DHS Graduation: Class of 2017 Reminded Their Words And Actions Have Power
Jun 05, 2017 12:49AM
● By Bill Gilman
The Dracut High School Class of 2017 took part in their last official act as high school students on Friday night, receiving diplomas and listening to words of wisdom sprinkled throughout this year’s Dracut High School Graduation Ceremony.
Dracut High School principal Richard Manley noted that the 187 graduates entered the ceremony together one last time as part of a regimented and prescribed path placed upon them throughout their time in Dracut’s public schools.
They would leave, he said, without that path. In its place, they would leave on 187 different paths, taking along the foundation they built with help from others in Dracut.
Dracut School Department superintendent Steven Stone’s advice to the Class of 2017 centered around social media and a greater recommendation to remember the consequences of words and actions.
Stone cited recent comments made by comedian Kathy Griffin regarding President Donald Trump as an example of how not setting boundaries can become harmful to discourse.
“Everything you say or do has meaning,” he said. “So act accordingly.”
One theme he used as an example of civil discourse was the reactions he got on Twitter from students regarding snow cancellations. However, he jokingly hoped for more support on his lack of snow days this year, alluding to a quip on that subject during the speech of Class President Daniel Gacek.
Stone also took some friendly revenge on Class Valedictorian Matthew Cahill’s satirical depiction of Stone using a selfie stick during recent class events.
In response, Stone summoned Cahill to the bow of the boat that served as the ceremony’s main stage, with Stone pulling out a selfie stick to first take a photo with Cahill before he took a selfie with the entire graduating class in the background.
Among the students, common shared themes were there, thoughts that might be present among any graduating high school seniors: excitement for the future, melancholy over leaving memories behind and a feeling of joy at leaving behind some school tasks that might seem tedious.
Still, there was a range of perspectives regarding thoughts on what comes next.
Tyrell Trouville will attend Middlesex Community College in the fall, with eyes on starting a path toward a business degree and potentially transferring to a larger school.
While some of the pieces in his future are beginning to come into place, Trouville was still processing the moment unfolding before him.
“(It’s) bittersweet leaving Dracut High, I may not know my true thoughts until graduation’s over, and maybe for an even longer time, because I don’t know if I’m going to be out of (Dracut) or I’m going to stay here,” he said. “I wake up every day and see all my good friends and now that will be a minimum thing.”
Others such as Vandy Kallon are still trying to decide if college should be the next step in life. Kallon, who hopes to gain fame and riches through a musical career, took time away from what may be a few of the last hours on Earth for his grandmother.
The fact that he can return to what may be his grandmother’s death bed as a high school graduate added extra poignancy to the evening for him.
Despite the differences in the future of Kallon, Trouville and the other 185 graduates, there was one additional common thread shared by many attending the ceremony: the impact made by Dracut in their lives so far.
“Dracut helped me branch out and meet a whole new group of people I never would have met if I didn’t come here,” said Kallon.