Westport grads: ‘The best is yet to come’

Westport High School graduates 85 seniors

By Ted Hayes
Posted 6/1/24

If you wanted insight into what was on graduates’ minds Saturday as 85 seniors received their Westport High School diplomas, the decorations on their mortarboards were a good place to …

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Westport grads: ‘The best is yet to come’

Westport High School graduates 85 seniors


If you wanted insight into what was on graduates’ minds Saturday as 85 seniors received their Westport High School diplomas, the decorations on their mortarboards were a good place to start:

“What, like it’s hard?“

“Thanks mamma.“

“I already forgot everything.“

“The best is yet to come.“

The best indeed lies ahead, students and teachers said as they, their parents, friends and loved ones crowded into the high school auditorium at 11 a.m. Saturday to bid farewell to the Class of 2024.

“It feels like it was just yesterday that we were anxiously anticipating attending high school as mere seventh graders, valedictorian Madison Plourde said. Those days were scary, full of fears of the unknown, but time has a way of setting things right, she said.

Now, “take this moment to look at what’s around you,” she said. “We are those big kids now, and it’s not so scary.”

Graduates this year will attend Ivy League universities, the armed services and the trades. Some will stay in Westport, others have plans to leave. But speakers, including Plourde, said she hopes her classmates leave with the advice her parents gave her untold number of times growing up — they “never gave me any idea that I couldn’t become anything I wanted to become,” she said. “I don’t think they ever realized that the people I most aspired to be like are them.”

Life beyond high school will not be easy, several speakers said, but that’s a good thing, noted salutatorian Avery Carvalho.

“Don’t live an easy life,” she told her classmates. “Explore the world and all it has to offer. Challenges and difficulties help us grow and become resilient.”

Though he’s been to scores of graduations and confessed that he doesn’t remember much of his own, superintendent Thomas Aubin said he chose not to offer any advice to the students — just some truths he’s learned along the way:

“Many times in life we worry about how to spend our money, but we don’t think about how we spend our time,” he said. “Please don’t let people waste your time. Garnish your time.”

The world is changing rapidly, he warned, and not for the better in many ways. As they enter the working world, college or set out on a different path, he implored students to make a real difference, help relieve society’s ills and most importantly, never stop learning.

“This is the generation that is going to have to fix some of the things that we in my generation didn’t know how to fix,” he said. “Please work hard on continuous education, because you’re going to need it to survive. Thank you for all the wonderful job you did here at Westport High School. It fills all of us with tremendous pride ... knowing how hard you worked, knowing the challenges you faced.”

“I wish you nothing but the best.”


Meet the Class of 2024

Cadence M. Aguiar

Christopher S. Amorin

Isaac N. Andrews

Kylee J. Armour

Brady S. Arrington

Katelyn P. Arrington

Katrina L. Arruda

Avery M. Avila *#

Noah B. Bazarsky

Nicholas J. Beland

Thomas J. Bernard

Ryan J. Borges

Jaylee Burgos

Layla J. Byron

Ethan J. Caetano

Avery B. Carvalho *#

William R. Carvalho

Madelyn S. Chandler

Luke A. Coelho

Ashleigh-Nevaeh Correia

Jacob J. Costa

Matthew T. Costa

Michael H. DeGagne

Christopher P. Duarte

Lily E. Dumaine

Rylee L. Dumond

Marcos Dutra Africano

Emily H. Edwards

Savana R. Fantasia *#

Riley R. Fortier

Devin Gifford

Adrian N. Gonzalez

Vijay Hak

Jasmine P. Henderson

Michael W. Hoey

Korynne A. Holden #

Avery G. Horta

Malakai Z. Hughes

Olivia R. Inwood

Rebecca E. Inwood

Olivia E. Joaquim

Kaelyn M. Jones *#

Charlie-Rae Lees

Brook E. Legendre

Landon J. Lima

Fotis Machairas

Austin H. Mackay

Mariah G. Martins

Hunter J. Mateus

Sarah H. McMahon

Giovanna E. Mendes

Meghan C. Molloy *#

Cameron A. Moniz

Colin S. Nordhoff Neder

Benjamin C. Novo

Catherine C. Ojinmah

Julia K. Pacheco

Kameron J. Pavao

Kyra E. Pedro

Sarah J. Perry *#

Madison L. Plourde *#

Cheyenne S. Poitras

Meaghan A. Priest

Alden W. Priestner *#

Roughin F. Quinn

Anthony J. Raposa

Evan C. Rego

Ayden J. Rogers

Isabella S. Saladino

Vinicius D. Sales

Luke B. Santos

Samantha M. Santos

Dylan T. Smith

Liliane Soares

Cooper R. Spirlet

Nicholas J. Stanton

Ella E. Turenne

Skylha M. Vaillancourt

Zachary R. Valentino Desmarais

Amelia G. Van Saun

Samuel T. Van Saun

Hannah M. Therrien *#

Brady J. Varao

Robert T. Wagner

Jacob J. Xavier

* National Honor Society

# Top 10

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.