By Joshua Resnek
All was bright inside Everett Memorial Stadium Saturday afternoon for the senior graduation ceremonies held under inclement skies on a very cool day.
The off and on rain didn’t inhibit the event, nor did it dampen the great amount of pride and enthusiasm parents, friends and family displayed.
Everett High School Principal Dennis Lynch led the proceedings which were preceded by the playing of Pomp and Circumstance and the Star Spangled Banner by the EHS Band.
Lynch ran a good show – organized, spirited with just the right element of class and integrity for the Class of 2023.
Class President Riley Avalar, on her way to Yale, delivered intelligent and thoughtful remarks to her classmates.
Avalar is a bona fide star and served as the student representative on the School Committee with distinction for such a young woman.
She gave gracious thanks to everyone who helped along the way to give her and her classmates what she referred to as a “quality education.”
“Everyone helped us out from custodians to teachers, to administrators to the superintendent and to the mayor,” she added.
“We learned what it is, what it really means to be from Everett. We developed values to carry us through our lives. Create the world you want,” she implored.
Principal Lynch told the crowd that 2/100ths of a point separated valedictorian Shreeya Musyayu from salutatorian Raphael Lemus Solis before introducing the graduating senior bound for Tufts.
Solis described the rapidity with which the high school years come and how with the snap of a finger, they go.
“High school was a blink,” he told the crowd.
“One blink,” he added.
He quoted from the great writer TS Eliot.
He ended his brief remarks with this: “We need to make sacrifices.”
Valedictorian Musyaju, who hails from Nepal, told her classmates that everyone needs to be thanked, “parents, grandparents, teachers, administrators and custodians.”
She called attention to the pandemic and how it altered all their lives during a school year that never happened inside the classroom.
“I did not ever imagine I would spend my sophomore year in isolation,” she told her classmates, nearly all of whom agreed.
“Always keep pushing forward,” she told them. “We all have become activists leading protest,” she added.“This moment today is a stepping stone,” she said.
The city’s Veterans Affairs Agent Antoine Coleman delivered a brief but poignant remarks for the EHS Class of 2023 to take with them as they filed out of the stadium and entered the next chapter in the unfolding story of their lives.
“Everett’s schools are Everett’s pride,” Coleman told the graduates.
The former Marine and an EHS graduate told the kids that carrying their history here with them is an important element in their lives.
“No matter where I was or where I’ve been, I was Antoine Coleman from Everett, Massachusetts,” he said.
“Never forget where you come from. Find your passion. Stick to your core values,” he said.