Amidst a gloomy Saturday with cold wind and pouring rain, the North Attleborough High School class of 2023 walked to their graduation with smiles as bright as the sun.
As wind blew over the Raymond Beaupre Field the afternoon of June 3, the 265 students waved to their parents wearing bright red gowns and celebrated the finale of their high school days. Originally scheduled for June 2, the ceremonies were postponed due to Friday’s heavy rainstorms.
After a rendition of the National Anthem sung by the NAHS Senior Vocalists, Class President Emma Platt welcomed parents, school faculty and public officials to the school’s 135th commencement ceremony.
Despite the poor weather, Platt said the day was special for the class. In her speech, she described the Class of 2023 as a big puzzle, with each student as one individual piece coming together to create something powerful.
No matter how different you are from the person sitting next to you or if you feel as if you have nothing in common with the person sitting next to you today, you are both a part of something total,” said Platt.
Valedictorian Aanvi Agrawal and Salutatorian Clara Giuliano also highlighted the importance of facing challenges in their remarks.
Giuliano recalled how she would conduct a self-assessment on her birthday to see if she improved over the last year. She found, however, that she did not take the opportunity to do more things in life and instead, became overwhelmed by the options given to her. She urged her classmates to be proactive in the future and build a path forward by doing rather than saying.
“To waver undecided between our options would be to take a passive seat to watch our futures unfold,” she said. “To hesitate, to not decide, is doing a far greater disservice than to make the wrong choice.”
Agrawal’s speech was about success and what it means to be successful. She told her peers accomplishments are not physical objects and are measured emotionally.
“We are conditioned to believe that success can be measured, something that is tangible,” Agrawal said. “Success is an emotion. It is the joy that you feel when you work towards something. It is the happiness of winning a staring contest in a pep rally…even if it was rigged.”
As the rain and wind grew stronger, so did the cheers from the Class of 2023 as they sang their class ode, “Higher Love” by Whitney Houston and threw their red caps towards the grey sky. The cheers were contagious as the crowd of parents and loved ones roared in the stands.
In his remarks to the class, Superintendent Dr. John Antonucci told the outgoing Class of 2023 that even though this is their last time at NAHS, this is not a permanent goodbye.
“If you haven’t already, you will come to realize that you grew up in a very special town, and you are graduating from a great school,” Antonucci said. “One of the best.”