Graduation celebrates hard work, future opportunities

The wind whipped across the sun-drenched Train Field as graduates-to-be filed into their seats surrounded by family members and friends under canopies haphazardly set up around the stage.

Over 240 students graduated from Duxbury High School on Saturday, sent on their way with well-wishes from the school committee, principal, superintendent and class officers. As the speakers took the stage, one sentiment seemed to stick: dream big, and work hard to get there.

Superintendent Benedict Tantillo welcomed students and family members to the ceremony and gave students a bit of advice.

“Be prepared to live,” Tantillo said. “Paint, hike, fish, volunteer. Success without life is lonely.”

School Committee member Anne Ward and DHS principal Andrew Stephens welcomed students to the first-ever ceremony on Train Field.

Matt Griffin, Class of 2013 president, asked his fellow classmates to take a deep breath at the beginning of the ceremony.

“That’s four years of exhaustion leaving your body,” he said.

Griffin highlighted some memories from kindergarten through senior year. In the dictionary, Griffin said “goonies” means “gang or clique.” In which case, he said, his classmates were all his goonies. He then shared the five most important things every high school graduate should know.

“One, Facebook is not a therapist,” Griffin said. “Two, Wikipedia is a reliable source for term papers – as long as you cover it up and cite it as a scholarly article. Three, if you have to search beyond page three of Google, it’s probably not there. Four, the night before it is due is the perfect time to start a project. Five, allow the Ramen noodles at least two minutes to stand before consuming.”

Ian McCourt, student speaker, reminisced on his four years at high school and recalled something that had always stuck in his mind: a poster from his freshman biology class that read “Shoot for the moon, so that way, even if you miss, you will land among the stars.”

“To me that says, ‘Dream Big. So that way when you fail you can still be content,’” McCourt said. “In response to that I ask, ‘Why dream big at all?’”

Discussing immediacy and its significance in our technology-driven world, McCourt implored students to remem- ber they most likely will not get their dream jobs immediately after college graduation. Patience always pays off, he said.

“.So I am going to re-write that poster from my freshman year biology class: ‘Shoot for the stars...and then take the stairs to the moon,’” McCourt said. “No one enjoys taking the stairs. But it is the wiser choice. And you will be glad where you end up.”