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196 graduate from Groton-Dunstable Regional High School

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GROTON — In the words of Valedictorian Crosby Enright, members of the Groton-Dunstable Regional High School Class of 2010 were “eager and ready to defy expectations” as they walked out under overcast skies to receive well earned diplomas on June 11.

Enright described her classmates in those terms from the podium set up on the school’s athletic field where commencement exercises took place amid intermittent sunlight and cooling temperatures as evening drew on.

But with the applause of family and friends who filled the audience to the last folding chair, members of the graduating class lived up to their reputation of getting the job done and sticking together to do it.

“I was fortunate enough to come in to my job when this class only in the 8th grade,” said Superintendent of Schools Alan Genovese. “Over the years, I’ve watched them excel and grow; this is certainly an amazing class. They worked together well as a team. They were a class that worked collaboratively with no one person seeking the limelight.”

As an example of how the class preferred to do things together, Genovese pointed out how the welcome address usually given by a single member of the class, was instead performed by all of the class officers as a group.

“I think that represents the togetherness of the class,” Genovese said. “They’re really going to set a high bar, a very high bar, for the classes to follow.”

“The character of this class is exemplary,” added high school Principal Shelley Marcus Cohen. “They were scholars, athletes, and musicians but most importantly of all, they were community people. You can teach students academics but you can’t teach them character. That’s a quality that must be instilled in them over a long period of time.”

“This class was extremely passionate and talented and extremely appreciative of each other,” said Enright of her classmates.

“The level of dedication this class has exhibited and all the activities in which they were involved were proof of the kind of character it had,” said Salutatorian Luke Latario, who urged his classmates not to give up “no matter what” and “give it everything you’ve got.”

If that happened, he promised, “the rest of the world is not going to know what hit them. I want you to play their game and beat them at it.”

“No matter what the students in this class do, they always try their best,” emphasized class Treasurer Michael White. “No matter the job, they always managed to overcome the obstacles.”

“What’s made the difference with this class is that this school is so engaged with the community,” said School Committee chairman James Frey. “It has such a broad base of support between parents, students and the administration that students end up with more wisdom, more kinds of experience than in other schools. It puts kids here in a better position to have come from that kind of strong community support.”

The ceremony was highlighted by a pair of stirring performances by the school’s award-winning chorus, which stood to lose many of its members to departing seniors. Graduates joined their fellow classmates in final renditions of Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody before diplomas were handed out.

In his remarks to the graduates, Genovese asked students to “be respectful, be responsible, and live a balanced life.”

“Don’t focus only on what you want to accomplish. … Instead, focus on what you want to experience,” said the superintendent. “Choose a career that allows you to experience passions” and “keep family and friends close.”

Of the 196 students in the graduating Class of 2010, more than 90 percent are expected to go on to college.