Published June 5, 2019


LYNNFIELD — With a cool breeze in the air and the bright sun shining, the 164 members of the Lynnfield High School Class of 2019 collected their diplomas at Pioneer Stadium on May 31.

The 60th graduating class in school history basked in the glory of its accomplishments during commencement exercises. The Class of 2019, with family, friends and other well-wishers looking on, entered Pioneer Stadium to the familiar processional “Pomp and Circumstance,” performed by the Lynnfield High Concert Band under the direction of first-year Band Director Harry Wagg.

The Chamber Singers followed by performing the “National Anthem,” under the direction of LHS Choral Director Douglas Hodgkins.

“Choose love”

Student Council President Barbara Dickey welcomed members of the Class of 2019, their parents, family members, faculty and local officials to the ceremony. She said the graduates have come a long way over the past 12 years.

ECSTATIC Lynnfield High School graduates toss their mortar boards in the air at the conclusion of Friday’s commencement for the Class of 2019. (Maureen Doherty Photo)

“We have shared our lives together for 12 years from elementary school to high school and this moment, right here, is the end of our time,” said Barbara. “We have had so many memorable moments together from Pep Rally to Snowball to Prom. Through all of these events, we have gotten comfortable at LHS and it is heartbreaking to think that the comfort of knowing what you will do everyday and when it will happen will soon be gone.”

Barbara acknowledged that the graduates were “full of fear” when they first entered LHS as freshmen, but said they have grown up quite a bit over the last four years. She encouraged the graduates to follow TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey’s advice by choosing love over fear.

“I hope that as we continue onto our next stage in life, we can learn to choose love over fear,” said Barbara. “Although it may take time, we will learn to love our new surroundings next year just as we did as freshmen at LHS. We will learn to love the new people that we will meet and we will learn to love, rather than fear, the new and exciting opportunities that will be presented to us. I like to think that our time in Lynnfield has taught us these morals. Thank you to our parents and teachers for instilling this value in us. We will definitely carry this with us as we move forward with our lives.”

A lasting legacy

High School Principal Bob Cleary provided some brief remarks after Barbara’s speech. He said the Class of 2019 was repeatedly praised for their good behavior throughout Senior Week, which he said is a reflection of the community.

“This class has been very special since they arrived four years ago,” said Cleary. “And not just all of the student leaders, but the entire class. They have been involved, work well with each other and have been great role models. They have not only done what we have asked of them, but they have gone above and beyond. They have made their mark on Lynnfield High School. Our goal as educators is to hopefully influence the growth and maturity of our students. I believe that we have been able to do that. But I also believe that this class in particular had a bigger impact on Lynnfield High School than Lynnfield High School had on them, and that impact cannot be measured by MCAS, SAT and Advanced Placement scores. That impact is the intangibles. It’s their influence on Freshmen Orientation, Pioneer Pride and the Compass Program. Everything they have gotten their hands on, they have worked real hard to improve. They have succeeded in making Lynnfield High School a better place because of their presence.”

In closing, Cleary thanked the Class of 2019 for “making my job a little bit easier and a whole lot more enjoyable.”

“You guys are awesome,” said Cleary.

Find your passion

Class of 2019 Valedictorian Zoe Chen gave the Valedictory Address during the 60th graduation. She thanked the graduates’ families, friends, teachers and school officials for the support they have provided over the last four years.

Chen noted the graduates have evolved since walking into LHS as “dazed freshmen” four years ago.

“And how we did that?” Chen asked. “Well, here’s what I know. We painted, photographed, sang and played our way through the Art and Music Departments. We conducted experiments and dissected various lovely smelling specimens in science labs. We studied Spanish, French, Italian or Latin, and have done our fair share of butchering them. We handed in our research papers and became slightly more informed about the world around us. We pushed through senior year, through the stress of college applications, through our APs and through chronic senioritis.”

While Chen acknowledged she doesn’t know what the future holds for herself and her fellow classmates, the valedictorian and talented artist encouraged the graduates to find “some passion that truly speaks to you.”

“Our activities connect us with others and evoke emotion,” said Chen. “In the end, all great achievements begin with our passion and heart. True greatness stems from our aspirations to dig a little deeper and do a little better. So I urge you, as others have urged me, to follow these arts, these skills and these passions to their very end.”

Class gift

Class President Emily Dickey presented the class gift, which are new picnic tables for the front of the high school, to Class of 2020 President Megan Battaglia.

Battaglia thanked the Class of 2019 for the gift and wished them well as they begin writing the next chapter in their lives.

“Over the past three years, each of you have distinguished yourselves as leaders and have made high school a unique and memorable experience for all of the underclassmen,” said Battaglia.

“Move the needle”

After the Concert Band and Concert Choir performed a rendition of Bill Withers’ classic “Lean on Me,” Emily Dickey offered remarks to the Class of 2019.

“As we leave Lynnfield High School and start our new journey, my advice to you is do not worry about the road you choose as much as the effort you put in to make the journey yours,” Emily said. “Our lives are very similar to that of driving an automobile. We have the ability to control the speed, direction and the destination. With the automobile, the only way to get started is to step on the gas and move the speedometer needle. In our lives, we move the needle through actions that have a direct result on our goals and if we do not move that needle everyday, we are not going to get where we want to go.”

Emily encouraged her fellow classmates to move the needle every single day.

“We will all be traveling to different destinations,” said Emily. “We all have different routes we will take in our lives, and we have all started to develop a map of how we are going to get there. But the one thing in common, the one thing we share, we all need to move that needle if we wish to reach the destination and be the person we desire to be.”

A unique class

After Emily concluded her speech, Superintendent Jane Tremblay offered some brief remarks before bidding farewell to the Class of 2019. She noted that the graduates are comprised of nine sets of twins and one set of triplets.

Tremblay said graduating from high school represents more than just receiving a diploma.

“We all know that this celebration encompasses so much more than just meeting the basic requirements,” said Tremblay. “This is a culminating celebration of all of your experiences, big and small, over the past 13 years including the necessity of learning how to sit appropriately during circle time in kindergarten, navigating the anxiety of transitioning from fourth grade to fifth grade while desperately trying to look oh so cool in the eyes of your friends, and all of the moments, experiences and choices that you have made over the last four years here at Lynnfield High School. There are far too many to mention, but each of them undeniably have contributed to the uniqueness of who you are sitting here today. As you leave the comfort of Lynnfield High School, don’t underestimate the impact that your future experiences and your choices will have on the adults that you will become.”

End of an era

School Committee Chairman Jamie Hayman awarded diplomas to the 164 graduates with the assistance of Cleary and Tremblay.

After the graduates received their diplomas and Cleary wished the graduates well as they begin the next chapter of their lives, the Class of 2019 threw their mortarboards in the air, officially marking the end of their Lynnfield High School careers.