ROCKLAND — “It feels like we walked into the halls of that school just last week,” said Valedictorian Jacob Carroll, in his Oceanside High School Class of 2022 graduation speech, “I remember walking into the school for the first time, going into Mrs. Bragan’s classroom....She told us all to stand on our desks, put our hands up to our foreheads, and open our minds.”
Four years later, on Tuesday, June 7, 2022, Jacob led the Class of 2022 down a brief memory lane of high school experiences that happened to develop within a time when the world was forced to open its collective mind. One of those open minds set RSU 13 graduation ceremonies on a new path. (Click here for our adjacent photo gallery of the car parade, video by Coolfiretruckguy)
However, as Class President Haley Black said, in her speech, “yes, we made it through the pandemic, which is remarkable on its own, but more than that, we pushed ourselves and each other. We passed our classes, and we followed our own paths.”
Jacob’s classroom memories included Mr. Young’s class project. Mr. Mahar’s infamous exams. Mr. Blue and Miss Cross putting up with us.
“Mr. Costa and Coach Grade always knew how to make class a little bit more entertaining,” he said. “Mr. Lawrence, Mrs. Coburn and Mrs. Young all prepared us for the real world.”
He then listed the adults who helped the students along the way: teachers, guidance counselors, custodial staff, lunchroom staff, principal and vice principal, front office staff, coaches, employers, advisors, parents, guardians, siblings, and family.
“Here today, we close that chapter of our lives,” he said. “But we begin a new one. Whether the next step is employment, continued education, or whatever else the world has in store for us, we will start again at the bottom....we are now the freshman of the adult world.”
That world, of course, leads people along paths that no one can imagine. Superintendent John McDonald told the audience of how his own class of 1978 prophesized that McDonald would open a record store. Instead, he jumped into the real world as a stern man on a fishing boat. Some of his learned advice: show up on time, be present and visible, remember to pack a lunch.
Thanks to community support, many within the Oceanside High School Class of 2022 are walking into the future with a solid foundation. Principal Jesse Bartke announced that students have received $238,060 in local aid. Students also accumulated $538,000 in college and university aid and federal support.
One hundred and 17 names are listed in the graduation program. Four of those students are joining the military.
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