Bishop Guertin High School Holds One of Kind Graduation Ceremony for the Class of 2020
Socially distanced and under the stars, Bishop Guertin High School held its 54th Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 31st as a drive-in movie style event, complete with video tributes, a parade, and fireworks. Seeking to honor the 207 graduates of the Class of 2020 with a ceremony as unique and as special they are, BG was able to make the absolute best of the current situation and restrictions.
Beginning with a video montage as the sun set over the school campus, students and their families, viewing from their decorated vehicles were surprised with two special messages from alumni. Sending in video messages were author and columnist Mike Lupica ‘70 and actor and playwright Mike O’Malley ‘84 who shared that he still keeps his school loyalty award trophy in his home office after 36 years. The pre-recorded official ceremony was then projected onto the rear of the school gym for attendees. Following the presentation of the graduates, Atlas Pyrotechnics provided a nearly 7 minute long fireworks display, lighting up the fields. Following the conclusion of the formal ceremony, studies received their diplomas and made their way through a parade of cheering faculty to walk across the stage set up at the front of the school before departing the campus one last time.
This year’s class valedictorian is Claire Reynolds.She is the daughter of Daniel and Maria Reynolds of Nashua. Named a Presidential Scholar, Claire will be attending Case Western Reserve University. In her address, Claire encouraged her classmates to embrace the moments in life, “I challenge you to do things that make you remember. Take the time to notice small moments and to live your life. Live every day like it is your last, and slow down time.” Challenging her classmates to acts of kindness, Claire noted that “with each new moment we are given, we have countless opportunities to change not only our lives, but the lives of others. Never under appreciate the value of a moment, nor its ability to serve as a gateway for immense change.”
Class salutatorian Arya Patel is from Nashua, NH and he is the son of Bharvi and Chirag Patel. He will be attending Tufts University. “We have experienced our first global pandemic. Although it caused an abrupt change in what we expected of the conclusion to our time at BG, we have conquered this challenge as well,” said Patel. “Stepping up in the virtual classroom, engaging over online media, and supporting our neighbors, we have all accepted the challenge to become leaders in the community, the challenge to be that person.”
“My message tonight is that you as a class should be proud of your role in [BG’s] tradition. You have fully lived up to it. You have not only walked the path laid out for you, but also expanded it and paved it for those who come after you,” said Mr. Jason Strniste, Principal. “You have made Bishop Guertin a better place through your presence. While the circumstances of the spring have limited your opportunities to visit, to say goodbye, and to bring closure to your time at Bishop Guertin, I hope that you will still come to the school as circumstances permit, and will take the time to walk the halls and see those who have walked with you. ...No matter when that occurs, please carry with you the knowledge that here, you are known, valued, and treasured; you are loved, and you will always have a home.”