By Beth David
This year’s graduating class at Fairhaven High School received much praise for breaking records during their entire four years at the school, culminating in nearly $4 million in scholarships.
Class Salutatorian Elizabeth Rodericks told her classmates that they had many memories from many days at school. She said they should remember their parents, friends, teachers, and those who helped them.
“Be sure to remember all that’s been done for you,” said Ms. Rodericks.
Valedictorian Ashley Rice called the class of 2016 the class of “big dreams,” and reminded her classmates that they had been through a lot in four years.
“Good things come to an end so better things can happen,” said Ms. Rice. “There is goodness in the world. It most certainly does exist, because you do.”
She said it was their responsibility, as the new generation to make the world a better place.
She reminded them of the many things they were leaving behind.
“How lucky are we to have so many great things to say goodbye to?”
Superintendent of Schools Robert N. Baldwin, told them they were “amazing human beings.”
He recounted that their sophomore tests made the school a Level 1 school, and recounted their scholarship awards and many other awards they got through the years, including a national cheerleading championships.
“Keeping doing what you’ve been doing,” Dr. Baldwin told them, and ended his speech with the lyrics of the Tim McGraw song “Humble and Kind,” reading in part “Don’t expect a free ride.”
“Remember where you came from,” said Dr. Baldwin. “Remember us.”
The ceremony was held inside the auditorium (not so affectionately referred to as the “squeezetorium”) on Sunday, 6/5, with those who did not have tickets able to watch a live video feed of the activities from classrooms.
The 164 graduates included the children of three School Committee members and at least one teacher.
Students who won scholarships and those who planned to join the military received special recognition.
Principal Tara Quirk Kohler told those who joined the service that she was “always in awe,” of students who make that commitment. Five students stood up to be recognized for planning to join the military.
After the speechmaking and the diplomas, the crowd spilled outside to the parking lot, where the rain held off for a some picture taking and last goodbyes.
Abigail Pires, the class historian, could not hold back tears, saying she was overwhelmed and excited.
“It’s love for my classmates,” she said.
She is going to Wheaton College to study biochemistry and hopes to become a pediatrician.
Cory Bergeron, Vice President, said he is going to Coastal Carolina University in SC for Business Management.
Elizabeth Bourgeois is going to Bristol Community College to study toxicology.
“I’m extremely excited, and very proud of myself,” said Ms. Bourgeois.
She said she almost did not even finish high school, and credited her boyfriend, Mason Bowman, with getting her through. Mr. Bowman will work in construction.
Elizabeth Cadieux is one of the students who will go into the military. She is following in her mother’s footsteps, joining the Army National Guard. Then she will attend UMass Amherst.
Her mother, Barbara Webster, served for 28 years, including as a nurse in a combat support hospital in Iraq.
Ashley Rice will also attend UMass Amherst in the fall for pre-med and a minor in Spanish. She hopes to be a physician with Doctors without Borders.
Hannah Catana, who is going to Johnson & Wales University as a biology major, said she was “really happy,” but…
“It doesn’t really feel real,” said Ms. Catana. “I feel it hasn’t really happened yet.”
Click to download the 6/9/16 issue in its entirety: 06-09-16 issGraduation