Monomoy Graduates Look Back On Years Together, And Gaze Ahead To Bright Futures

June 03, 2024

HARWICH – With the sun setting on a perfect spring day, 115 Monomoy Regional High School seniors took their new diplomas in hand and, together, looked ahead to the dawn of a bright future.

With speeches, music and lots of love from friends and family members, the Class of 2024 turned their tassels Saturday evening in a commencement ceremony held on the football field. They spent time reflecting on their years together as Sharks and encouraged one another as they brace for the challenges and wonders of adulthood.

Principal Jennifer Police urged graduates to celebrate their successes and learn from their failures. “It’s about continually evolving, growing and becoming the best version of yourself. I know you’ve been told time and time again to aim for the stars,” she said. “All I want for each of you is to believe in your potential to reach them.”

Getting to the stage on graduation day was an achievement for the whole Class of 2024, but also for Superintendent of Schools Scott Carpenter, who badly injured his leg in a fall in December and required surgery and extensive rehabilitation, and has only recently been able to walk again. For three months, he was dependent on others for even the simplest tasks.

“For the first time in my life since early childhood, I was completely reliant on the help of others, and found myself appreciating service in an entirely different way,” he said. “We live in a community and world where there are others who need our help. Those who need help have many faces. There are families in need, the elderly couple down the street, a neurodivergent young adult trying to find their niche in life. Individuals struggling with mental health challenges. And me, at my worst, this past winter.” Service and integrity are key components of Monomoy’s educational plan for graduates, he noted.

Some Monomoy graduates will serve in the military, and others will become police, firefighters, teachers or medical professionals who help others each day. “Some will simply serve by performing little acts that make the world much better for those in need,” Carpenter said, like the Uber driver who helped push Carpenter’s wheelchair up an icy ramp one night.

“We live in a world with so much need, with some people suffering because they haven’t found the way to ask for help,” he said. “Don’t wait to be asked before making a difference. Just act, and embody the value of service before self.”

School Committee member Meredith Henderson congratulated the seniors for completing their public school journey. “I’m confident that wherever your journey takes you, you will do great things,” she said.

Valedictorian Yu Ying Zou said each of her classmates has a different perspective of their time as a Monomoy Shark and will look back on these years with a variety of emotions.

“As I look out at the sea of accomplished individuals in front of me, I’m further reminded of the incredible diversity of paths that have led us here. Each one of us has a unique story, a series of triumphs and setbacks, moments of clarity and moments of doubt,” she said. She reflected on the people who have shaped her life so far: “The amazing teachers and faculty that helped me get into the college of my dreams, people like my parents, who made me breakfast every morning before school and put up with my attitude even on my worst days, and people like my friends who never let my life be dull.”

Following the presentation of the reflection awards and Ad Lucem awards, Salutatorian Lillian Gould gave her remarks, thanking those that helped her along her journey.

“Some of us are hesitant to leave, while others have already packed their bags,” she quipped. “Some of our fellow graduates have found their passions and have a clear path to their goals, while others of us are still exploring their options,” Gould said. “In a time when so many things seem to be ending, know that this is the start of so many great things. So let’s celebrate this moment not just for the piece of paper we receive, but for the personal growth, camaraderie and experiences that have brought us to this point.”

Rafael Abreu gave an energetic student address on behalf of his classmates. “In this world, sadly, you’re not special. You’re not the smartest person, you’re not the dumbest. You’re not the richest, you’re not the poorest, and you definitely are not perfect. But what you are now, and forever will be, is a Monomoy Shark. So when life gets tough, pick yourself up, don’t stress, and just keep on swimming,” he said.