By Adam Bass-Staff Writer
As he looked at the 271 students in their red caps and gowns, Superintendent John Antonucci told the North Attleborough High School class of 2022, that they showed the world that nothing, even a global pandemic, could slow them down.
The superintendent’s words of praise echoed across Community Field, where families and friends of the graduates gathered on June 3 to hear about their accomplishments. Antonucci said the class of 2022 is special because they kept pushing forward—even in the face of uncertainty.
“You didn’t let a setback become you or define you,” Antonucci said. “You always maintained a high level of spirit.”
NAHS principal Peter Haviland said what made the class of 2022 special was their desire to go above and beyond as a group, rather than just returning to a sense of normalcy.
“Normalcy allows us to take things for granted, it’s what inspires boredom, it lacks new ideas and inhibits unanticipated joy,” said Haviland said. “You didn’t return us to normalcy. Instead, you brought us back to life.”
Overcoming adversities and creating lasting memories were the two recurring themes of this year’s graduation, as they were topics of speeches presented by Valedictorian Joseph Perriello and Salutatorian Krithika Mood.
Perriello’s speech, “Live For Today,” talked about how he learned the importance of being in the moment instead of rushing to finish school.
“For many of us students, we wish all other dreadful aspects of high school to finish, simply by looking forward to summer,” said Perriello. “Yet it’s then, that we look back on what we once thought were miserable moments and start to realize how we were taking beautiful times for granted.”
Mood said the Class of 2022’s journey was like a painting with colors of red, yellow, and blue to symbolize sacrifice, happiness, and peace respectively. She also reflected on how the class had the best times of their lives–-even during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our normal way of living came to a screeching halt; however, the support from our families, friends, teachers, and administration gave us the courage to make the best of what we had,” she said. “Because of that courage, our senior year has been extraordinary.”
Other traditions at the graduation included the passing of the flag from the Class of 2022 to the Class of 2023 and the unveiling of the class gift by Class Treasurer Nikolas Kojoian. The gift was the remaining funds from the senior class directed towards upgrading the sound systems in the NAHS gymnasium.
Musical pieces were performed at the ceremony as students Kathleen Barrett, Julia Curran, Erica Christina Murdock, and Samantha Willey performed Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life),” as the class ode and the NAHS band performed “Nostalgia,” by composer Rossano Galante.
While the students were the main event of that evening, they were not the only ones saying goodbye to their time at NAHS.
The graduation was also the last event for Assistant Principal Russell Booth, who will go on to become Mansfield High School’s principal next academic year. Booth told the graduating seniors that through the uncertainty and obstacles along the way, they set the best example of what the school and its students should aspire to be.
“Our seniors have endured unimaginable challenges, and our being here today is a cause for celebration and gratitude,” said Booth. “You represent everything we value at North Attleboro High School.”