Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 06-25-2020

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | JUNE 25-JULY 1, 2020 CLASS OF 2020 11 a global pandemic during their last semester, Shah said they persevered. "We're the only class with more than two years of taking PARCC tests, the last class to have to do portfolio, and I mean our school was being torn down and we didn't get to experience any of the new construction. We had dirt Mount Everest piling up in the front. And we lost all traditional events like graduation, prom, athletic banquet and awards night," he said. Despite the negatives, "This class is the epitome of success with all that we have accomplished," he said, encourag- ing his peers to pursue their dreams no matter what adversity they may face. Reflecting on their time together, Class President Astry Martinez said, "We didn't know it was the last time we would be in class with our peers and we didn't know it was the last time we'd ever walk the halls as students of LHS." The last phase of their youth has been filled with "devastation, anxiety and complete uncertainty," but she said her peers were built for the challenge. Student Council President Colby Acciardo said it was disappointing to be apart from his peers on graduation day, but said the non-traditional nature of this year's ceremony shouldn't take away from all of their hard work. His classmates were "surfing through" their final year when their "wave crashed," he said. "Friday, March 13, or Friday the Thirteenth, the world was put on pause. It was abso- lutely devastating for all of us." Acciardo said the transition to online learning was smooth thanks to "amaz- ing teachers," but that there remained a sense of emptiness and loss. Still, he said, "We survived and con- quered this challenge just like all of the others and will survive whatever is coming."" If he had to use one word to describe Lincoln High School's Class of 2020, Supt. Larry Filippelli said it would have to be "resilient." Filippelli said graduates adapted with "maturity and zero commotion" and continued to thrive. "While it is clear that this is a very different graduation than any of us envisioned, it is still a milestone event in your life," he said. Town Administrator Joseph Almond said this year's graduating class occu- pies a special place in history. In the past when addressing gradu- ates, Almond said he frequently cited major historical events "as a reminder of how vulnerable we are, but also to illustrate how fortunate we are," and to illustrate the resilience, courage, selfless- ness and strength exemplified by prior generations. "Today we are faced with great adversity, challenged by a global pan- demic, divisive racial inequalities and destructive unrest in our communities," he said. "These events have upset our daily lives casting uncertainty over the enthusiasm we had only a few short months ago. However, be assured I am confident that you will emulate the steadfast resolve demonstrated by great generations before us." School Committee Chairman Joseph Goho thanked graduates for their dedi- cation. "Despite the challenging circum- stances from the last few months, rest assured that the LHS Class of 2020 will be remembered not by pandemic, but more deservedly, the Class of 2020 will be remembered by your individual and collective greatness," he said. Principal Robert Mezzanotte agreed that circumstances do not diminish the achievements of this class. The students did carry on the school's tradition of achievement, character and service, Mezzanotte said, collectively demon- strating the school's core values and "incredible pride and resiliency." "You will always share a bond with your classmates that is truly unique," he told graduates. Though graduates will go forth into a world of profound confusion and uncertainty, he said, "It is your attitude, your mental and emotional conviction to your values, the strength of your mind and the love in your heart, that will show you the way." GRADUATION From Page One BREEZE PHOTO BY CHARLES LAWRENCE Class of 2020 graduate AALYAH RIBEIRO holds a flag with a picture of herself as she prepares to ride in Lincoln High School's graduation car parade last Wednesday, June 17. S STANLEY TREE • Professional High Quality Service At Reasonable Rates • Licensed Arborists • Serving RI & Nearby M ass. • Our Team Of Professionals Is Fully Equipped To Handle Your Job In A Safe Efficient Manner Fully Insured Free Estimates N. 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