Traditional commencement exercises Friday at NRHS

Jun 10, 2021 by

Published June 10, 2021


NORTH READING — Commencement exercises for the 64th class to graduate from North Reading High School will be held on Friday, June 11 at 6:15 p.m.

These graduates have plenty to celebrate and they have been anticipating this moment for months. The outdoor ceremony will begin with a processional of the graduating seniors led by Class Marshals Sarah Gerber and Dylan Kelleher. They will enter the school’s Arthur J. Kenney Field to the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance” and will be seated together. Their families will be seated separately on the field, in family units. This arrangement differs slightly from last year’s commencement during which graduates were required to sit only with their families on the field. This change is indicative of the progress being made in combatting the pandemic. For example, currently, there are only one confirmed case and one probable case of COVID-19 being monitored by the town’s Health Department.


It was not always a certainty that the Class of 2021 would have its commencement on schedule due to the pandemic and whatever statewide restrictions may have been required to be in place, but the class officers and student leaders worked together with the administration for months to plan a schedule of Senior Week activities to be held as a class, ever-hopeful that it would happen. Their plans included the goal of having commencement on the traditional date – the second Friday in June – and having a Senior Prom.

Fortunately, all that advanced planning paid dividends. Just a week after Gov. Charlie Baker lifted most mask and indoor gathering limits throughout the state, the seniors enjoyed a memorable prom Monday night at the Danversport Yacht Club to start off Senior Week. And yes, the dance floor was hopping and everyone had a terrific time together.

As everyone remembers, the Class of 2021 had to cancel its Junior Prom and all spring extracurricular activities during the height of the lockdown. But this class soon adapted to the many changes in their daily lives, including a nearly a year-long hybrid learning model where they saw only half of their classmates 2 1/2 days each week in person and spent the other half of the week in remote, synchronous learning.

Commencement signifies a new beginning. Tomorrow night, the Class of 2021 will leave behind the difficulties of these past 15 months, embrace all that they have learned from the experience, and proceed onward to brighter, post-pandemic days ahead.

Honor Essayists

This year’s Honor Essayists are Margaret Regan, Jacqueline Raimo and Samuel McGeachie.

Margaret Regan


At NRHS, Margaret Regan was an active member of the school drama club, the Masquers, all four years. She specialized in behind-the-scenes activities as Costume Crew Chief and also served as treasurer of Masquers.

Regan was also co-captain of the Academic Decathlon Team where math and science were her specialties. In the second round of this year’s state competition, she had the highest score on the team for which she won an award for scoring over 7,000 points and she also won three medals, including silver in the interview and bronze for her overall subjective score on the combined speech, essay and interview.

She is the daughter of Jack and Sue Regan and will attend Northeastern University in the fall where she has been accepted into the Honors College. Although currently undecided on a major, she has interests in both STEM and psychology. Her older sister Mary was also an honor essayist with the Class of 2020.

Jacqueline Raimo

Jacqueline Raimo serves as class treasurer and is co-president of Samantha’s Harvest, a club which raises money for those with Down syndrome. She is also a member of the Student Council and the Red Cross Club.

As a class officer she was happy to play a role helping to organize Senior Week activities for her class. “I am definitely excited that we are all back together because at the beginning of the year we were segregated with the different cohorts so having the ability to have a prom and a graduation, and being all together is a great opportunity for us,” she said.

She is the daughter of Kathy and Michael Raimo and has been accepted to the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she will major in finance. She enjoyed the business classes she took at NRHS, especially Accounting I and II with Mrs. Pierce.


Samuel McGeachie

Samuel McGeachie was a four-year member of the boys’ soccer team, serving as captain senior year and helping to lead the team to the Cape Ann League (CAL) title in the fall. He played center-mid and was named a second team CAL All-Star. He also ran track through junior year, specializing in the 1,000M indoors and 800M outdoors.

McGeachie served as Student Council secretary and attended the Hyannis conference twice. As secretary he wrote the Book of Excellence, which is an accounting of all StuCo activities submitted for evaluation on up to 50 indicators. A council earns one point for each indicator and NRHS StuCo won Gold Council status each year that he was involved by earning 46 or more points, he said. Organizing the fall Pep Rally and being a member of Team Tech Tutors at the Senior Center to assist seniors with their iPhones and other electronics were two of his favorite StuCo activities, both of which were affected by the pandemic.

The son of John and Mary McGeachie, he will attend the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester. He is considering majors in math and Spanish or possibly environmental science.

Class Essayist

Grace Gorman, whose essay was selected in a competition judged by the school’s faculty, will deliver the Class Essay at commencement. At NRHS she was a member of Student Leadership and Mentoring (SLAM), a program for incoming freshmen which proved to be even more important this year “because of the many questions that everyone had,” she said.

Grace Gorman Class Essayist

She was a setter on the volleyball team, earning two varsity letters and serving as a captain this year.

As a senior Gorman also launched The Gift of Warmth campaign at MarketStreet Lynnfield where she arranged to have a clothing drop-off bin set up on The Green in the winter and early spring to collect warm clothing for children who attend the Boys and Girls Clubs of Wakefield and Stoneham. It was a big success and will return next year, she said.

She is the daughter of Peter and Julie Gorman and will attend the University of North Carolina in Wilmington where she will major in psychology.

Graduation program

Principal Anthony J. Loprete will deliver the welcome address and opening remarks, followed by an address to the graduates from Superintendent of Schools Dr. Patrick Daly and the student speeches by honor essayists Margaret Regan, Jacqueline Raimo and Samuel McGeachie and class essayist Grace Gorman.

After the announcement of scholarship awards and the conferring of diplomas, School Committee Chairman Scott Buckley will offer a congratulatory message to the graduates.

The senior class gift will be announced by the senior class officers, President Nessren Ourdyl, Vice President Caroline Casey, Secretary Jacqueline Raimo and Treasurer Nicholas Pasquale. And no graduation ceremony would be complete without the simultaneous tossing of mortarboards into the air by the newly minted graduates. Next week, the Transcript will publish its traditional keepsake graduation supplement, including extensive photo coverage, the speeches by the students and administrators, and the scholarship awards.

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