Chariho graduation

Contributing Writer

KINGSTON - The 2019 Chariho High School (CHS) senior class charged across the stage on Friday night and into the next phase of their lives. Emotions were high as the soon-to-be graduates walked out to “Pomp and Circumstance” at The University of Rhode Island’s Ryan Center Auditorium, where 227 Chariho students would receive their diplomas. Before the night was over, several memorable speeches would be made by faculty and students alike, commemorating the journey that lead to the Ryan Center stage and looking toward the future.

Once the students, faculty, and crowd settled into their seats, Noah Rogers led a salute to the flag followed by a stirring performance of the National Anthem by the senior members of Chariho High’s Chorus.

Principal Craig Mackenzie was the first speaker of the evening, he flavored his opening remarks with a heartwarming story of senior Joel Desrosiers. Desrosiers, an exceptional student in Chariho’s Career and Technical Center (CTC) Culinary program, was discouraged with school and wanted to focus on his upcoming career. Desrosiers and Principal Mackenzie came up with a plan that would allow him to gain on-the-job experience without abandoning his high school diploma through an independent study program.

“Three months ago, Joel was ready to pack his knives,” Mackenzie said. “But he approached me about completing a semester or two of independent study with Chef Reilly that would culminate in a ten-course meal, to which I would be invited. Of course, I immediately agreed.”

Mackenzie then went on to praise the success of the meal, saying how touched he was by the support of Desrosiers’ friends, family, and colleagues. He concluded his speech by having current CTC students serve an amuse-bouche, the same one Desrosiers served during his meal, to the graduates as a video of multiple Chariho students talking about positive experiences they had with their own independent studies and internships played on the stadium’s big screen.

Mackenzie was followed by 2019 class salutatorian Claire Fox, who gave an introspective speech examining her maturation from a rambunctious young girl to her current self, the salutatorian of her class giving a speech at her high school graduation. Fox compared her personal journey to the journey her classmates had taken through high school and will continue once they leave the halls of Chariho.

“That difficult child is not who I am today.” Fox said. “That stubborn, rambunctious child is my past. I grew up, and I learned who I wanted to be. Now, as each one of us is about to step out into the world outside of Chariho High School, we all have the opportunity to redefine ourselves as who we truly are.”

Fox went on to congratulate her classmates on their diverse accomplishments and encouraged them to pursue their dreams in adulthood. Fox ended her speech by reminding her classmates that while they should be proud of where they came from, who they were in the past does not make them who they are now, or who they will become in the future.

Commencement speaker and CHS social studies teacher Johannah LaFountain was next to give a speech, and she enlisted the help of Chariho senior Avery Moody to analyze several pieces of art, ranging from Norman Rockwell’s “Happy Birthday Ms. Jones” to Faith Ringgold’s “Dancing at the Louvre.” LaFountain used the pieces to teach a few final life lessons to the class of 2019.

Superintendent Barry Ricci was the last Chariho faculty member to speak at the ceremony. Ricci gave a heartfelt reminder to the graduates to always be respectful of others and to appreciate the things they were grateful for in their lives, as well as a deserved salute to the members of the Class of 2019 who chose to serve their country in the armed forces.

“On your mark, get set, go!” began class valedictorian Mathew Dickerman. Dickerman, the final student speaker of the evening, used his time as a Chariho Track and Cross Country runner to highlight his experiences at Chariho High School.

“While those preparing for a race might recall directly hearing those commands,” Dickerman said, “each of us here in this athletic center tonight have lived by the commands.”

Dickerman went through each of the track commands, translating them and illustrating how they were applicable to the everyday life of a Chariho student. “On your mark” was comparable to “getting your ducks in a row and covering all your bases,” in general preparing themselves for what was to come in their academic careers as well as life overall. “Set,” a command that instructs runners to take the last moment before the starter’s pistol to prepare themselves mentally for the race, a state of mind Dickerman associated with preparing to take a final, present the graduation portfolio or interview for a new job. Finally, “Go,” signifying the start of a race or, for the graduates of Chariho High School’s Class of 2019, the start of a new and exciting chapter in their lives.

“Whether you’re excited, nervous, eager or bitter, we all have the preparation needed to move on from our roots here at Chariho.” Dickerman said in his closing remarks. “In track, you require the assistance of someone to hold your starting blocks stable, as you yourself start the race. For us, that help and support came through our family, friends, teachers and classmates.”

In closing, Dickerman implored his fellow classmates to thank the person next to them for their help in preparing each other for life outside of high school.

The class of 2019 then walked across the stage at the Ryan Center, receiving their diplomas from the faculty, and well-deserved cheers from friends and family.  As each member of the class of 2019 crossed the stage, they took their final steps as students and their first steps into their future as Chariho High School graduates.By JOHN LEE

KINGSTON - The 2019 Chariho High School (CHS) senior class charged across the stage on Friday night and into the next phase of their lives. Emotions were high as the soon-to-be graduates walked out to “Pomp and Circumstance” at The University of Rhode Island’s Ryan Center Auditorium, where 227 Chariho students would receive their diplomas. Before the night was over, several memorable speeches would be made by faculty and students alike, commemorating the journey that lead to the Ryan Center stage and looking toward the future.

Once the students, faculty, and crowd settled into their seats, Noah Rogers led a salute to the flag followed by a stirring performance of the National Anthem by the senior members of Chariho High’s Chorus.

Principal Craig Mackenzie was the first speaker of the evening, he flavored his opening remarks with a heartwarming story of senior Joel Desrosiers. Desrosiers, an exceptional student in Chariho’s Career and Technical Center (CTC) Culinary program, was discouraged with school and wanted to focus on his upcoming career. Desrosiers and Principal Mackenzie came up with a plan that would allow him to gain on-the-job experience without abandoning his high school diploma through an independent study program.

“Three months ago, Joel was ready to pack his knives,” Mackenzie said. “But he approached me about completing a semester or two of independent study with Chef Reilly that would culminate in a ten-course meal, to which I would be invited. Of course, I immediately agreed.”

Mackenzie then went on to praise the success of the meal, saying how touched he was by the support of Desrosiers’ friends, family, and colleagues. He concluded his speech by having current CTC students serve an amuse-bouche, the same one Desrosiers served during his meal, to the graduates as a video of multiple Chariho students talking about positive experiences they had with their own independent studies and internships played on the stadium’s big screen.

Mackenzie was followed by 2019 class salutatorian Claire Fox, who gave an introspective speech examining her maturation from a rambunctious young girl to her current self, the salutatorian of her class giving a speech at her high school graduation. Fox compared her personal journey to the journey her classmates had taken through high school and will continue once they leave the halls of Chariho.

“That difficult child is not who I am today.” Fox said. “That stubborn, rambunctious child is my past. I grew up, and I learned who I wanted to be. Now, as each one of us is about to step out into the world outside of Chariho High School, we all have the opportunity to redefine ourselves as who we truly are.”

Fox went on to congratulate her classmates on their diverse accomplishments and encouraged them to pursue their dreams in adulthood. Fox ended her speech by reminding her classmates that while they should be proud of where they came from, who they were in the past does not make them who they are now, or who they will become in the future.

Commencement speaker and CHS social studies teacher Johannah LaFountain was next to give a speech, and she enlisted the help of Chariho senior Avery Moody to analyze several pieces of art, ranging from Norman Rockwell’s “Happy Birthday Ms. Jones” to Faith Ringgold’s “Dancing at the Louvre.” LaFountain used the pieces to teach a few final life lessons to the class of 2019.

Superintendent Barry Ricci was the last Chariho faculty member to speak at the ceremony. Ricci gave a heartfelt reminder to the graduates to always be respectful of others and to appreciate the things they were grateful for in their lives, as well as a deserved salute to the members of the Class of 2019 who chose to serve their country in the armed forces.

“On your mark, get set, go!” began class valedictorian Mathew Dickerman. Dickerman, the final student speaker of the evening, used his time as a Chariho Track and Cross Country runner to highlight his experiences at Chariho High School.

“While those preparing for a race might recall directly hearing those commands,” Dickerman said, “each of us here in this athletic center tonight have lived by the commands.”

Dickerman went through each of the track commands, translating them and illustrating how they were applicable to the everyday life of a Chariho student. “On your mark” was comparable to “getting your ducks in a row and covering all your bases,” in general preparing themselves for what was to come in their academic careers as well as life overall. “Set,” a command that instructs runners to take the last moment before the starter’s pistol to prepare themselves mentally for the race, a state of mind Dickerman associated with preparing to take a final, present the graduation portfolio or interview for a new job. Finally, “Go,” signifying the start of a race or, for the graduates of Chariho High School’s Class of 2019, the start of a new and exciting chapter in their lives.

“Whether you’re excited, nervous, eager or bitter, we all have the preparation needed to move on from our roots here at Chariho.” Dickerman said in his closing remarks. “In track, you require the assistance of someone to hold your starting blocks stable, as you yourself start the race. For us, that help and support came through our family, friends, teachers and classmates.”

In closing, Dickerman implored his fellow classmates to thank the person next to them for their help in preparing each other for life outside of high school.

The class of 2019 then walked across the stage at the Ryan Center, receiving their diplomas from the faculty, and well-deserved cheers from friends and family.  As each member of the class of 2019 crossed the stage, they took their final steps as students and their first steps into their future as Chariho High School graduates.

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