Class passion for Bishop Brady graduates

  • Kat Baker receives her diploma from Bishop Brady principal Andrea Elliot at graduation on Friday. Baker was one of 87 seniors to graduate from Brady on Friday. ELODIE REED / Monitor staff

  • Dana Beauregard, right, pulls confetti poppers with classmate Iantha Beane at the end of the Bishop Brady graduation ceremony Friday.  ELODIE REED—Monitor staff

  • Bishop Brady graduates wait in line for their commencement ceremony Friday.  ELODIE REED—Monitor staff

  • Clair Michalewicz hugs Caitlyn Barrett at the end of their graduation ceremony at Bishop Brady High School.  ELODIE REED—Monitor staff

  • Clair Michalewicz hugs Caitlyn Barrett at the end of their graduation ceremony at Bishop Brady High School.  ELODIE REED—Monitor staff

  • Confetti (and a diploma) lines the graduate area at the end of the Bishop Brady commencement ceremony Friday.  ELODIE REED—Monitor staff

  • Bishop Brady Salutatorian Ellen Owsowitz speaks about her classmates’ passion Friday night.  ELODIE REED—Monitor staff

  • Bishop Brady class of 2016 graduates enter their gymnasium Friday night.  ELODIE REED—Monitor staff

  • Thomas MacMullin and Nick Stuart keep things lively with a call and response chant before their graduation ceremony at Bishop Brady Friday.  ELODIE REED—Monitor staff

  • Bishop Brady class of 2016 graduates walk towards their commencement ceremony – past a portrait of Pope Francis – Friday night.  ELODIE REED—Monitor staff

  • Senior class president Joe Bell congratulates his classmates Friday evening.  ELODIE REED—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 6/10/2016 11:21:29 PM

Sitting down, being quiet and following the rules is something salutatorian Ellen Owsowitz said she and her classmates know well after their four years at Bishop Brady High School.

Those lessons, however, are not the ones they’re taking with them.

The graduation procession line-up wasn’t exactly orderly Friday evening. As the students – boys in green and girls in white – shuffled into their respective lines in a grassy courtyard, seniors Nick Stuart and Thomas MacMullin kept things lively. They got some classmates to join in a call and response chant, Stuart leading the call and MacMullin the response.

While Owsowitz said they all developed “a top-notch sense of humor that would probably get us into trouble,” she also said she’s watched her class, filled with passionate people, grow closer.

It wasn’t always that way. Owsowitz said that during the Class of 2016’s first couple years, there was marked apathy towards school spirit.

Then, “Passion did however make an astounding appearance as time trekked on,” Owsowitz said, adding that she saw spirit and courage in her fellow students – including 10 international classmates from China, Italy and Mexico.

Class president Joe Bell fondly recounted many examples of his class’s school spirit: “some pretty dope soccer games,” rushing the football field after games, intense games of assassins, “school dances where we’d all go crazy, because why not?”

Valedictorian Jillian Provost said she saw passion in watching her classmates pursue what they love.

“The Class of 2016 is an exceptionally passionate group,” Provost said. It was filled with environmentalist and scientists, Habitat for Humanity volunteers, cellists, and even pen-making entrepreneurs.

Provost encouraged those in front of the stage to “fall in love” with what they want to do in life.

“What you are in love with, when it seizes your imagination, it will affect everything,” she said.

Near the end of the ceremony, superintendent of Catholic schools Father John Fortin invoked Mother Teresa and told the graduates, “Just about anybody can do great things. It takes a special person to do small things with great love.”

After a rendition of the Wicked song “For Good” sung by juniors Jordan Bergeron and Katherine Dailey, principal Andrea Elliot reminded the departing students that it’s love for those around them that can profoundly change one’s life.

“People come into our lives for a reason,” Elliot said. “So much of us is what we’re made by others. We must rely on each other.”

That, she said, is how people grow.

Marking one major milestone in their personal growth – graduating high school – 87 students received their diplomas Friday night. As they crossed the stage, some raised their arms in victory, danced, or gave a sassy hair flip.

After the last students were back a their seats and following a pregnant pause, assistant principal Joy Degnan told everyone to “pay attention,” and then gave the signal. The sound of miniature explosions and hundreds of little paper strips filled the gymnasium as students pulled confetti poppers, threw their hats and cheered.

After walking (or running, or dancing) through a receiving line of their teachers and administrators, the students pushed their way through the school doors to gather outside. Under a confetti-colored, evening sky, the 87 graduates took their classmates’ advice – for passion – and showed their final signs of love for each other and their now-alma matter Friday night.

Hugging a classmate, Joe Bell laughed and yelled, “Can you believe it? It’s over!”

(Elodie Reed can be reached at 369-3306, ereed@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @elodie_reed.)




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