Tiverton High School Class of ’21: ‘We get stuff done’

THS graduates finally celebrate together

By Bruce Burdett
Posted 6/17/21

TIVERTON — Tested by a pandemic, remote learning and lost opportunities, Tiverton High School’s Class of 2021 emerged stronger for the experience and is primed for great things, speakers …

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Tiverton High School Class of ’21: ‘We get stuff done’

THS graduates finally celebrate together

Posted

TIVERTON — Tested by a pandemic, remote learning and lost opportunities, Tiverton High School’s Class of 2021 emerged stronger for the experience and is primed for great things, speakers said at Saturday’s graduation ceremony.

The fact that the ceremony could be held together, outside at the school, seemed to outweigh the occasional drizzle as spirits remained high.

“It has been one of my greatest honors to support the Class of 2021 through their time at Tiverton High School,” Principal Christopher Ashley said.

Together we celebrated championship wins, decorated halls for the holidays, celebrated during Spirit Week, managed the reconstruction of our roof, and even remained patient through the ‘smell’ incident. Then we were confronted with the unthinkable COVOD-19 pandemic and the roots of our educational fabric were nearly sprung loose as we adapted to virtual learning.”

“Standing here together (today), in celebration, proves that brighter days have returned … You were resilient and compassionate, and remained united in the idea that if we care and support each other, we can accomplish anything.”

“This was by no means a traditional school year, but we are by no means a traditional senior class,” Salutatorian Chayla Travers said. 

She said she remembers that back in eighth grade, this class was told that it had not exactly distinguished itself in middle school “and that we had better pull it together in high school.”

The 120 graduating seniors “did more than that,” she said. More than half made it onto the Rhode Island National Honor Society and we kept Mr. Murray busy putting up championship banners.

“I encourage you all to continue to make unforgettable memories so that in 10 years, when we have our absolute banger of a class reunion, I can hear all about them.

The guest speaker, retired THS teacher Edwin Fernandes offered a few life lessons to the graduates.

• Lesson 1.  He recalled that, a couple years after he graduated, his former industrial arts woodworking teacher Alfred Borelli noticed “my lack of direction” and drove me up to Rhode Island College “with $100 of his money to pay for my first class. He only asked that I see it through and the rest would take care of itself.”

The lesson — “Someone this very moment is investing in you. In return, “You must see it through and mustn’t be afraid. The life you seek is waiting for you.”

Lesson 2. “Use your time wisely, try to find the good in people … have consideration for others.” If you do, “you will find yourself to be a finer, more peaceful person than you ever thought possible.”

Lesson 3. His truck driver father confessed late in life to along-held desire to become a park ranger. Listen to that voice inside you — “I’m talking about the adventurous spirit in each one of you. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to do something exciting … board a sailboat and see the world, hike the Appalachian Trail … Find a way to accomplish it. Don’t leave anything out.”

Lesson 4. Finally, to quote Victor Hugo, “‘There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.’ And I say there is nothing more powerful than a supercharged Tiverton High School graduate whose time has come.”

Valedictorian Jameson Peckham recalled their junior year when “COVID came in and sent us home. Suddenly it felt like the world was going to end. Would we have a senior year?”

It turns out that we did, and for that he thanked the school teachers and staff and the resiliency of his classmates.

“This senior class has faced one of the toughest challenges ever seen by a high school class and I am glad we met the challenge head on.”

Parents, too, helped get them through. Even while struggling with jobs and uncertainty, they fed us, assisted us with homework, listened to our daily drama — the whole nine yards.

“Now fellow classmates, I tip my cap to you and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. I also tip my cap to the parents, friends, teachers and staff who worked” to get us to this day “and for coordinating the best learning experience we could hope to gain is this time of the Coronavirus. I appreciate and applaud you all.”

Class President William Gerlach said that, “in honor of my holistic high school experience, I wrote this speech the night before it was due … Who am I kidding, I turned it in late.”

To quote Lindsey Lohan, “Normalcy is not interesting,” he said.

We’ve been hearing that word “normal” for the past year and a half — When will life get back to normal? Is this the new normal?

But we should also ask, “Was it interesting? My answer would be a whole-hearted yes.”

Despite the temptation to slack off during remote learning, “I think our class set the standard for high school experiences during the pandemic … We get stuff done.

If anything, this year has taught us to be grateful for what we have, to not wallow in our defeats, and not be complacent in the face of bad luck.

So please, live life to the fullest,  “Do everything you’ve had odd impulses to do for the past year and a half but have been unable to do” but promise me one thing — “Don’t make it normal because normal is not interesting.

The Class of 2021

Jameson Eric Peckham*+

William Henry Gerlach*+

Chayla Travers*+

Samantha Eve Marois*+

Aubrey Madison McConnell*+

Fredisvindo Oliquino Bebe III*+

Cole Anthony Cirillo*+

Mariah Mary Ramos*+

Owen Michael Klusak*+

Julia Grace Farias*+

Caroline Anne Moran*+

Brianna Marie Aguiar+

Olivia Ruth Andrade+

Mikayla Marie Andrews*+

Abby Grace Arruda*+

Katina Nadia Azevedo*+

Kyla Jade Barnhart*+

Renee Anastasia Barrett+

Emma Marie Beaudoin*+

Brady Adam Beaulieu

Samuel Thomas Blake

Zachary Edward Blythe

Timothy Andrew Borden*+

Adam Joshua Cabral Jr.

Mariah Rose Calheta

Andrew Nicholas Carlisle

Kaela Lynn Carvalho

Douglas Paul Connors+

Trinity Cordeiro

Anibal Cohen Costa

Tyler Antonio Costa

Samantha Laine Couto

Alfred Apocalypse Croft*+

Gabriella Katherine D'Eramo

Jaz Lee Davis

Fallon Jeanne DellaVecchia-Ronan

Halen Beverly DellaVecchia-Ronan*+

Olivia Lynn DeMacedo

Benjamin Thomas Deneault*+

Alyssa Marie Dinucci

Levi Matthew DoRego

Michaela Marie Downey

Justin David Durfee

Brandon Luiz Estacio

Mikayla Alexandria Esteves

Maxwell Lucas Farley

Allyson Marie Furtado

Nickolas Julian Galhardo+

Kira Alyssa Galka*+

Alayna Grace Gallant

Jayden Alyssa Goetz*+

Savannah Vegas Goss*+

Sarah Elizabeth Guilmette+

Carlington R. Hall Jr.

Gwyneth Carol Hallman*+

Seth Nicholas Helger

Bryant Homan

Rileigh Marie Huchel

Caiden Neville Ibbotson*+

Michael Joseph Keating

Jarrett Kelly+

Eliana Lynne Kelvey+

Mackenzie Reese Kiley+

Dylan Korzeniowski+

Haley Grace LaBonte*+

Jared Edward Landoch*+

Hayden Lapointe

Mackenzie Nicolan Lapointe+

Tyrell Ivan Lewis

Hannah Elyse Maccarone

Nikoli Cyrus Manchester

Kaylee Loral Martins*+

Amber Rose Medeiros

Casey Antone Oliveira Medeiros+

Ethan Mercado

Jillian Louise Mercer*+

Ethan John Meyers*+

Brandon Michalski

Jacob Isaac Miranda

Patience Victoria Miranda*+

Denise Florence Nagbe

Brendan Michael O'Brien

Connor Thomas Nagle

Owen Joseph Nicoletti

Jared Nunes

Jasmine Hope Paiva

Jenna Paiva

Brianna Lyn Pavao+

Madison Barbara Pelletier*+

Ayjah Price+

Shane Brian Ramos

Lindsey Anna Reimels*+

Alyssa Janae Rodrigues

Jarred Thomas Rogers

Michael Stephen Roy

Angelin Heaven Santerre*+

Ethan Michael Scheffler

Amanda Mae Scott

Sydney Rae Silvia*+

Hailey Ann Jessica Simas

Abigail Rose Simmons

Jonna Souza+

Selena Rose Souza+

Evan Michael Torio*+

Emily Eleanor Tosi

Camryn Matthew Travis+

Abby Grace Turcotte+

Chana Urrego*+

Christian Valdez

Isabel Lorraine Van Regenmorter*+

Joseph Michael Veloza

Tyler Paul Verrette+

Sarah Elizabeth Vertentes 

Anthony Vieira*+

Mason David Viveiros

Michael John Wilkie*+

Thomas Patrick Wood

 

* National Honor Society

+ RI Honor Society

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