EASTON — Superintendent Lisha Cabral is pleased to announce the graduation of 270 students from Oliver Ames High School.
A graduation ceremony was held on Saturday, June 5 on the junior varsity baseball field at Oliver Ames High School.
“Our Class of 2021 is a strong group who achieved great things despite many challenges in the past year,” Superintendent Cabral said. “We wish our graduating seniors the best and look forward to all they will accomplish in their futures.”
Students were each allowed six guests. The school set up family pods that were socially distanced, and the graduates were also socially distanced on the field. The ceremony included a welcome address, speeches from several students and the conferring of diplomas.
Class President Matthew Nikiciuk discussed the Class of 2021’s ability to overcome obstacles, take risks and embrace struggles.
“Whatever your individual path may hold, I encourage you to continue to embrace the struggle. Therefore in a world of immense uncertainty, continue to be bold, continue to be the spark plug for positivity, and most importantly continue to be yourselves,” Nikiciuk said to his peers.
Class Speaker Katherine McCormick also talked about the resilience of the senior class and the importance of focusing on the present.
“Time and life are too precious to be wasted with your head down, only
focused on what just happened or what comes next. It is impossible to live in the
past, and in the future, so why don’t we spend more time focusing on the present?” she said. “We tend to live our lives in search for the pursuit of happiness. Doing things
now so that we can reap the benefits later. Wishing every Monday through
Thursday away until it is the weekend when we’re finally allowed to have fun. And
repeat for 10 months until it is summer.”
She added, “Once we step on this brutal and endless merry-go-round, it becomes
increasingly more dangerous to hop off that carousel horse. Then, we grow older
and we realize opportunities were right in front of us but we spent so long
searching for them in all the wrong places. Why are we always in pursuit of
happiness? Why does it have to be the final destination? Shouldn’t the pursuit be
the happiness? Why do we have to wait around for it?”
McCormick concluded her speech encouraging her fellow graduates to live in the moment and keep moving forward.
The Class of 2021 Valedictorian is Samantha Streton. In her speech, Streton discussed the graduates’ abilities to make an impact and difference in other people’s lives.
“As we step into our future, my most important advice for you is to do what
you want, and live the way you want to be remembered,” Streton said. “Surround yourself with the people you love, pursue what you love, and be the person that you want to be. Put 100% of yourself into making a difference in the lives of others. Your
impact could be as simple as putting a smile on someone’s face everyday or maybe
you could even save the world from a deadly pandemic.”
She added, “As all of us embark on this next step in our lives, I hope you take this with you. Depending on your own personal gifts, you can make a difference in other people’s lives and your community. I chose to be a leader on OA Swim and Dive, but with each of your unique gifts, you all will find how you can make a difference; for yourself, for others, and for your community. Be compassionate, lead with grace, and most importantly, make an impact.”
Each of the student speakers also recognized and thanked Principal Wes Paul, who retires this summer. Following the speeches, Principal Paul read the names of the graduates.
The full list of Top 10 graduating students is:
- Samantha Streton, valedictorian (Washington University in St. Louis)
- Alexander Ramirez, salutatorian (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)
- Sofia Anestam (University of New Hampshire)
- Anna Galer (Brown University)
- Aeden Marcus (Harvard University)
- Cameron Moro (Tufts University)
- Ashlyn Latham (Villanova University)
- Meaghan Reardon (Northeastern University)
- Mia Adams (George Washington University)
- Rachel Davis (University of Miami)
To celebrate the senior class, Oliver Ames also held Night Under the Stars prom on May 21, Class Night on June 2 and a boat cruise on June 9.