Quadruplets go their own ways after Bishop Brady graduation

  • Bishop Brady graduates stand during the opening processional at their commencement ceremony Friday June 10, 2022. EILEEN O'GRADY—Monitor staff

  • Bishop Brady graduates process from the school building to the parking lot for their commencement ceremony on Friday. EILEEN O’GRADY / Monitor staff

  • Lillian Bittman, the class of 2022 salutatorian, poses with principal Andrea Elliot at Bishop Brady High School’s commencement ceremony Friday June 10, 2022. EILEEN O'GRADY—Monitor staff

  • Samantha, Jeremy and Christian Weir wait for the Bishop Brady High School commencement ceremony to begin on Friday June 10, 2022. EILEEN O'GRADY—Monitor staff

  • Bishop Brady graduates process from the school building to the parking lot for their commencement ceremony Friday June 10, 2022. EILEEN O'GRADY—Monitor staff

  • Cole Chaudhari smiles after leaving the stage at the Bishop Brady High School commencement ceremony Friday June 10, 2022. EILEEN O'GRADY—Monitor staff

  • Caroline Cherian walks in the procession from the school to the parking lot for the Bishop Brady commencement ceremony June 10, 2022. EILEEN O'GRADY—Monitor staff

  • Bishop Brady graduates process from the school building to the parking lot for their commencement ceremony Friday June 10, 2022. EILEEN O'GRADY—Monitor staff

  • Siblings Paige, Jeremy, Christian and Samantha Weir, quadruplets who are all seniors at Bishop Brady High School, pose outside on the last day of classes on May 27. Eileen O’Grady / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 6/11/2022 11:38:04 AM

When siblings Christian, Jeremy, Paige and Samantha Weir started their freshman year at Bishop Brady High School, everyone referred to them as “the Quads.”

The Weir siblings, who are first set of quadruplets to ever attend Bishop Brady, according to principal Andrea Elliot, had come from a small middle school in Franklin where they were used to sharing everything – classes, friends and, of course, a birthday. But over the years, they said, Bishop Brady gave them a chance to branch out, explore their individual interests and make different friends.

“In middle school, either two of us were in the same class, or we were all in the same class every day,” Christian Weir said. “It’s nice that (in high school) we could each go our own separate ways, but still be together.”

Academically, the students have different interests. Christian and Samantha prefer math, while Paige enjoys science and Jeremy prefers history. Christian played football and baseball, while Jeremy did cross country and track, Paige did yearbook and Samantha took to field hockey, National Honor Society and several clubs. It was a family schedule that required extensive planning and car coordination.

“Every Sunday, we do like a basic rundown of the week,” Christian said. “Almost always, it gets changed. But we try to get at least something down so that we know what’s going on.”

After their time at Bishop Brady, the siblings are ready to seek out even more independence with post-grad plans that will take them in four different directions. Christian will be attending Saint Anselm College, Samantha is headed to Stonehill College in Massachusetts, Paige will be at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island and Jeremy is joining the United States Marine Corps at a base in South Carolina.

“I think we’re all excited because we’ve never really been by ourselves,” Samantha Weir said. “I think we’re excited to kind of branch off and not have everyone know that, ‘They’re the quadruplets.’ You don’t have to tell people if you don’t want to.”

The Weirs were among 68 students to graduate from Bishop Brady High School Friday, in an outdoor ceremony held in the parking lot beside the school building. Family and friends gathered on the pavement in camp chairs, some with cowbells and air horns to cheer on their graduates as they crossed the stage to receive their diplomas.

In her speech, valedictorian Angelica Whitney spoke about some of the characteristics of Bishop Brady’s class of 2022, which she gathered through a survey. According to their responses, members of the class of 2022 loved playing sports, attending events like school dances and Winter Carnival, reading books like Catcher in the Rye and Where the Crawdads Sing, taking AP classes, going on service trips and traveling. Many also faced challenges with friendships and mental health throughout high school.

“We made mistakes; we learned about ourselves,” Whitney said. “We figured out that we can do anything we put our minds to, that we have a lot more potential than we originally thought, that people care about us despite our flaws and insecurities, that we can be leaders in the classroom, in sports, in clubs and in our community.”

Salutatorian Lillian Bittman took her speech in a different direction than most graduation addresses, telling her classmates that it’s OK to slow down and not worry too much about the future. Bittman described her own struggles with academic burnout and how she shifted her focus from obsessing over getting perfect grades to pursuing a goal of happiness and celebrating small, everyday accomplishments.

“Without recognizing all of these little wins that lead to the big ones, life can become merely a choppy sea of ceremonies that only celebrate your big accomplishments,” Bittman said. “Focusing on lifting yourself up with every little achievement makes every day you are alive a cause for celebration.”

In a speech given entirely in rhyme, guest speaker Gary Bouchard, English professor at St. Anselm College, urged students to rethink New Hampshire’s motto “Live Free or Die” as a call to live free from negative qualities like ignorance, anxiety, judgement and prejudice.

Like last year, one empty chair was placed in the faculty seating area in memory of math and science teacher and coach Jeff Kaplan, who died in January 2021 due to complications from COVID-19.

At the end of the ceremony, graduates cheered and threw their caps and confetti in the air. Class president Matthew Wiley announced the senior class gift: a donation to a “Raise the Roof” campaign, to replace the roof of the Bishop Brady gymnasium.

“This will benefit all that frequent the gymnasium and will allow for continued athletic success in all sports that use the gym,” Wiley said.

Eileen O

Eileen O'Grady is a Report for America corps member covering education for the Concord Monitor since spring 2020. O’Grady is the former managing editor of Scope magazine at Northeastern University in Boston, where she reported on social justice issues, community activism, local politics and the COVID-19 pandemic. She is a native Vermonter and worked as a reporter covering local politics for the Shelburne News and the Citizen. Her work has also appeared in The Boston Globe, U.S. News & World Report, The Bay State Banner, and VTDigger. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northeastern University and a bachelor’s degree in politics and French from Mount Holyoke College, where she served as news editor for the Mount Holyoke News from 2017-2018.

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