On Tuesday evening over 400 Revere High School seniors walked the stage at Harry Della Russo Stadium and received their diplomas as part of the high school’s graduation exercise.
The evening kicked off with the traditional procession of the Class of 2022 into the stadium followed by the presentation of colors by the Revere High JROTC.
Noelis Aponte then performed a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem on guitar before the crowd was led in the Pledge of Allegiance by Shaimaa Bouras Saiah.
The ceremony got underway with a welcome and remarks by outgoing RHS Principal Dr. John Perella. Tuesday’s graduation marked the final graduation for Perella as principal of the High School.
“I have been incredibly fortunate to have been part of 10 graduations as a principal, and another 12 as an administrator and teacher,” said Perella. “I had the distinct privilege of entering RHS in my first year as the principal with all of you back in August of 2018. Together we have ridden this wild rollercoaster of a high school experience and together we are graduating into a world of real need and challenge, yet potent possibility. Class of 2022, thank you for sharing this part of your journey with me. I have learned so much from and with you. I am a better educator, father, and person because of the time that we spent together, because of the lessons and friendships you have shared with me, and from your inextinguishable spirit. You will forever be in my heart.”
Perella was followed by remarks by Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo who said the Class of 2022 endured a high school experience unlike any other in history given the challenges of the pandemic.
“The life you are living today — and the world you’re heading into — is dramatically different from the one at the beginning of high school,” said Arrigo. “Your class will be our champions for progress and possibility. Because of your unique experiences and the challenges you have already learned to pivot from, each of you have the skills and fortitude to drive a new course of progress for our collective futures. Every single one of you continued to show up for class, despite everything the world was facing. You still came to school every day – even when masks were mandatory and each day seemed more confusing and frustrating than the one before. You went to your games, you participated in your clubs, you applied to the colleges of your dreams, and you did it all – together. Class of 2022- your strength inspires me.”
After RHS Poet Laureate Parker Legere read a poem dedicated to the Class of 2022 and Assistant RHS Principal Dr. Lena Marie Rockwood addressed the Class of 2022, Seacoast High School’s Alexia Serino delivered the first student speech of the evening.
“Being at SeaCoast high school has not only changed my goals and mindset on how I want to
thrive in life, but has shown me that it doesn’t matter where you come from in order to be successful,” said Serino. “Starting off my first year of high school at Revere High was difficult with many obstacles, like skipping class, not finishing assignments and overall not doing my best in school which made it feel as though I wasn’t going to succeed. But, with welcoming arms, SeaCoast gave me that second chance to prove that I can do it and blossom into the smart independent woman I am standing here today.”
Serino was followed by co-Salutatorians Nicholas Gerasev and Angela Huynh. The two Salutatorians provided a little comedy relief with a clever routine that reflected on some of the high school moments many experienced before concluding on a more serious note.
“Thank you again to everyone who has supported us throughout our high school careers, it genuinely meant a lot,” said Gerasev. “And to our peers, you guys have your whole lives ahead of you. Go out there and take on the world.”
While Huynh added, “You are not a number, you are not your grades, but you are our future. Good luck, Class of 2022.”
Class of 2022 Valedictorian Jennie Pich then delivered her speech, reflecting on how her parents had to flee genocide in thier homeland to make a new and better life in the US.
“As the child of two immigrants, it means a lot to me to be up here today,” said Pinch. “My parents came here as genocide survivors, speaking no English, so to stand up here today as the Valedictorian is not only an accomplishment for me, but also for them.”
Like Perella, Pinch said the Class of 2022 faced more challenges and obstacles to finally be able to graduate.
“I know that we have all faced the unique challenges presented by the pandemic,” said Pinch. “Our last normal year was four years ago, when we were only freshmen. After that, we were thrown into the pit that was online school. The isolation was something that no one was prepared for. It was hard; maybe some of you felt the effects of online learning on your performance. Your grades might have dropped, and your motivation might have diminished.”
Pinch said in the face of so much hardship, the Class of 2022 was able to make the best of a bad situation and thrive.
“It is easy to look at the accomplishments of others and believe they are better, happier, and more successful,” she said. “That they are all living exciting, exceptional stories. But we are all the protagonists of our own tales, and there is no perfect story. We are all doing the best we can with the things we have, and there is nothing more to expect from each other than this. I wish for all of you to be at peace with the people you are, and move forward now ready to grow and change evermore. The next chapter of your life is here now, and it is up to you to make the most of it. I am confident that you will make the right choices for yourselves, and will find fulfillment wherever life leads you. I wish all of you the happiest of lives and hope to see you doing great things when I internet stalk you in my twenties.”
The last speech of the evening before the Class of 2022 received their diplomas was by Class President Shaimaa Bouras Saiah.
“During our sophomore year on March 13, 2020 our whole lives changed,” said Saiah. “What was supposed to be a two-week vacation turned into a year-long experience of learning and being at home. Then junior year many of us felt a loss of hope while being fully remote. We missed out on soccer games, speech and debate competitions, robotics, or hanging in the learning commons during lunch. But our hope was restored when we came back in April as we finally got the opportunity to come back to school and finally reconnect with the things we loved doing. Now as graduating seniors, It is time for us to close this chapter and open a new one. Look at every hardship we endured, how we adapted, overcame, and grew. Look at how we succeeded in the past four years. When you step onto this stage and receive your diploma, remember the four years, 7:20 am wake-ups, and the 2,928 80-minute blocks, your hard work is now finally paid off. The moment that felt like centuries away has finally arrived. Congratulations, graduates of 2022. We made it!”