Hopkinton High bids farewell to tight-knit Class of 2018

  • Hopkinton High School students line up for their graduation entrance on Friday, June 8, 2018. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Hopkinton High School students move across the fairgrounds to the graduation site on Friday, June 8, 2018. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Cooper Kimball-Rhines (left) adjusts Seamus Quinn’s collar as they line up for the Hopkinton graduation on Friday. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Amanda Bizzaro and Cassidy Donohoe hug as they prepare to move out to begin the graduation procession at the Hopkinton High School graduation on Friday, June 8, 2018. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Cassidy Donohoe reacts as the Hopkinton class of 2018 is told to move out as the procession from the school to the fairgrounds begins on Friday, June 8, 2018. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Hopkinton stand out athlete Taylor Signor gets ready to march with other graduates on Friday, June 8, 2018 at the fairgrounds. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Hopkinton students Cassidy Donohoe and Amanda Bizzaro lead the way as they begin the march at graduation on Friday, June 8, 2018. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Hopkinton students line up for the procession to the state fairgrounds from the high school for graduation on Friday, June 8, 2018. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Hopkinton students march at the state fairgrounds on their way to process for graduation on Friday, June 8, 2018. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 6/8/2018 11:07:04 PM

Hopkinton High graduates on Friday celebrated their tight-knit town and reflected on the meaning and importance of community.

Donning robes of white and green, the school’s 63 graduates filed into the J.D. Durgin Memorial Pulling Arena at the fairgrounds on a crisp, sunny late spring day.

Salutatorian Leah Dinter gave the first speech of the night, noting that there were many giveaways about just how small the graduating class was.

“I am reminded of this fact when a new student asks me who someone is, and I can not only tell them that person’s name, but that in the third grade, they had an obsession with beheading Barbies,” she said to laughs from the audience.

But growing up in a small town and attending a small school had been a gift, she said.

“Perhaps we’re all still too young and dumb to appreciate that growing up in a safe, supportive environment has lead to each of us becoming who we are today. But right now I challenge each of you to take a moment and reflect on your time here,” she said.

Hopkinton High educator Richard Brandt gave the commencement address, musing on his own post-graduation travels in a light-hearted, rambling speech that, in a manner befitting of a veteran English teacher, name-checked literary figures from Robert Frost to Jack Kerouac.

“By now you’re wondering: what’s the point? Or you’re thinking: it’s another journey metaphor!” he joked.

The point, he said, was that it was the place he had finally settled – Hopkinton, over 30 years ago – that he finally made sense of his path in life. That it was in community that he had finally found meaning to his journey.

“I hope you find a place, a home, a community. I hope that you choose community. That you contribute to community. That you grow, in community,” he said. “In doing so, even when you may find yourself at odds with a very large country, you can still love your place in it.”

Valedictorian Caitlin Ball reminisced about the past, and lead her classmates in song to recite an old tune – “The Three Bs” it was called – they had learned in elementary school.

“Be safe, be respectful, be responsible,” the ditty had gone.

But while graduations are a time to fondly remember years gone by and eagerly anticipate adventures to come, Ball urged her classmates to add a fourth “be” to the song: be present.

“In the end, it is the little moments when we stop, look around, and fully enjoy the present moment that make life great,” she said.

The first diploma handed out Friday went to the family of Mark Boris, a Hopkinton High student who died in 2016 after an extended illness.

(Lola Duffort can be reached at 369-3321 or lduffort@cmonitor.com.)

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