Congratulations, graduates! Wareham High School students ‘flip the page’ on their senior year

Jun 7, 2024

Standing on the grass of Spillane Field behind the bricks of the Middle School buildings, the Wareham High School Class of 2024 entered their adult lives on Friday, June 7 surrounded by teachers, families and friends, celebrating the perseverance which brought them to that moment. 

“We are all gathered today for what is likely to be the last time, but we will all forever be connected,” said Valedictorian Brooklyn Bindas. “Today, as we start our next adventure, let’s cherish these moments and hold on to the memories and friendships we have made that have made our high school experience truly unforgettable.” 

While the occasion primarily celebrated the day’s graduates, speakers extended thanks to the entire community of people who had made the day possible. 

Principal Scott Palladino thanked the school’s fields and grounds crew, as well as the custodians, for preparing the area for the ceremony; he thanked the senior class advisors and the school district administrators for their leadership; he thanked High School teachers and staff “for your unwavering commitment to our students’ success”; and he thanked everyone who has supported the school’s community. 

Palladino also thanked local organizations and businesses who had altogether given over $380,000 in scholarships to the graduating class. 

“You have been a very strong class, overcoming unprecedented challenges with resilience and determination,” he told graduates. “Your achievements, both academically, athletically and personally are a testament to your hard work and perseverance.”

The students who spoke highlighted some of the challenges they faced, including the COVID pandemic. 

Bindas said an unexpected injury her junior year had kept her from playing on the girls tennis team, but that the incident gave her “the chance to finally think about my life.”

“I realized that I was missing out on so much,” Bindas said. “This setback showed me how important it is to enjoy the moment and slow down and embrace life.”

Salutatorian Eliza Hough said that, in her time at Wareham, she often fantasized about attending a fancy, prestigious school. However, “We may be a small and humble school, but I am proud of us,” Hough said. 

Hough said that Wareham High School is one of the only schools in the area to offer such opportunities as International Baccalaureate and dual enrolment courses, and that many students were thankful for something more than a standard, by the book education. 

While Hough briefly fainted in the course of delivering her speech, she persevered to talk about the world beyond Wareham. 

“More often than not, this world is a lot to reckon with, but if there’s anything my education has taught me, it’s not to look away,” said Hough. She said there were children in Palestine unable to graduate “because there’s nothing left of their schools,” and called upon the graduating class to “live with a loud compassion.”

Superintendent Matt D’Andrea congratulated students and their families for making it to graduation.

“The persistence you have shown to get yourself here this evening is commendable,” said D’Andrea. “It is proof of your perseverance.”

D’Andrea quoted lyrics from the song “Tin Man,” by the band America, which read, “Oz never did give nothing to the tin man that he didn’t already have.”

“I recognize that this sentence is a double negative and grammatically incorrect, but let's set that aside,” said D’Andrea. He said the story of the Wizard of Oz served as a metaphor for the potential within each student, and said, “Graduates, as you go forward, don’t let fear hold you back.”