Bishop Brady Class of ‘19 reflects on unity during graduation

  • Members of the Bishop Brady Class of 2019 walk in to “Pomp and Circumstance” during the school’s 56th commencement. CAITLIN ANDREWSMonitor staff

  • Bishop Brady Class of 2019 salutatorian Holly Farrell addresses her classmates during the school’s 56th commencement. Caitlin Andrews / Monitor staff

  • Bishop Brady Class of 2019 graduate Emma Vargas performs "Rise Up" by Andra Day during the school's 56th commencement. Caitlin Andrews—Monitor staff

  • Bishop Brady Class of 2019 valedictorian Quinn Pooile addresses her classmates during the school's 56th commencement on Friday, June 14, 2019. Caitlin Andrews—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 6/14/2019 10:42:43 PM
Modified: 6/14/2019 10:42:31 PM

At first, Quinn Poole couldn’t tell her classmates how she got to be where she was.

The valedictorian of Bishop Brady’s Class of 2019 said she didn’t have a formula for what made her successful. It took an illness during her senior year – a sickness that caused her to miss days of school, and at times made her so sick she had a hard time understanding basic sentences – that made her realize that what brought her to the stage during the school’s 56th commencement was the closeness and kindness of her class.

“It was like my eyes were opened for the first time,” she said.

Poole said it was the little things her classmates did every day that opened her eyes to her class’s closeness, an attribute she said gave her “immense hope for the future.”

The class wasn’t always that way, salutatorian Holly Farrell said. When they first set foot in Bishop Brady’s halls four years ago, many of them were unsure of each other.

But that faded quickly, she said. “We realized that as long as we had each other, we could be able to conquer any obstacle that came before us,” she said.

And obstacles there were, Farrell said, from a school flood to their first time tackling midterms and final exams. But the class’s tenacity kept up all the way through senior year through different challenges and successes.

Some were big in the moment, like “being robbed of homecoming, a failure that is practically unheard of,” Farrell said. Others – like being accepted to a student’s dream college or not – were more impactful, but her class hung tough, Farrell said.

The students weren’t the only ones to reflect on the Class of 2019’s unity. Principal Andrea Elliot remarked that the roughly 79 seniors had the same student officials all four years, an achievement she described as “amazing” before they presented the class gift of a water bottle refilling station.

She also lauded the class’s extensive accomplishments, which included FIRST Robotics wins, athletics triumphs, academic prowess and countless hours of community service nationally and abroad. Elliot gave special mention to the graduates choice of senior prank – the hiring of a Mariachi band – a moment she said “took the top spot” during her 32 years as an educator.

The school also took the time to honor Garin Treybig, who joined the U.S. Army National Guard in the fall, and the school’s various international students. The gym stage was hung with flags from China, Great Britain, France and Australia to honor those students, many of whom will be returning home when they graduate.

The audience was also sent off with a performance of Andra Day’s “Rise Up” by Emma Vargas, who clinched a top-four spot in last year’s New Hampshire Idol.

With such accomplishments and the support of their family, friends and faculty, there was no way the class couldn’t succeed, Elliot said. She encouraged the students to heed the words of Saint Ignatius of Loyola.

“Go forth and set the world on fire,” she said.

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