Nantucket High School Graduates 132 Seniors

David Creed •

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It was a warm, humid day at Vito Capizzo Stadium on Saturday. Parents and loved ones of the 132 graduating seniors from Nantucket High School could be seen waving their graduation pamphlets as fans for much of the day. But the warm weather didn’t stop the graduates or anyone in attendance from celebrating the milestone each student had reached of officially crossing the line separating them from childhood to adulthood.

The day began with Class President Sarah Hanlon welcoming everyone to the festivities. She urged her classmates to keep their heads high even when things aren’t going their way.

“No one should follow a straight line,” she said. “The twists and turns are often what teach us the most, and shape us into the people we hope to one day be. Someone once told me that constantly relying too much on others will build a crumbly foundation, and trust me we talked about this a lot in my lit class this year. Until we start being okay with our own path, and understand that the twists and turns are okay, we won’t be able to get through the tough times that are destined to come ahead.”

“If we’re building our entire personality based on the things that people are telling us is best, then one setback will crumble everything we have been working on. If we build our personalities based upon what we think is best for ourselves, we will be able to overcome the challenges that we will ultimately face.”

She was followed by Salutatorian Angelica Oviedo- Fermin, who delivered the Salutatorian Address in multiple languages. She talked about how as she has grown, she has learned the importance of being patient with people and how relationships can’t be forced upon others. She stressed to her classmates the importance of carrying a level of patience with them as they venture off to the next phase of their lives.

Superintendent Beth Hallett took the podium next and praised this class for their resilience.

Valedictorian Maclaine Willett followed Hallett and she took most of her time to talk about the tight-knit nature that exists within her class.

“I think that is the biggest takeaway for me, the friends that I have made during these past four years,” Willett said as she looked back on her years on Nantucket. “Sure, most of my friends are the ones I played with in the sandbox in Wee Whalers, but they still stuck with me through this time while we also picked up some other pebbles along the way. Living on an island like this, we are all united as one, isolated on a rock 30 miles out to sea. And this rock is filled with some pretty cool people, and all of these people graduating alongside me are some of the coolest. Each person here has built bonds with someone sitting to the right, left, behind, or in front of them, and I think that is the most cherishable thing about Nantucket High School and these 4 years.”

The commencement speaker was Kate Barney, the head of Tik Tok’s human resources department. She wanted all of the seniors to know that one of the most important keys to being successful in life is never drifting away from who you are.

“Being authentic and being yourself is the key to success,” she said.

High School Principal Mandy Vasil began her speech by taking time to honor Hunter Paglia, the lone senior who will be joining the military. He was met with a loud applause and standing ovation. The Current sat down with Paglia and in case you missed it, you can read the full story on him here.

As Vasil wrapped up her speech, she emotionally told all of the graduates “Ms. Vasil loves you” before officially declaring them as high school graduates. We have compiled some photos from the day, which you can see below.

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Photography by David Creed

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