On June 24, hundreds gathered in the stands on the football field to applaud the High School East Class of 2021. The students were recognized for their perseverance and achievements, including seniors Emma Elmen, who accepted an ROTC scholarship to Lafayette College, and Jordan Romano, who will attend Yale University on a Navy ROTC scholarship. Together, they carried the American flag and led the seniors onto the field.
During his humorous and heartfelt remarks, honor speaker Maximillian Nadelson said in looking at the true success of his peers and inspirations, he noticed it often came with support. “Not only is it okay to rely on others to help you reach your goals, it is noble in its own right to be a part of something bigger,” he said. He offered a special thank you to his mother for her guidance and support, a sentiment that resonated across the field.
Senior class president Sarah Broderick said having the opportunity to celebrate graduation with family and friends was “extraordinary.” With a nod to their growth during a challenging year, she said, “I don’t want us to be remembered as the class who went through a pandemic. We are going to become the class known for our perseverance and our ability to navigate through the dark.”
High School East Principal Dr. Kevin Simmons congratulated the students on their many academic and personal achievements. He said throughout the entirety of the school year, the Class of 2021 has pivoted without hesitation, remained steadfast in their commitment to excellence and masterfully overcame every obstacle that was placed before them. “Resilience, perseverance and perspective are character traits that have been forged throughout the past18 months which will remain with you for a lifetime,” he said.
Before the awarding of the diplomas, the senior class concert choir performed a moving tribute to parents and graduates, “I Lived.” Then, with the stadium cheering them on, the seniors launched their caps in the air and took their first bold steps toward a future filled with possibilities.