Superintendent Belson, Headmaster Dr. Perella, Vocational Director Riccion, fellow School Committee members, faculty, family members and the class of 2015. It is with great pleasure that I bring to you the congratulations and best wishes of all the citizens of Medford upon the occasion of your high school graduation!
As a class, you have accomplished much…attaining GBL titles, all-star recognition, awards in music, art, ethics and language. Having not one, but two scholar athletes recognized for their overall achievements both in the classroom and in athletics: Andrew Cronin, the Boston Briuns Sportsmanship Award and Adrienne Porrazzo, The Boston Globe scholar-athlete.
Jose Lopes placed 6th in the state in the high jump.
Hunter Raymond, a student at the Medford Vocational Technical High School, developed the Richbot 3000, which enabled his teacher, Richard Cormio, who was recovering from illness, to continue to teach from home.
Rezwan Ali was named the winner of the WCVB “High Five” scholarship, Rezwan, from Bangladesh, arrived at Medford High School speaking little English. In less than a year, he was taking AP and honors courses, and working multiple part-time jobs to help with family bills. His dedication to excellence was rewarded by Channel 5.
Truly, the class of 2015 has so much to be proud of!
Together, we lived a lesson in how government works, in order to make major improvements to enhance your high school experience. The class of 2015 and their families lobbied their elected officials to generate $13 million, $8 million of which was a state grant, to reconstruct the 17 science labs at MHS. It was a remarkable transformation with great benefits for all our students.
Your efforts led to the elimination of the imaginary barrier between the high school and the vocational school, and instead offered shared and improved opportunities for all students.
This class demonstrated the leadership necessary to stand before their elected officials to urge passage of a $2.5 million appropriation to rehabilitate the high school pool for recreational and high school sporting events.
And, the class of 2015 worked tirelessly for the reconstruction of Hormel Stadium, including a new rubberized track and turf field. These improvements were just a part of what enabled Medford High School to achieve the highest NEASC accreditation and be named a Level 1 school…the best rating a high school can attain from the Massachusetts Department of Education.
Medford High provided you with a solid foundation for college, the work force or military service. Working together…plan, lobby and educate, you can accomplish great things. Set goals for yourself, use mistakes as learning tools and never give up on your dreams.
I feel a particular bond with the class of 2015, as I too will be moving on, graduating in a sense from the Mayor’s office. I have learned that once you find your passion and build a team around you, you can achieve anything. Think about it. That is how you accomplished your goals. With your team…your parents, grandparents, teachers, counselors, and classmates. They were there to guide you and together you achieved.
I believe Vice President Joseph Biden said it best this year, at Yale University’s Graduation, “It all gets down to being personal. It’s the stuff that fosters relationships. It is the only way to breed trust in everything you do in life. It matters.”
I speak from experience, relationships are what can take you far in life. Family, friends, teachers, coaches, neighbors and mentors…Nurture those relationships, as they will forever pay dividends in your life.
Be proud that you are a Mustang and that you hail from a city that flourishes with diversity! Over 65 different countries are represented within our school system. Set your standards high, work hard and you will be a success.
In my first graduation in 1988, I quoted Dr. Seuss, and it still rings true today, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the person who will decide where to go.”
May the future bring you much success and happiness. Congratulations and may God bless the United States of America!