Patriot Ledger // Published June 4, 2017 // By Caroline Hitesman
RANDOLPH – As the band played “Pomp and Circumstance”, 180 Randolph High School seniors dressed in blue and white entered the Blue Devils football stadium as students but they left as graduates.
The ceremony Sunday began with a prayer from from Rev. Ronald Stephenson, president of the Randolph Interfaith Clergy, and a welcome by the vice chair of the Randolph School Committee, Mr. Abdirahman Ibrahim.
Following Ibrahim’s address, the keynote speaker and president of Quincy College, Peter Tsaffaras spoke to the crowd. Tsaffaras divided his speech into five points of advice for the graduates.
The first point was to believe in yourself. “The biggest impediment to your success is you,” he said. “Each of you is an original, there are no copies.”
Randolph High graduates 180
The second point was to make a plan. Tsaffaras said it is important to have a road map.
The third, and perhaps most emphasized point of Tsaffaras’s speech was to take risks. “Our journey in life is short, not taking risks is the biggest risk of all,” he said.
The fourth piece of advice from his speech was to get an education. “Education is the passport that allows one to travel through and navigate our society,” he said.
The Class of 2017
Valedictorian: Brandon Wu
Salutatorian: Lilian Nguyen
Class president: Vanida Lam
Class colors: Blue and white
Quote of the day: “Each of you has the opportunity to write a better history.– Thomas Anderson, superintendent
Finally, his fifth piece of advice for the students was to give back to the community. Tsaffaras emphasized that we are all members of multiple communities and it is important to give back to those who helped to get you where you are today.
The superintendent of Randolph Public Schools, Thomas Anderson, then spoke to the crowd about the importance of the graduates seeking to right the wrongs of society.
“We need you to tackle the adversity of today, the hypocrisy, the negative attitudes of xenophobia, racism, classism, sexism, ageism, and any other form of negativity that exists,” Anderson said. “Each of you has the opportunity to write a better history.”
Valedictorian Brandon Wu addressed his peers with a speech motivating students to never give up.
“Success is not going to be easy,” Wu said. “We now begin the hardest part of our lives. The part where perseverance is the key to our success,” he said.
After the presentation of diplomas, the class president, Vanida Lam, led her fellow students in the turning of their tassels.
The audience erupted and blue and white mortarboards flew into the air as Lam exclaimed, “Class of 2017, you are dimissed!”
Nasir Ahmad, Razon Aliling, Alyssia Andrade, Jonathan Arroyo, D’Kenya Aupont, Johanna Baez, Mark Bailey, Elissa Bamford, Jordan Baptista, Jonas Batista Del Carmen, Mario Belabe, Bruna Bellevue, Bachinge Bembeleza, Frantz Bernadotte, Khelijah Bethel, Tyler Blackiemore, Samantha Blanc, Jonelly Bouman, Kahlil Bowens, Monique Brown, Tatiana Brown, Widlyne Brutus, Victoria Bui, Kayla Bynoe, Tyrick Cadichon, Cristina Cahill, Malachi Callahan, Mevsguerline Camille, Deirdra Cantave, Dylan Carvalho, Jaynicia Carvalho, John Chen, Lai-Ming Cheung, Shannon Connors, Briana Cook, William Cook Fernandez, Eyavian Cooper, Rashawn Cunningham, Jasmin Curry, Jeanne Dang, Shreya Dave, Aryia Davis, Pricila Dejesus-Palacio, Jarred DeVance, Tien Diep, Lisa Dimanche, Kenshar Dominique, Dawenda Dorce, Matthew Dormeus, Brandon Durant, Demarco Durham, Brittney Dymond, Tefera Eshetu, Kiara Felix, Amanda Fernandes, Nicholas Fernandes, Kevin Fernandes Tavares Silva, Diane Francillon, Imana Francis, Tanisha Francois, Diamond Fulton, Chelsie Gilfillan, Donnielle Gold, Joanne Guerrier-Thoby, Eyobel Haile, Arriel Hall, Semaj Harris, Patrick Hinds Jr., Michael Horsman, Maranatha Jean Tihomme, Bernelle Jean-Baptiste, Sinoa Johnson, Akiko Jones, Archie Jones, Kaleef Jones, Kidino Jones, Cassandra Joseph, Monica Joseph, Verdia Joslyn, Travis Kane, Joseph Laka, Vanida Lam, Brandon Le, Michelle Le, Cassie Louis, Malik Louis, Mya Louis, Emma Lovett, Beradine Lovinsky, Fedeline Lovinsky, Ian Lule, Daniella Mascary, John Mazzeo, Stephanie Mercedat, Sharine Merizier, Matthew Messere, Patrick Mette, Thanika Michel, Marcus Miller, Claudya Mondesir, Armanda Mongerard, Marcos Montalvo, Adim Monteiro, Jordan Montes, Destiny Moreta, William Mui, Withny Mycout, Warren Nash, April Nguyen, Henry Nguyen, Kevin Nguyen, Khuong Nguyen, Lian Nguyen, Lilian Nguyen, Minhthuy Nguyen, Nguyen Nguyen, Nhi Nguyen, Quan Nguyen, Sean-Michael Nguyen, Thanh-Ai Nguyen, Truong Nguyen, Thanh Nhu, John O’Keefe, Amara Osagie, Paul Perkins, Linh Pham, Devin Phillips, Kymani Pitter, Yvonne Plasa, Damany Poux-Carter, Jessica Purcell, Rosa Quispe, Jared Ramey, David Ramirez, Feebie Rejouis, Taylor Rice, Lester Riley, Davon Robinson, Julecia Scarlett, Jorgina Semedo, Dericka Smith, Isaiah Smith, Derrell Spencer, Brian Sumption, Darius Swinton, Cedric Teixeira, John Teixeira, Ife Telusma, Anthony Tong, Vincent Tragno, Anh Tran, Emily Tran, Ryan Trenh, Jonathan Trzcinski, Dao Vu, Shania Ward, Ahjane Wesley, Virginia Whitaker, Jaylon Williams, Tenasia Williams, Errica Wilson, Derek Wolfe, Sarah Wright, Brandon Wu, Gassendi Zamy, Stephanie Zide.
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