Class of 2019: Wareham High School seniors graduate
A class of 93 graduates said goodbye to the Wareham High School on Friday, celebrating a year of academic success, statewide honors, sports championships, and upheld traditions.
Wearing the school’s signature blue and gold, graduates stepped through a giant cardboard model of “The Gateway to the Cape” on Spillane Field in front of a crowd of several hundred people packed into the arena.
The class President, Justin Schluter, kicked off the ceremony with a welcome address, followed by a presentation of the colors by the school JROTC and a rendition of the national anthem.
A series of speakers urged students to work towards a strong future and asked them to never stop striving to be better, while also setting a good example for others.
Valedictorian Renneanna Dillen, who will be attending Harvard University, asked her classmates to “support each other,” and continue being “vibrant leaders.” She also urged them to “find balance” in their lives, like she did when she was learning to combine sports and academics while also dealing with epileptic episodes, which she had been battling throughout the four years of high school.
“We have all found a point in our lives in which we have been truly tested. How we decide to respond in these moments is what can define us and lay out the next page in our lives,” said Dillen. “All of us who are graduating today have been fighting something. With perseverance, strength, and focus, you have all won the battle, so to speak.”
Wareham High School Principal, Scott Palladino, cataloged a long list of seniors' accomplishments, from academic achievements to sports championships.
Despite being one of the smallest classes to graduate from Wareham, the class of 2019 has completed the most community service hours in the school’s history. Since September, students spent 3221 hours volunteering — double the number of hours completed by last year’s class.
The seniors of 2019 also received one of the largest amounts of scholarship money ever given to one class in Wareham, according to Palladino. This year, 35 percent of the students graduated with an A average or better.
“This is one of the most academically competitive senior classes we have ever had graduating from the Wareham High School,” said Palladino. “All of you had a well-thought-out plan. You represent Wareham High School well. You should be proud of yourself for what you did. You have left big shoes to fill in so many ways.”
Seventy-five percent of the graduates will be attending institutions of higher education, including Harvard University, University of Massachusetts, and Bridgewater State University. Some students will move on to a workforce, armed services and some will take a gap year.
While they were advised to celebrate their accomplishments, the graduates were also encouraged to never stop learning and always remember their student years.
“All your wonderful memories in Wareham should be carried. Share your stories with others, so they too, can learn and grow, and so your stories will live on for years and decades to come,” said Superintendent Dr. Kimberly Shaver-Hood. “As you move forward tonight, know you have our admiration.”