Wareham High School wishes the Class of 2018 farewell
Members of the the Wareham High School Class of 2018 flipped their tassels and became graduates Friday night.
The class of more than a 100 students was sent off with a cacophony of airhorns, bells and whistles as they grabbed their diplomas. Many hugs, high fives, secret handshakes and even chest bumps were exchanged between students and their teachers.
"It feels so surreal," said class President Hannah Eddleston after receiving her diploma.
The graduating seniors had received more than $400,000 worth of scholarships the night before, and Spillane Field was an overwhelming sea of Viking pride.
"These seniors hit the ground running as freshmen," said High School Principal Scott Palladino. "They've left our underclassmen with big shoes to fill."
According to Palladino, this year's class has been one of the most academically competitive. In many cases, one-tenth of a percentage point separated students in their rank.
World War II veteran Charles Howard Maxim joined the graduating class, receiving his honorary diploma.
Maxim had been forced to drop out of high school when his father fell ill. He joined the navy to support his mother and nine siblings.
"There are heroes among you," said Superintendent Dr. Kimberly Shaver-Hood in her address to the class.
But perhaps it was class salutatorian Jarred Bettencourt who said it best.
"I'm not usually optimistic," Bettencourt said. "But tonight I am. I'm optimistic for all of our futures, and I want to see you all succeed. We made it."