Wareham High celebrates graduation on Spillane Field

Jun 3, 2022

Surrounded by their peers and facing a crowd of proud parents and siblings, the Wareham High School senior class of 2022 turned their tassels and threw their mortarboards high into the air Friday night in a cheerful graduation ceremony.

“We did it,” student Bridgid Irving said in her welcome address at Spillane Field, and the theme of making it through adversity – Covid-19 and all – was a common sentiment during the night’s speeches.

Salutatorian Emilyann Schluter’s speech focused on the pros and cons of change, both within the four years of high school seniors experienced and their own changes as individuals. She ended her speech with a nod toward Pride Month this June.

Valedictorian Adrienne Padden spoke to how she became valedictorian and the importance of making friends and experiencing the world, not just making the grade.

“Put your relationships first,” Padden advised her fellow graduates. “Now is the time for us to make [our memories].”

This spring semester was the first in a few years to resemble a more normal term, principal Scott Palladino acknowledged during his speech. Seniors got to experience prom, clubs, sports and more, a change from months of virtual and hybrid learning.

“It gave us many teachable moments,” Palladino said of the pandemic.

He listed the percent breakdown of where these graduates are heading after high school: 73% off to higher education, 18% set for the workforce, 5% joining the military and 4%, he said, who are “still figuring out” their plans.

This year’s graduation ceremony was also the last one where Dr. Kimberly Shaver-Hood served as superintendent, as she retires later this summer.

Shaver-Hood praised the senior class’s high average GPA, many honor-roll recipients and John and Abigail Adams awardees.

As names were called and students walked across the grass of Spillane Field, their parents whooped and hollered for their newly graduated children. Some alumni smiled back with a shy little wave, while others sported grins from ear to ear.