Speakers, graduation caps reflect Dartmouth High’s Class of 2019
Dartmouth High School’s Class of 2019 received important advice and wisdom from their classmates, teachers, and special guests before heading off into the world during Sunday’s graduation ceremony.
The guest speakers — from fellow students to community members — focused on making the best of each student’s future. As the nearly 250 graduates listened, many wore their past on their heads, in the form of decorative graduation caps elaborately designed to highlight their journey throughout high school. Arts, sports, faith, science, all represented by graphics, quotes, and designs visible among a sea of black caps.
Valedictorian Charlotte Correiro shared several things she hopes her classmates will take with them after completing their journey through K-12 education: Be inclusive to all, embrace change, and don’t lose sight of what makes life fun.
“Hold tight to what makes and powers young people today,” Correiro said.
Paul Jasmin, President of the Class of 2019, noted his fellow graduates are going to be heading out into the world — college, work, the armed forces — but students should rest assured Snapchat will he hopping.
“From 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Snaps are going to go right through,” he said, referencing Dartmouth High’s block on social media sites. “No more VPNs anymore, we’re done with that.”
On a serious note, Jasmin urged his fellow graduates to tap into their passions to change the world, and elect to find solutions to problems by working together instead of creating problems.
“When people work together to solve problems or work towards common goals, amazing things happen,” Jasmin said.
Although Principal Ross Thibault has only been at the helm of the school for two years, he shared with graduates that he has still seen the forged identity of the Class of 2019, and has witnessed firsthand the talent and performances of the music, theater, and art programs, athletic accomplishments, and inclusiveness.
“They have forged an identity, which from my perspective, is one of respect and commitment,” Thibault said.
Superintendent Bonny Gifford shared a lesson she learned in reading of the passing of former Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner, who was best known for committing an error in the 1986 World Series.
“Life is always bigger than one moment,” Gifford said. “Never let one moment in time define who you are.”
Dartmouth High has been a home for the Class of 2019 for the past four years. And, as keynote speaker Wilbur Higgins put it, it will always be their “home.”
The Dartmouth High English teacher explained the simple, Germanic word holds a sense of safety and comfort, but graduation is a time when students move away.
He urged graduates to reflect on the world-class community of Dartmouth, the educators within it, and always know the community has a place for them, whether graduates relocate and visit for Chippis at Mirasol's or Friday night football games, or stay close to their roots in town.
“No matter what, always remember that you are home — your ‘uber home,’” Higgins said.
For many of Dartmouth High School’s Class of 2019, glimmers of their “home” at Dartmouth High and their futures could be seen adorning graduation caps.
Reilly Leconte adorned her graduation cap with film-inspired graphics. She engrossed herself in Dartmouth High’s media production program, both as part of the after-school club and in-school classes.
Centered on her cap was a quote from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: "To see the world, things dangerous to come, to see behind walls, to find each other, and to feel: That is the purpose of life."
“It’s actually inspired me to do a lot this year,” Leconte said, recalling her school trip to Iceland. “I think the quote is just fantastic.”
Leconte will be heading to Emerson College to study film production, a craft she credited the school’s media production program with preparing her for.
Kaitlin Ouellette recreated Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night” on her cap, and used a van Gogh quote around the edges. She explored her dual passions of art and science throughout her years at Dartmouth High.
She won’t be studying art at Roger Williams University, however. Instead, she’ll study forensic science.
“I do have a love for both art and science, and I really liked crime shows as a kid,” Ouellette said.
Kyle Lamontagne's passion for theater inspired the writing on his cap: "Don't be shocked when your play bill mentions me." was the leading role in the theatre company's most recent production, Footloose.
Like Ouellette, he’ll continue his passion but when he heads to college he’ll be studying communications at Curry College.