Needham High graduates turn their tassels

Needham High School graduates toss their caps in celebration. Photo by Georgina Arietta-Ruetenik

By Laura Drinan
Hometown Weekly Reporter

No amount of rain could have dampened the day as Needham High School’s seniors prepared for their graduation. With their family and friends watching from the stands of Boston College’s Conte Forum, the students met their teachers and faculty on the floor of the arena, where a banner reading “Class of 2018” greeted them.

Between graduating seniors Jacob Stern’s and James Jourdan’s reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance, the Needham High School Band performed for the processional and National Anthem. Master of Ceremonies Alison Coubrough-Argentieri then introduced Principal Aaron Sicotte to impart some words of wisdom before the seniors set out into the world.

Makenna Woodward-Crackower addresses her fellow classmates as Needham High’s class of 2018 prepares to turn their tassels. Photos by Laura Drinan

Makenna Woodward-Crackower addresses her fellow classmates as Needham High’s class of 2018 prepares to turn their tassels. Photos by Laura Drinan

“What you’ve learned does not matter nearly as much as who you are and who you are becoming,” he said honestly. “You are a great class made of tremendous individuals, who have grown tremendously these last four years. It is that growth, that becoming, that matters.”

Although the class of 2018 has already achieved so much, Sicotte advised the students to focus on two traits as they continue their journey of growth and becoming: to be kind and work hard.

“You can never go wrong if you are kind and hard-working,” he said. “Give out good to the world. You know the challenges you’ve faced, the obstacles you’ve overcome, and the support you’ve needed to face those challenges. As you navigate through life, trust that the challenges others are facing or have faced reflect or exceed yours. So, be kind. Bring them a little joy, a little comfort, a little faith in humanity just by being kind.”

The graduation exercises continued with the presentation of awards, including the Needham High School Award for Academic Excellence and the Needham High School Award for Service.

The Needham High School Chorus performs ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water.’ Photos by Laura Drinan

The Needham High School Chorus performs ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water.’ Photos by Laura Drinan

Graduating senior Jack Cruickshank addressed the class of 2018, speaking of their commitment to community and devotion to eradicating hatred in the world. Tim Andre, while presenting the 2018 class gift, spoke about the class’ time in Needham High School, calculating the exact number of minutes spent inside the building.

Makenna Woodward-Crackower, a graduating senior, addressed the class, recalling her early years of high school and advising her fellow classmates to spend more time loving themselves and building their confidence.

With the presentation of diplomas and turning of the tassels following the students’ speeches, Needham’s newest graduates threw their caps in the air, feeling inspired to start a new chapter with kindness, hard work, and confidence.

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