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HHS graduates urged to embrace change, impact world

by | Jun 2, 2023 | Education, Featured: Education

Shelby Jones

Class president Shelby Jones speaks. PHOTO/JOHN CARDILLO

Speakers at the Hopkinton High School Commencement ceremony on Friday night urged graduates to embrace change, cherish memories and make an impact in the world.

Shelby Jones, class president, spoke about the movie “Inside Out,” featuring a young girl experiencing a myriad of emotions: sadness, fear, disgust, anger and joy. She likened each of these feelings to what the graduates may be experiencing now as they prepare to leave what is familiar.

Although it is sad to leave their high school days behind, she said, the emotion comes with gratitude to all of those who helped them come this far.

Rather than be fearful, Jones encouraged her classmates to look at the future as an exciting time of opportunity, and channel their anger about the injustices of the world into action as part of the “generation of change.”

After reviewing many experiences at different grade levels, Jones said the Class of 2023 is sharing an important milestone the students will never forget.

She harkened back to the mixed emotions the graduates were currently feeling.

“It’s a feeling that will be touched by many different colors,” Jones said. “I hope most of all by the bright yellow of joy and, of course, Hillers green and orange.”

She added that “Inside Out” Part 2 is due out this summer and said it is time for the students to write their own sequel and step into the next chapter of their lives.

“I can’t wait to hear your stories when we meet again,” Jones said.

Superintendent Carol Cavanaugh talked about the term “new normal,” calling it a misnomer because each student has a unique path — their own set of values, hopes and circumstances.

“What gets packed into your lifetime suitcase” can constantly keep shifting in flight, Cavanaugh noted. She said it is up to each person to establish and define a unique new normal, guided by the adults who care for them — including families and educators.

Although there could be “delays, cancellations and flat tires” as they go through life, she said, “may your journey be everything you dream it will be.”

Quoting C.S. Lewis, “Do I dare disturb the universe?” the superintendent said there is no one better to interrupt the status quo than these graduating students.

Having proven their resilience through COVID and trying times, Cavanaugh said, “I believe in your ability to disrupt the universe” by fixing problems like hunger, global warming and, jokingly, the traffic at the high school.

She concluded, “Wherever life takes you, this little town has got your back.”

Avani Daga

Valedictorian Avani Daga speaks. PHOTO/JOHN CARDILLO

Valedictorian Avani Daga also spoke about resilience and thanked everyone from parents, siblings, teachers and coaches/mentors for the role they played in shaping their lives thus far.

“I credit our accomplishments to their commitment to see us succeed,” Daga said.

She said it is time to take that inspiration and make the same impact on others. Every graduate has “incredible talents,” she said, “whether leadership skills, kindness and compassion, an analytical mind or creativity.”

Daga encouraged classmates to strive to become their “best selves,” to share talents with the community and help other people.

Class advisors Dee King and Cheryl Elder were presented gifts, and Elder announced Shelby Jones as the recipient of the Marion T. Harris Award, praising her as a true leader and role model.

Class secretary Robert Litscher announced that the class gift was a trophy case for the atrium in recognition of all the athletic successes of 2023.

Principal Evan Bishop described the class as having “diverse talents and interests,” as well as 11 sets of twins and a set of triplets. As a parent of twins preparing for middle school, he jokingly asked the parents for advice and said he felt a unique connection with the Class of 2023.

“The year I started, 2005, is also the year many of you were born,” he noted. They’ve come full circle together over 18 years, Bishop said, starting with “little or no hair, tired and needing naps,” the same way he would describe himself now.

Sprinkling Taylor Swift song titles into his remarks, Bishop told students to believe in themselves and dust themselves off after difficult times. He referred to the untimely death of classmate Mikayla Miller two years ago, saying how proud he was of how the students stood together and supported each other.

Continuing with the song titles, Bishop added, “After tonight, we’re never ever getting back together.” He said he hoped their school days were a “fairy tale.”

HHS Graduation

The athletic center was filled for the ceremony. PHOTO/JOHN CARDILLO

Following is a list of graduates:

Megan Abbott
Theodore Abernathy
Neil Abraham
Vihaan Agarwal
Jordyn Ahlstrom-Hall
Marisa Alicandro
Camryn Anderson
Chloe Anderson
Kaitlyn Anderson
Amisi Anjeh
Jaymie Arena
Morgan Arnold
Gabriel Augustin
Annaclaudia Bardelli
Chloe Baril
Ailene Barry
Anjali Batra
Jason Battikha
Luke Beaudet
Erin Belger
Shrika Bellidiga
Eleanor Benge
Erik Berlin
Kyle Bertucci-Bissonnette
Sofia Bilodeau
Priya Bongu
Luke Boothroyd
Hugh Boyle
Salem Bradley
Ryan Brennan
Lily Brown
Alexis Bruce
Salma Bryan
Andrew Budden
Kiera Burke
Morgan Burnie
Eli Calcagni
Gina Camillucci
Emma Canestrari
Devin Canty
Sydney Capello
John Carlson
Tyler Carolino
Joseph Carrazza
Nathan Carson
Kevin Cavanaugh
Emily Champlin
Albert Chen
Allison Chen
Giana Ciriello
Zoe Coelho
Annabelle Coles
Asher Connelly
Kathryn Connolly
Katelyn Cooper
Hailey Cox
Derek Crowe
Daniel D’Alleva
Emma Dacey
Avani Daga
Ryan Darbhanga
Kaylyn Davis
Luis De Leon Flores
Hannah DeBoer
Cole Deisenroth
Jayson DeLong
Emma DeMichele
Peter DeMichele
Caroline DeSimone
Nicholas Dieter
Eva DiGioia
Emma DiNicola
Anna Dionne
Adam Distasio
Aidan Dorcey
Joseph Doyle
Luke Dragsbaek
Eliana Driscoll
Gwennyth Dyer
Alveena Ehsan
Nicholas Ekstrom
Thomas Engel-Chatten
Margaret Fallon
Sarah Farrell
Kourosh Fattahy
Alexa Feldmann
Calvin Feldmann
Owen Fitzpatrick
Raelyn Ford
Camryn Franks
Raine Furlong
Robert Garesche
Vibha Ghadiyaram
Maya Ghosh
Adam Glace
Tyler Goldner
Sean Golembiewski
Gustavo Donate
Emily Graeber
Caitlin Graziano
Jack Green
Alyssa Gronbach
Brian Gu
Alexander Gutierrez
Madison Hadley
Paul Hagberg
Connor Hallenbeck
Erin Halloran
Declan Hanscom
Abigail Hardenbrook
Bailey Harrigan
Jessica Harris
Abby Hassler
Emily Hayward
Elizabeth Herlihy
Sinead Herr
Braden Hicks
Ryan Hicks
Skyler Hird
Christopher Holly
Lindsay Hong
Madison Houser
James Hoyt
Kiley Hunter
Ariana Husain
Ryan Hwang
Zachary Hyman
Frank Incutto
Jack Interrante
Kavya Jeevanantham
Christopher Johnson
Shelby Jones
Grace Joseph
Emerson Joy
Margaret Joyce
Solomon Jun
Braden Kane
Joseph Kane
Pranav Kapur
Lex Kaye
Nolan Kelly
Leontina Kepic
Hailey Kessler
Ishita Khurana
Carolyn Kiszla
Patrick Klinger
Neha Kunam
G Lambert
Aarnav Lamichhane
Jonathan Lang
Colby Lavelanet
Ryan Le Vine
Bradyn Lesica
Anna Linde
Miguel Linera
Michael Liptak
Robert Liptak
Paul Litscher
Robert Litscher
Evan Liu
Alexander Longman
Ken Lu
Alessandra Luce
Jayna Madden
Briana Mallouh
Michael Mann
Dylan Mansur
Emma Marchesin
Joseph Marcinowski
Anna Martin
Nadia Matsoukas
Benjamin Maurer
Thomas Maurer
Margaret McCarthy
Julia McClean
Kelsea McCoy
Brendan McGowan
Katie McLaughlin
Prachi Meher
Bharat Mekala
Kaley Merkle
Anjali Meruva
Dylan Michaud
Declan Mick
Charles Miller
Jaden Miller
Caitlin Minogue
Owen Mitchell
Gabriel Momoi Bosquetti
Clara Morabito
Olivia Morrissey
Andrew Morse
Tyler Mulvaney
Declan Murphy
Keira Murphy
Seamus Murphy
Bianca Musgrave
Atharva Nilapwar
Klara Niss
Mathias Niss
Ruben Noroian
Angus Norton
Max Nye
Bridget O’Connor
Keira O’Connor
Quinn O’Connor
Rose O’Loughlin
Taka Oga
Tomo Oga
Alia Ohira
Shawn Oliveira
Lennart Onken
Frank Oppedisano
Olger Orbe Quito
Ayden Paglicco
Andrew Palacios
Charlotte Parrow
Chloe Paul
Sophia Perrelli
Andrew Peters
Izak Peterson
Harrison Petrie
Ithishree Pittala
Ian Plasterer
Sahithi Pogula
Angela Porzio
Cristina Porzio
Alice Potapov
Jakob Potas
Kavin Prasanna
Dylan Prefontaine
Charles Purpura
Stella Rahaim
Ankitha Rajesh
Avery Ravech
Shanzé Raza
Haina Ren
James Restifo
Merin Rhodes
Madeleine Ritterbusch
Vienna Rivard
Raymond Robichaud
Sophia Rodrigues
Eva Roegeberg
Benedetta Romani
Sean Rosalan
Roberto Rossi
Wyatt Ruff
Hana Ruran
Craig Salois
Aryan Samaga
Caitlin Sansonetti
Aditya Sathishkumar
Kayla Sawyer
Isabella Scalora
Luke Scanlon
Michaela Scannevin
Joseph Scardino
Arianna Schaefer
Zachary Schare
Ariana Scheidel
Gabriella Semanduyev
Annabelle Senseney
Dhaneshwar Senthilkumaran
Zoe Shaffer
Leo Shimmura
Gregory Shvechkov
Ava Siglin
Madeline Silva
Charles Simulis
Kylie Skiba
Marissa Smith
Rowan Smith
Sydney Smith
Justin Sokol
Maura Souza
Divyansh Srivastava
Madeleine Srodawa
Olivia Stacey
Nived Subhendu
Alyssa Swerdlick
Jaz Taher
Alexander Tannenbaum
Ryan Teitel
Harini Thatigutla
Isabella Theodorou
Carmen Thomas
Nathaniel Thomas
Ana Tomás
Avery Toole
Kyra Torgerson
Lily Tourigny
Eric Touzjian
Autumn Tumbleton
Sanketh Udupa
Jessica Urlage
Evan VanBeek
Nithi Vankineni
Samuel Vasington
John Vaughan
Danielle Vundla
Ria Vyas
Barry Wang
Jeffrey Wang
Gillian Wenrich
Veronica White
Conner Willadsen
Akilesh Yelchuru
Jari Zaidi
Maya Zeissig
Matthew Zettek
Vasilii Zolotarev

HHS Graduation

Students march into the athletic center. PHOTO/JOHN CARDILLO

HHS graduation

Students pose for a photo in the cafeteria prior to the event. PHOTO/JOHN CARDILLO

HHS graduation

Students pose for a photo in the cafeteria prior to the event. PHOTO/JOHN CARDILLO

HHS graduation

Students listen to a speech. PHOTO/JOHN CARDILLO

HHS graduation

Students pose for a photo in the cafeteria prior to the event. PHOTO/JOHN CARDILLO

HHS graduation

Students pose for a photo in the cafeteria prior to the event. PHOTO/JOHN CARDILLO

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