Photos by Ryan Mooney
Most post-secondary educational institutions in the region have already held commencement ceremonies, but many of the incoming freshmen to these colleges and universities have yet to receive their official exit tickets from high school.
On Sunday afternoon, 290 seniors crossed the stage inside the Beverly High School Field House, the damp, dull weather that has plagued New England for the better portion of the last month forcing the celebration indoors.
"I'm sure glad the roof of this field house doesn't leak," joked Mayor Bill Scanlon.
A winding line of students ascended from the left, received diplomas from School Committee President Mariah T. Decker, and were greeted by Principal Sean Gallagher at the bottom of the steps on the other side, the prelude to their adult lives officially coming to an end with a handshake and a "good luck."
"Everyone who's here today celebrating with you knows that this journey was not easy, and we can all take pride in your accomplishments," Gallagher said as he addressed the crowd. "Without the example that this senior class has set for others, our school accomplishments could not be possible, and we all thank you for that."
Boston College-bound co-valedictorian Emily Boches waxed nostalgic to her peers.
"As you travel down the road through high school you tend to not recognize the importance of all the events that occur," Boches said. "As this year comes to a close, I find myself wishing I had taken more time to appreciate the small moments that don't usually seem important."
Others chose to focus on the future.
"Sometimes in life you will be faced with a brick wall, when the future seems unsettled and uncertain it can be easy to lose heart," Decker said. "The voices of cynicism and pessimism always seem to be the loudest. You're destiny is never certain, but you're ability to shape it is...I wish you all bright futures filled with zigzag adventures, conquerable brick walls, experiences that give you physical and emotional fortitude, and a lifetime of small achievements done with great love."
Beverly was recently selected for representation at the annual National Association of Secondary School Principals Conference from February 28 to March 2 in Washington, D.C., as one of the top-performing high schools in the country. The distinction is reflected in the academic achievements of the graduating class: 78 Adams Scholarship recipients, 53 of whom are part of the National Honor Society and nine of the National Art Honor Society.
For a graduation program with a list of all 2012 Beverly High School graduates, visit bhsonline.org.