CSD hon­ors Class of 2017

Dorchester Star - - Front Page - By VIC­TO­RIA WIN­GATE vwingate@ches­pub.com

CAM­BRIDGE — The theme of the evening was change as Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester High School’s Class of 2017 re­ceived their diplo­mas Tues­day, May 23.

The school hon­ored 138 grad­u­ates and gave en­cour­age­ment as the stu­dents be­gin the next chap­ter of their lives in con­tin­ued ed­u­ca­tion, mil­i­tary ser­vice, or the work­force.

The cer­e­mony be­gan with Cather­ine Ryan light­ing a me­mo­rial can­dle for Elihu S. “Colt” Ab­bott III who died in Au­gust 2014 be­fore en­ter­ing his sopho­more year. He would have grad­u­ate Tues­day.

Ab­bott was a mem­ber of the cross coun­try, swim and lacrosse teams. The

me­mo­rial can­dle rested on a ta­ble in front of a pic­ture signed by his fel­low 2017 grad­u­ates. Each grad­u­ate re­ceived a “Colt” wrist­band with the mes­sage “110 Per­cent Colt.”

Prin­ci­pal David Bromwell an­nounced that the Class of 2017 earned $3,059,964 in schol­ar­ships, bring­ing CSDHS to a seven-year to­tal of $17,318,755.

A com­mon theme among the var­ied mes­sages de­liv­ered through­out the event was the in­evitabil­ity of change and how em­brac­ing it will lead to suc­cess.

Sa­lu­ta­to­rian Trevor Good­win urged his class­mates to keep the mem­o­ries of high school close, be­cause noth­ing will ever be the same as the past four years.

“We are all about to ex­pe­ri­ence a big change,” Good­win said. “The walls of this school will only know us as mem­o­ries. With this change comes op­por­tu­nity, an op­por­tu­nity to make a dif­fer­ence, an op­por­tu­nity to em­brace the change.”

Vale­dic­to­rian Johnathan Bro­hawn be­gan his speech by rec­og­niz­ing the change that the whole of Dorch­ester County Pub­lic Schools will feel with the re­tire­ment of Su­per­in­ten­dent Dr. Henry V. Wag­ner.

“His hard work and ded­i­cated years of ser­vice have pro­duced many stu­dents that he would call col­lege and ca­reer-ready,” Bro­hawn said, be­fore elic­it­ing a round of ap­plause for Wag­ner.

Bro­hawn praised his fel­low grad­u­ates for what they have ac­com­plished thus far, and en­cour­aged them to fol­low their own path from here on out.

“Each one of us has a unique desti­na­tion that de­fines our idea of suc­cess,” Bro­hawn said. “Suc­cess can mean any­thing to any­one, so seek out your ver­sion of suc­cess, not some­one else’s.”

“Over the past four years, our paths have led to the com­mon goal of grad­u­at­ing. To­day marks the end­ing of that road, and the be­gin­ning of our trav­els on our new paths to­ward in­di­vid­ual suc­cess. Al­ways carry with you the friends and mem­o­ries you have made through­out your time at C-SD.”

Com­mence­ment speaker Mervin E. Den­nis, Re­tired Chief Mas­ter Sergeant of the United States Air Force, was in­tro­duced by Class Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Mor­ris.

Mor­ris noted that Den­nis ob­tained the high­est pos­si­ble rank in the U.S. Air Force, was ac­tive in Op­er­a­tions Desert Storm and Iraqi Free­dom, and served as Direc­tor of Op­er­a­tions for Air Force One Main­te­nance, among many other no­table ac­com­plish­ments.

“Life has a way of re­veal­ing to you hid­den tal­ents that you never knew ex­isted,” Den­nis said. “You have to be aware. You have to be ready to em­brace chal­lenges. You have to step out of your com­fort zone.”

He told the grad­u­ates that they have far too much po­ten­tial to be­come com­pla­cent.

“You never know what life will throw at you, and you never know where you’re re­ally go­ing to end up, but you have to have a plan,” Den­nis said. “The one thing you can be cer­tain of is change.”

Den­nis made a point of try­ing to bridge the gen­er­a­tion gap be­tween him­self and the grad­u­ates to il­lus­trate the im­por­tance of un­der­stand­ing dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives. He told the stu­dents that, in the real world, they will in­ter­face with peo­ple who hold dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives, and they must do their best to un­der­stand and re­late to those around them.

He also re­minded the stu­dents that they must fo­cus on the fu­ture be­cause the one thing they can­not change is the past.

“Grad­u­a­tion is the spring­board to the rest of your life,” Den­nis said. “My charge to you is to em­brace your dif­fer­ences, but make sure that your dif­fer­ence is de­fined by be­ing bet­ter.”

Bromwell thanked par­ents, friends, fam­ily, fac­ulty, staff, com­mu­nity lead­ers, and oth­ers for their sup­port of the Class of 2017 grad­u­ates. The Dorch­ester County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion mem­bers were in at­ten­dance, along with prin­ci­pals and ad­min­is­tra­tors from across the county.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester grad­u­ates Tre’ Lake, left, Aaron Collins, Katie Smith Makayla Hitch, C.J. Brum­mell and Cur­tis Stan­ton cel­e­brate af­ter grad­u­a­tion Tues­day, May 23.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester Class of 2017 mem­bers cel­e­brate af­ter turn­ing their tas­sels Tues­day, May 23.

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