By Beth David, Editor
Student speakers at Fairhaven High School’s graduation on Sunday, 6/3, told their classmates that their dreams will come true with hard work, expressing a mixture of sadness at leaving high school, and happiness to embark on the next phase of their young lives.
Salutatorian Jack Brown said they learned a lot more than academics, they learned “practical wisdom” at FHS, about finding success and harmony in their lives.
“Bad habits will suck you down in a violent whirlpool,” said Mr. Brown, while good habits will lift you up like a life jacket.
As life becomes more chaotic, it is easy to procrastinate, but it takes hard work to do anything worthwhile.
It is true, he said, that there is an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. Listen to the angel, he said, “unless that devil is a Blue Devil.”
The Blue Devil is the FHS mascot.
“Adapt, adjust, overcome.”
Valedictorian and class president Eliana DaCunha said that she and the other class officers kept a “cry count,” but told her classmates not to cry because it was over, “smile because it happened.”
She gave a crash course in how to apply high school lessons to life. School was rough, she said, and caused many late nights and early mornings.
“Eh, I can sleep when I’m dead,” said Ms. DaCunha, noting she did not have a normal social life. “Pain is temporary, GPA is forever.”
Ms. DaCuhna shared four lessons.
One: Shoot for the moon, if you miss, you’ll land among the stars, and credited Mrs. Jardin with the lesson.
“Hard work never, EVER goes unrewarded,” said Ms. DaCunha, and explained it scientifically with a chemistry rule: “Energy can neither be created nor destroyed.”
Lesson two: Stay humble, stay hopeful, and don’t be afraid to change.
“Don’t let your success or failure consume you,” said Ms. DaCunha and credited her mother with saying, “Angels fly because they take themselves lightly.”
For lesson three, she said that as they change and grow, she hoped they never lose their bond as a class, and quoted Audrey Hepburn: “The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.”
Life will change, and they will face adversities, she said, but they have helped each other through and they will find others to help them through in the future. She thanked a litany of teachers for teaching her different things, and her parents and sisters, “and my grandma for making it here all the way from Russia!
Then she gave a shout out, a wave and a big “I love you” to her “babushka.”
“Don’t ever abandon those who love you because no one will ever be there for you like they will,” said Ms. DaCunha.
Lesson four: Carpe Diem, seize the day, the motto of the school. She explained the long list of conditions that had to be perfect for earth to sustain life, another science lesson.
“So here we are, by some miracle, living on this beautiful blue planet,” she said. “Our life here is truly a gift. The days we have here are truly gifts, so seize them. You came to be on this earth through extraordinary means, so, please, lead an extraordinary life.”
To thank the universe for your existence, refuse to simply exist, she said.
“Seize the day, do what you love and make your endeavors worthwhile,” Ms. DaCunha told her fellow classmates. “Don’t live in fear of anything other than failing to cultivate your potential.
Live the life you’ve been dreaming of because we’re not here nearly long enough to spend our whole lives fantasizing.”
Superintendent of Schools Robert N. Baldwin, told the seniors that they had started their journeys together. He became superintendent in 2005, the same year they started kindergarten, and he could not be any prouder of their accomplishments.
“Who you are far outshines your accomplishments,” said Dr. Baldwin. “And your accomplishments had a far greater effect on our district and community as a whole.”
He then listed some of their accomplishments, such as hours of community giving, and creating an environment that makes other students want to attend FHS.
“Keep making strides and growing for the next 13 years of your life and you will find yourself in your thirties,” said Dr. Baldwin, eliciting gasps from his audience.
He borrowed from author Clayton Christenson’s “How Will You Measure Your Life,” and told the graduates that he hoped they woke up every morning thinking how lucky they are to be doing what they are doing, that they have meaningful work that teaches them new things.
He read the lyrics of a Luke Bryan song, “Most People Are Good.”
He left them with another piece of knowledge: People are obsessed with snow days and school closings. He noted that someone stopped him in a restaurant saying “that voice, that voice,” the voice that woke him up at 6 a.m. to announce snow days.
So he gave them one final message: “Due to the fact that you are ready to become independent, productive, and successful adults, there will be no school anymore in the Fairhaven Public Schools for the Class of 2018. Please stay safe! Best of luck and thank you for everything that you have done for us.”
School Committee chairperson Brian Monroe handed out the diplomas; the class officers presented gifts to the advisors; the seniors sang two songs, and then threw their caps into the air. Three students entering the military were also recognized, and scholarships were announced for each graduate, with the total a whopping $2,201,000.
After it was all over, students and their family members lingered on the field and around the school, taking pictures and saying goodbyes on a warm and sunny, but very windy, day.
Sydni Armstrong, who is going to major in Elementary Education at Bridgewater State University, said she felt sad, but also, “proud of myself.”
“I can’t wait to see what the future holds,” she said.
Abigail Tavares will be attending Framingham State University for Criminology and Psychology. She felt good, she said, “and excited for new beginnings.”
“Really emotional,” said Molly Antone, “But it’s exciting at the same time.”
Nathaniel Horta, whose little brother Ben insisted that his big brother carry him, is going to major in marine Biology at the University of New Hampshire.
“I feel great,” he said. “It’s awesome. I’m very excited. It’s going to be great. It’s going to be even better than today.”
“I’m so proud,” said Lidia Dubrovina, the now-famous babushka of valedictorian Eliana DaCunha.
Ms. Dubrovina traveled all the way from Moscow, Russia, to see her granddaughter graduate, and got a call-out from the podium by the valedictorian.
She noted that Eliana and her sisters speak Russian.
“They’re perfect,” said Ms. Dubrovina. “She was always a hard worker, and helps her sisters. She’s awesome.”
2018 Fairhaven High School graduating seniors
Austen O. Acevedo
Aaron J. Almeida, Highest Honors
Kristin T. Almeida, Honors
Nicholas J. Almeida
Nolan J. Almeida
Alecia M. Amaral, Honors
Tré L. Anderson
Teaghin C. Andre
Molly L. Antone, Honors
Sydni M. Armstrong
Haylie L. Arruda
Lindsey J. Ashworth, Honors
Rylie A. Baumgartner
Rylie F. Bolarinho
Mackenzie P. Bourgault, Honors
Kaelyn M. Bourgeois, High Honors
Megan E. Braz, High Honors
Jack R. Brown, Salutatorian, Highest Honors
Olivia M. Buckles, Honors
Kyle M. Butler
Julia D. Cabral, High Honors
Jacob M. Cadieux
Terrence J. Cahoon
Jarrett J. L. Carbin
Abigail C. Charpentie, Honors
David A. Chouinard
Nicholas M. Chouinard
Daniel E. Christ
Catherine A. Clark
Summer G. Cleveland, Honors
Enrique L. Colón
Robert T. Conlon, Jr., Honors
Bailey L. Cormier, Highest Honors
Kaitlyn E. Costa, Highest Honors
Kayci M. Cournoyer
Makenna N. DaCosta, Honors
Eliana A. DaCunha, Valedictorian, Highest Honors
Klarisa R. DaSilva
Mitchell E. DaSilva
Tysean D. Dargis
Caroline E. DeCosta, High Honors
Samantha L. Demers
Emily A. Desmarais, High Honors
Matthew E. Devin
Julie R. Dextraze, Highest Honors
Jodi L. Dillon
Rhianna E. Dimock
James P. Donohue, Highest Honors
Jill L. Douglas, High Honors
Sean Michael C. Downey, High Honors
Kaitlyn A. Duarte, Honors
Katelyn A. Duarte
Phineas R. Dube, Honors
Alexah L. Dunham, Honors
Michael E. Duphily
William R. Elliott, High Honors
Lauren I. Faria, High Honors
Amanda S. Fernandes
Jeffrey P. Fernandes, Honors
Karina A. Fernandes
Lindsey B. Ferreira, High Honors
Luis G. Ferrer-Cintron
Zachary A. Fonseca
Kaitlyn M. Freitas
Nathan M. Gibson, Honors
Valeri M. Gillette, Honors
Justin M. Gledhill
Ian G. Golas, Honors
Devon J. Gonsalves, Honors
Dyllan P. Gouveia
Meaghan R. Grant, Honors
Abigail G. Horan, High Honors
Nathaniel S. Horta
Dominick D. Ibrahim, Honors
Dylan M. Jardin
Lyndsay N. Jardin, High Honors
Breeana A. Joseph
Kathryn A. Kenney, Highest Honors
Camryn R. Kruger, High Honors
Luke M. Lariviere, Highest Honors
Jarod L. Larocque
Collin R. Lavigne, Honors
Kyla R. Lemrise, High Honors
Maxwell P. Leonard, Honors
Tommy L. Lipsett
Austin J. Longuemare
Jan C. MacGregor, Honors
Isaac J. Medeiros, High Honors
Madalena L. Medeiros, Honors
Quinn T. Medeiros
Jasmine M. Melo
Benjamin J. Miller
Alexandra P. Mitchell, Highest Honors
Matthew P. Mitchell, Highest Honors
Colby M. Molleo, Honors
Craig D. Moniz
Cameron J. Nadeau, Honors
Chance L. Negalha
Vena T. Nguyen
Hannah P. Niemi, High Honors
Ezra B. Noonan, High Honors
Erik E. Normand, High Honors
Olivia M. Nunes, Honors
Ronni L. Oliveira
Kamie E. Paradis
Benjamin C. Parry
Arianne K. Pauline, High Honors
Grace E. Pelletier, High Honors
Laela R. Pepin, High Honors
Alexandria N. Pereira, Honors
Kelsey J. Pereira, Highest Honors
Selena C. Pereira
Keith F. Phelan, Jr., Honors
Mariyah J. Pike
Kody A. Pittsley
Cross P. Poitras
Aidan D. Quintal, High Honors
Ryan P. Raphael
Darien J. Raposo
Gary D. Reed-Grossman
Abby-Lin C. Resendes, Honors
Emily K. Richard, High Honors
Benjamin R. Rocha, Honors
Ainslee M. Rodrigues, High Honors
Jacob R. Rymut
Heaven L. Salfity, High Honors
Wade J. Saucier
Nathaniel T. Silva
Kayci R. Sniezek
Evan P. Stanley
Abigail M. Tavares, High Honors
Christopher G. Tavares
Sahneisha A. Tavares
Matthew E. Taylor
Riley K. Tetreault, Highest Honors
Lexi J. Teves, High Honors
Alexander J. Texeira
Jacob V. Tortorella
Tony T. Truong, Highest Honors
Julia M. Vadeboncoeur, Highest Honors
Enrique A. Valentin
Jorge F. Valera-Moran
Sydney N. Viveiros, High Honors
Zackary S. Wybraniec
Zachary D. Wypych
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