An audience of proud family members and friends filled North Shore High School’s athletic field for commencement Wednesday morning. There was an air of anticipation and promise, and then the first notes of “Pomp and Circumstance” were heard as the class of 2019 came into view, ready to embrace a new beginning as their time at the high school came to an end.
More than 200 graduates filed in. As they strode toward the field from the school’s courtyard, their maroon and white robes waved in the breeze. Some of the students, wearing multiple honor cords, were unaware that the colorful strands had become entangled at their waists.
Senior class Co-Presidents Alyssa Dey and Kyra Kiggins looked out at the crowd from the lectern to lead attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance. A booming rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” then sounded over the field, performed by the North Shore High School wind symphony, conducted by David Soto. The lyrics were sung solo by senior Mairead Colby.
Principal Albert Cousins offered greetings to the graduates and their families, expressing his deep pride in this year’s class. Remarks by the class of 2019’s valedictorian, James Campbell, and salutatorian, Hanah Leventhal, followed.
Leventhal spoke of the deep connections and meaningful friendships she made at North Shore. She encouraged her peers to take credit for their accomplishments, and to always be proud of their hard work. “No dream is too big to fit in your hearts,” she said.
Campbell mentioned a zombie apocalypse, presidential pardons and memes. He also spoke about what makes North Shore so special. “North Shore is distinctive because of the faculty, some of the most interesting and remarkable people I have met in my life,” he said. Campbell encouraged his fellow graduates to be curious and find their purpose in life.
This was the second graduating class that Dr. Peter Giarrizzo addressed as district superintendent. Each year, his speech is inspired by a particular song that reminds him of the graduating class.
“This year it’s ‘Let it Be,’ by the Beatles,” Giarrizzo said. “It’s a song about possibilities and perspective. Be true to who you are.”
Seniors then received their hard-earned diplomas before they sang North Shore’s alma mater along with Olivia Bross and Demi Otis, accompanied by Soto and the wind symphony.
Amid a flurry of congratulations, members of the class of 2019 moved their tassels across their mortarboards before flinging them into the air in celebration of all that had passed and all that was to come.
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