The seniors move on to the next step in their lives. From their last final exams in high school to their senior prom, Malden High’s seniors have been tying up all the loose ends involving school. Graduation is the last and arguably most significant event that seniors attend because it marks the beginning of a new chapter in their lives. Friends, families, faculty and graduating seniors gathered on Monday, June 6 at McDonald’s Stadium in Malden for the momentous ceremony.

Graduation was bustling with families filling the bleachers, concession stands selling food, drinks and other goods and the staff preparing for the upcoming event. Graduation featured a performance from Malden’s choral arts group, speeches from teachers, students and departing principal Dana Brown and the ceremony where seniors retrieved their diplomas. Members of Malden’s faculty such as Judi Sullivan and Dana Brown dedicated their efforts to ensure the event was a success. Judi Sullivan helps prepare for the event and has been for many years with duties such as handing out diplomas. “This graduation is very special to [her] because it’s Mr. Brown’s last graduation,” begins Sullivan. “Every year you form relationships with the students but this year [she] got very close to the officers.”

The Malden student body can all agree that the graduation of 2016 is a significant event as it is the last Dana Brown will attend as principal. With the hopes of the event running harmoniously, Brown was feeling enthusiasm as well as nervousness in the moments leading up to the ceremony. Brown admitted that although it was his last year, he did not spend much time reflecting on his 13 years at the school and was mainly excited for the event. “This is a great class. [He thinks] it’s special because it’s [his] last one but even if it wasn’t it’s really a great group of people and students, as are all the classes,” states Brown. “That’s why [he loves] Malden High School.” Brown later delivered a moving and inspiring speech to the graduation attendees and reminded the Malden community the brightness of its future.

For seniors, graduation is more than simply leaving high school.  They will embark on a life with increased responsibilities and new opportunities, which senior Thy Fineberg was ready to experience. During graduation, Fineberg was primarily excited to get his diploma and finish high school once and for all, but the act of graduating was especially significant for him. “[He] was able to get through this [high school] and graduate and it was meaningful in so many ways.” Though Fineberg is relieved to wrap up high school, he is determined to start his life independently. “From here on, it’s gonna be tougher. There’s gonna be more challenges,” Fineberg points out. Similar to Fineberg, senior Jeffry Georges is excited to see what is next in store in his life. After high school, Georges describes that he awaits “everything else that lies out there – new experiences, new people to meet, just a whole different situation that [he] can be placed in and test [himself],” exhibiting the general thrill and relief among the graduating seniors.

Though high school mostly made up their days for the past four years, most seniors are eager to receive their diploma as well as their earned freedom. Daniela Herrera, who was among the many seniors that graduated, admits that she will miss the ease of high school and accessibility to support but is ready to finally start her life. After high school, she looks forward to studying what she desires with feelings of empowerment from her ability to graduate. Herrera expresses that graduating is “a big step for [her] as a Hispanic and Latina,” considering the difficulties certain communities face that hinder them from succeeding in high school. Herrera believes that graduating allowed her to “beat a whole bunch of statistics,” leaving her feeling proud and motivated to succeed in college and beyond.

Graduation is also a milestone for the seniors’ families. Dayrene Herrera, Daniela’s older sister, has bittersweet feelings about Herrera’s graduation as do any family member. For the families, it is an emotional thing to witness their relative’s graduation as it truly is a transition into adulthood. Herrera states that her younger sister has “come a long way and [has] gone through a lot” throughout her years. “High school is tough and she’s made it through and that’s a beautiful thing,” continues Herrera. Family members are not the only ones that feel the sentimentality of witnessing graduation – faculty and teachers, like Rebecca Corcoran, find the event meaningful as well. Corcoran has always loved attending graduation because it is “fantastic to see the students that you have watched for a couple of years grow and reach this milestone in their lives.” Though members of the audience will miss the graduating seniors, it is a moving and pivotal occasion for all involved.

After the seniors threw their caps, graduation came to an end and the families of the seniors joyously joined them on the field for photos and congratulatory exchanges. Congratulations to the class of 2016 for their hard work and perseverance and making it to the next step in their lives.

Malden High School Class Of 2016.  Photo taken by Jesaias Benitez.
Malden High School Class Of 2016.
Photo taken by Jesaias Benitez.

For more graduation photos, click here. 

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