On Tuesday night, more than 400 Revere High School seniors marched onto the stage at Harry Della Russo Stadium and received their diplomas as part of the high school graduation exercise.
The evening began with the traditional procession of the Class of 2022 into the stadium followed by the presentation of the colors by the Revere High JROTC.
Noelis Aponte then performed a beautiful rendition of the national anthem on guitar before the crowd was led in Shaimaa Bouras Saiah’s pledge of allegiance.
The ceremony began with a welcome and remarks from outgoing ERS Director, Dr. John Perella. Tuesday’s graduation marked the final graduation for Perella as high school principal.
“I have been incredibly fortunate to have attended 10 graduations as a school principal and 12 as an administrator and teacher,” Perella said. “I had the distinct privilege of entering RHS during my first year as Principal with you all in August 2018. Together we rode this wild roller coaster of high school experience and together we graduate in a world of real needs and challenge, but powerful possibility. Class of 2022, thank you for sharing this part of your journey with me. I learned so much from you and with you. I am a better educator, father and person because of the time we spent together, because of the lessons and friendships you shared with me, and because of your unquenchable spirit. You will forever remain in my heart.
Perella was followed by remarks from revered Mayor Brian Arrigo who said the Class of 2022 endured a high school experience unparalleled in history given the challenges of the pandemic.
“The life you live today — and the world you move into — is dramatically different than when you started high school,” Arrigo said. “Your class will be our champion of progress and opportunity. Because of your unique experiences and the challenges from which you have already learned to pivot, each of you has the skills and courage to lead a new path of progress for our collective future. Each of you continued to show up in class, despite everything the world was facing. You still came to school every day – even when masks were mandatory and each day seemed more confusing and frustrating than the last. You went to your matches, competed in your clubs, applied to your dream colleges, and did it all together. Class of 2022 – your strength inspires me.
After RHS Poet Laureate Parker Legere read a poem dedicated to the Class of 2022 and RHS Deputy Principal Dr Lena Marie Rockwood addressed the Class of 2022 Alexia Serino of Seacoast High School gave the first student speech of the evening.
“Being at SeaCoast High School hasn’t just changed my goals and my mindset about how I want to
thrive in life, but showed me that it doesn’t matter where you come from to be successful,” Serino said. “Starting my freshman year of high school at Revere High was difficult with many hurdles like skipping class, not completing homework, and overall not doing my best in school, which made me sad. gave the impression that I was not going to succeed. But, with welcoming arms, SeaCoast has given me this second chance to prove that I can do it and blossom into the smart, independent woman I am here today.
Serino was attended by co-Salutatorians Nicholas Gerasev and Angela Huynh. The two Salutatorians provided a little comic relief with a clever routine that mirrored some of the high school moments many experienced before concluding on a more serious note.
“Thank you again to everyone who supported us throughout our high school career, it really meant a lot,” Gerasev said. “And to our peers, you have your whole life ahead of you. Go ahead and conquer the world.
While Huynh added, “You are not a number, you are not your grades, but you are our future. Good luck, class of 2022.”
Class of 2022 Jennie Pich then delivered her speech, discussing how her parents had to flee genocide in their home country to build a new and better life for themselves in the United States.
“As the child of two immigrants, it means a lot to me to be here today,” Pinch said. “My parents came here as genocide survivors, speaking no English, so to stand here today as valedictorian is not only an accomplishment for me, but also for them.”
Like Perella, Pinch said the Class of 2022 face more challenges and hurdles to finally be able to graduate.
“I know we’ve all faced the unique challenges presented by the pandemic,” Pinch said. “Our normal last year was four years ago, when we were just freshmen. After that, we were thrown into the pit that was online school. Isolation was something to which no one was prepared. It was difficult; maybe some of you have felt the effects of e-learning on your performance. Your grades may have dropped and your motivation may have diminished.
Pinch said that in the face of so much hardship, the Class of 2022 was able to make the best of a bad situation and thrive.
“It’s easy to look at other people’s accomplishments and believe they’re better, happier and more successful,” she said. “That they all live exciting and exceptional stories. But we are all protagonists in our own stories, and there is no perfect story. We all do the best we can with the things we have, and there’s nothing more to expect from each other than that. I wish you all to be at peace with the people you are and move forward now, ready to grow and change forever. The next chapter of your life is here now, and it’s up to you to make the most of it. I am confident that you will make the right choices for yourselves and thrive wherever life takes you. I wish you all the happiest of lives and hope to see you do great things when I bully you on the internet in your twenties.
The final speech of the evening before the Class of 2022 graduates was delivered by Class President Shaimaa Bouras Saiah.
“In our second year, March 13, 2020, our whole life changed,” Saiah said. “What was supposed to be a two-week vacation turned into a year-long experience of learning and being at home. Then many of us felt a loss of hope while being completely distant. We missed football games, speech and debate competitions, robotics or hanging in learning places during lunch. But our hope was restored when we returned in April, as we finally had the opportunity to go back to school and finally reconnect with the things we loved to do. Now, as graduating seniors, it’s time for us to close that chapter and open a new one. Look at all the hardships we have endured, how we have adapted, overcome and grown. Look at how we have succeeded over the past four years. When you step onto that stage and graduate, remember four years, 7:20 a.m. wake-ups, and 2,928 80-minute blocks, your hard work is finally rewarded. The moment that felt like ages has finally arrived. Congratulations, 2022 graduates. We made it!