizabeth St. Andre and Justin Tolley.

Principal Bob Cleary welcomed the 14 graduates and their families to the ceremony, which he referred to as “Graduation Part Two.”

“The Class of 2020 is very unique,” said Cleary. “No other graduating class has been through what you have been through. Some of you are unique because you are about to be the only students to graduate from high school twice. That’s pretty cool.”

While Cleary said the Class of 2020 “has lost a lot” due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic, he encouraged the graduates to “change their perspective.”

“Don’t look at what you have lost,” said Cleary. “Look at the unique opportunities you have gained. You will be responsible for helping shape the new normal that we will all experience. People have often talked about how you are going to shape the future during past graduations. You are the first class that truly has the opportunity to shape the future because everything we do from now on will be different than what we did prior to that. I am very confident all of you will do an excellent job.”

Allain thanked school officials for holding the second graduation ceremony. She also thanked the graduates’ families and educators for the support they have provided them over the years, particularly this year.

“I think it’s safely assumed that this year has been anything but ordinary,” said Allain. “In our year of lasts, the world experienced a whole series of firsts. But I am not here to dwell on our last three months of the past 12 years. This senior class shared countless memories over the 12 years we have had together. We have reached new levels in academics, athletics, music, art and everything in between. From Pats’ Parades to a gas leak to helicopters landing on the fields to a senior scavenger hunt, we have done it all. But we are not done yet. The Class of 2020 is only getting started.”

Allain said, “The Class of 2020 has something special: Resilience.”

“We have all come so far to be on this stage today, and no situation impeded our pursuits of success,” said Allain. “When it was so easy to give up and just lay in bed all day, we kept going. Whether it be waking up for 10 a.m. Zooms, taking AP exams with endless distractions or choosing colleges off of virtual visits, nothing could stop these seniors’ quest for accomplishment.”

After Allain concluded her remarks, she was given a round of applause.

Retired Superintendent Jane Tremblay welcomed the Class of 2020 and their families to “graduation in July.”

“I am grateful that we are able to recognize you and, in keeping with tradition, that you have the opportunity to sit on our field and walk across this stage,” said Tremblay. “Thank you to Bob Cleary and (Assistant Principal) Brian Bates for all the thought, time and effort that went into making sure that each member of the graduating Class of 2020 was able to be recognized in a safe and acceptable manner.”

Tremblay commended the Class of 2020 for becoming “enormously strong and resilient young adults.”

“The lessons that you have learned will serve you well as you enter the next chapter of your lives,” said Tremblay. “As you drive from the parking lot today, know that your futures are bright. They are bright because in the past months, you have learned that you are responsible for yourself, your own happiness and your own decisions.”

After Tremblay concluded her remarks, she, Cleary and English teacher Adam Dell’Aria recognized the 14 graduates as they walked across the stage. Due to the small number of attendees, parents stood near the stage and were able to take pictures of their children holding their diplomas.

“Thank you so much for coming out tonight,” said Cleary. “I think it was important that we held this ceremony and I appreciate everyone who showed up. I wish all of you the best of luck.”

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