NORTH READING — All are welcome to attend the 66th Commencement Exercises of North Reading High School on Friday, June 9 promptly at 6:15 p.m. at Arthur J. Kenney Field.

The graduating seniors will gather in the gymnasium for photographs with their classmates prior to the processional with faculty members down Jon Bernard Way. They will be led onto the turf field by Class Marshals Annalise Butler and Matthew Guidebeck while the NRHS concert band plays the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance” under the direction of Ben Owens.

In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved indoors with admittance by ticket only, which were distributed to class members in advance.

This year’s honor essayists are Caroline Huntress, Jonathan Park and Ethan Guidebeck. Anne Kuperstein, whose essay was selected in a competition judged by the school’s faculty, will deliver the class essay.


Honor Essayist


Honor Essayist Caroline Huntress

Caroline Huntress is a member of the National Honor Society. She is the daughter of Bill and Henrike Huntress and will attend Vanderbilt University in Nashville where she will major in civil engineering with a focus on environmental engineering. She fell in love with the university on her first visit, driving the 17-hour trip with her mom while visiting many college campuses. “We stopped in many cool places. I did early decision and flew down with my dad for Accepted Students Day. It was awesome. I met my roommate and got to meet a lot of people. She is from Las Vegas and we both really love to read so we will have a shared bookshelf,” she said.

“They don’t have an undergraduate environmental engineering program, but civil engineering is an umbrella term that has environmental engineering underneath it so I will focus my attention on environmental engineering. I do have the opportunity to get my master’s in four years and that is what I am aiming for. I just need to use my AP credits strategically. That was the most useful information I got at Accepted Student Day.”

Huntress was very involved as an officer with the EcoTeam at NRHS, setting up the ‘treeplenish’ project within the school. “Essentially it was an idea that other officers had before me and then I took it upon myself to set it up. The goal was to plant trees around the town and get people to buy our trees in order to offset environmental impacts. Last year it was paper usage and this year it was CO2 emissions.”

“I also did Academic Decathlon. I was the treasurer and I really liked that as well.” As a member of the Student Council she enjoyed helping out with the annual food drive for the North Reading Food Pantry.

“I was the tutoring coordinator of National Honor Society so I coordinated all the tutoring that went on at the high school to connect people who want to tutor with people who need tutoring.” Part of her duties was to ensure the tutors were credited for their community service hours. She tutors two girls, both in math, a sixth-grader and freshman.

“I am definitely an avid reader and getting back into it now that school’s over. I do like to work out and I love cooking for my family and I really like baking; those are my biggest hobbies. I also work at the Thomson Country Club for outside guest services. It’s very fun. And I golf with my family for fun. We live at The Greens and it’s super convenient.”



Honor Essayist


Honor Essayist Jonathan Park

Jonathan Park is the son of Jung Hoon Park and Haejin Park and a member of the National Honor Society. He will attend Tufts University in the fall where he will major in chemistry.

“My interest with chemistry started with sophomore year chemistry and then it fully bloomed with AP Chemistry in junior year and Mr. Kiniry. Right now I am looking to broaden my horizon, explore what is out there and find a specific field that I want to do,” Park said.

“It’s really fascinating to me to see how theoretical concepts can be applied for real world benefits and you can see that perfectly with chemistry. All of the theories and all of the properties that you learn in the classroom have real applications in the world. You can take raw materials, transform them into usable products and that is just one of the many functions (of chemistry) and that is really interesting to me,” he said.

While attending NRHS, Park was a four-year member of the Academic Decathlon team coached by Miss Carmichael and Miss Hargrove, and he participated in many regional and state tournaments. A highlight of this experience for him was winning four awards in literature, science, essay and math at the State Finals during his junior year.

Park also played varsity tennis for the Hornets, competing at first doubles starting in his sophomore year; their freshman season was canceled due to the Covid pandemic. This season he served as a team captain. The Hornets played a very competitive state tournament match at Cape Cod Academy in Barnstable last week, with four of the five matches going to three sets.

“Everyone gave it their all, which was super awesome to see. We were evenly matched. It was a bittersweet but fulfilling end to a really good season,” he said. “I am excited to come back next year for Senior Night!”

“For my third main activity, I participated in a community service organization outside of NRHS called Giving Tree” at an Asian American church in Cambridge where he helped a friend run a food pantry. “We also did a couple of their education programs for the local youth. It was nice to spend my time on weekends in a meaningful way. I got to talk to so many different people from so many different walks of life. It was really nice to see everyone sitting down at large tables sharing their meals together. I am happy I have so many opportunities to get out in the community. North Reading has such a vibrant community. There are so many programs and different clubs and activities going on, especially with the senior class, everyone just gets along; it’s amazing.

“I think this goes with the overall theme of my speech. I really want to do my best to convey that I wouldn’t be the very person I am today without everyone around me, like my parents, my friends, my teachers, so I want to give them a big thank you.”


Honor Essayist



 Honor essayist Ethan Soroko

Ethan Soroko, the son of Erin and Dan Soroko, will attend Boston College where he will major in computer science.

“AI is definitely something I’ll be interested in looking into. It is very amazing to see the new emergence of these technologies such as Chat GPT, which I am sure a lot of people have seen or used. And I think it is just very important to be cautious about these technologies because as much as they can be used for good they can be used for bad so I want to work on making sure that they’re morally and ethically sound. That’s a very important issue to address in society today,” he believes.

Soroko said he has heard the stories of companies that have misused data, selling it across countries and believes it is important “that this technology is used by the right people for the right causes and they are not giving away people’s data.”

He has been drawn to the field of computer science since elementary school. “Ever since I started with the Scratches Block Programming I knew computer science was definitely the subject for me,” he said.

“Something we’ve learned about in class this year is called the digital divide and the lack of access that certain people have to computational devices and I definitely want to work towards (closing) that. I volunteered with the TOPSoccer program in town for people with intellectual or physical disabilities and I’ve realized that a lot of computer interfaces might not be designed for them and they might have trouble using these different types of interfaces so I want to work to make sure that these individuals have the proper access that they deserve to connect with one another online. That is a very important issue especially for people with physical disabilities. It might be hard for them to use a traditional keyboard or interface online,” Soroko said.

Soroko served as President of the NRHS Chapter of the National Honor Society where he helped set the meeting agenda, presided over the meetings and set the Chapter’s community service project to create video clips on each topic in the Student Handbook.

“Since a lot of people might not keep up to date with it and read it, we all made videos pertaining to one subject in the handbook to put on the school’s website eventually and make it more accessible,” he explained. Doing so will enable students to “watch a quick video on the topic rather than search through the entire handbook for a specific section.”

He was also a Board Member of SLAM (Student Leadership and Mentoring). “We help run the summer orientation program to introduce freshmen to the school and also select mentors for each of the freshmen to give them a smooth transition from Middle School and work them into different extracurricular activities and in-school clubs and organizations.”

The Covid lockdown, which occurred during the spring of their freshman year, influenced how the Class of 2023 interacts with one another, he believes.

“I definitely realized a big difference at the end of sophomore year when we all came back together. It is such a tight knit community and everyone really bonded after that experience because we really found out how easily everything can just be taken away in the blink of an eye without anyone really knowing what’s going on. This has really influenced us to become a much closer community, and really help one another and be there for one another. That is what I enjoy about our class; I feel like everybody is always supportive,” he said.

Soroko also played four years of soccer, mainly as a defender for the Hornets, and for the past two years he has competed on the track team in discus and triple jump.  He has studied martial arts for the past 12 years. Most recently, he achieved the rank of second-degree black belt in Tang Soo Do, a Korean form of martial arts. He is also an assistant instructor at his school, the Broken Board Studio in Andover. Previously, he had achieved the second-degree black belt rank in Taekwondo.


Class Essayist



Class Essayist Anne Kuperstein

Anne Kuperstein is a member of the National Honor Society and the daughter of Kristin and Peter Kuperstein. She is Vice President of the Class of 2023 and will attend Middlebury College in Vermont where she will major in psychology.

“I’ve always wanted to speak at graduation but I only wanted to submit an essay if I had a good concept for it that I thought represented the class well,” Kuperstein said. “I’ve always wanted to receive a bouquet of sunflowers for graduation. That’s all I want. So I wanted to write about why I wanted sunflowers and why I love them so much and why I think sunflowers represent the Class of 2023. It didn’t take long to write the speech because it was just something that I was passionate about,” she said, which was an indication to her that she should submit it.

In addition to being a class officer, she is the Vice President of the NRHS Student Council, and as a senior she served as President of the Northeast Massachusetts Association of Student Councils, which is the regional board. Being president of the regional board gave her a seat on the state board for the Massachusetts Association of Student Councils as well.

She is also a member of the NRHS Masquers and dances outside of school. Kuperstein was also actively involved in Unified Sports and Special Olympics.

She said her favorite activity was “Student Council as a whole because it combined Unified Sports and Special Olympics as well as serving on the state board.”

“With the state board you get a huge variety of people from different towns and you become close with people who live two hours away that you’ll see at a Unified Bocce Tournament or the state conference, and you are eager all year to see those people for an hour. I have met some of my closest friends through Student Council and it has helped me decide I still want to remain involved with Special Olympics,” she said. “Part of me wants to use psychology to do a lot of research surrounding intellectual disabilities. I don’t know if it’s being a Special Ed teacher or doing research. It is something I am still trying to figure out.”