Zachary Nedell also contributed to this article
All photos by Bo Stead
Under drizzly skies and hopeful futures, students across all grades converged at MacDonald Stadium on Monday evening to celebrate the graduating seniors.
The graduation for the class of 2023 was delayed from Sunday, June 4th to Monday, June 5th. This did not stop the ceremonies from going at full speed on Monday.
As everyone filed into the stadium, rain started to fall from the sky eliciting laughter and worry across the field. Seniors would eventually file to the back of the stadium waiting for the fateful walk.
In these moments before the graduates would walk onto the field during their last moments as high school students, there was a calm before the storm. Some students laughed and joked with their friends, in shock that their moment was finally here; some made TikToks, and some just quietly enjoyed the moment.
In addition, both the Malden High School band and choir assembled to prepare to send off their own seniors in the crowd. While preparations were underway, friends, family, teachers and coaches filled the stands of MacDonald Stadium.
Finally the time came around six in the evening when the band struck up “Pomp and Circumstance”, a well known song for the last march of the seniors. Led by Principal Christopher Mastrangelo, the student body walked down the length of the track and took a right. Mastrangelo went to the podium while the seniors filled in their seats.
Once everyone was seated, the choir readied themselves for one of their final performances with their seniors beautifully singing the national anthem. After the harmonious song, students who received scholarships were announced to stand up and were recognized. The scholarship foundation has given away one million dollars in total in the past few years. Once all names had been announced the mayor took to the stage congratulating the class of 2023 and ending with a confetti blast. The Mayor announced Malden’s very first Poet Laureate, CD Collins. She walked on after the Mayor's speech and recited an inspirational poem, telling the class of 2023 to always be strong and faithful to their roots in Malden. Superintendent Dr. Ligia Noriega-Murphy gave her speech next describing the hardships that the class of 2023 faced without fear and expressed how proud she is of them for making it through all of them.
With some of the city’s leaders finished, it was time for the students to share their words with their class. Edmond Chen went up first as the class Orator, announcing the seniors will “croc the world!” and made a clever acronym for CROC. Salutatorian Allison Yu followed, giving a heartfelt speech and recognizing her friends, class, and family. Valedictorian Ryan Li trailed, giving a speech full of hidden references while Student President Saura Rathore ended the student speeches with a meaningful talk about how she earned her success and how she sees it in everyone before her. Each of them seemed to recognize stepping into the Jenkins Auditorium for Freshman Orientation in their first days at MHS, which perhaps is the most memorable day of school for all students.
Mastrangelo started his speech noting that it was the last blockade between the seniors and their diplomas. He went on to give a speech between two phrases that Malden High students hear every day, “Do well” and “be well.” As Mastrangelo wrapped up his speech, the anticipation among the seniors could almost be felt on the field and they eagerly sprung up from their seats to finally receive their diplomas.
Despite slight panic midway through the ceremony because of some rain drops, the rain held up and the ceremonies could proceed. Once the final diploma was given, Mastrangelo announced that the graduates could move their tassels from the right side to the left and they were dismissed, throwing their caps in the air. Immediately after this, the crowd made it onto the field and friends and loved ones began congratulating the graduates.
Some seniors shared their feelings and advice to the incoming freshman and how they felt about their day finally coming.
Robert Sewell said, “I feel amazing, it has been an amazing four years. I loved my time at Malden High and I can’t wait until the future.”
Issac Geren joked, “Make sure you don’t overstay your SmartPass!” when giving some pointers for the incoming class.
Kyle Wilson remarked, “I’m excited to not have to get up and get ready at six in the morning anymore. But, for the freshman, just make sure you do your work and stay on top of things.”
The Blue and Gold’s own Gabriel Fesehaie stated, “I feel great! This is a great day and a great experience! As for the freshman, just get through high school and enjoy it.”
Christian Taipe, who played Lacrosse for Malden High, said, “I’m gonna miss high school but I am just looking forward to my future and going to college. No matter how much you hate school, enjoy every minute of it because it goes by fast.”
Valedictorian Ryan Li, who delivered a speech, claimed, “It still hasn’t set in yet that I am about to give this speech in 20 minutes.” One of the most credible people in this class when it comes to giving academic advice, Li stated “Please really try and stay in class, your teachers are doing everything for you so you just try to give them the same effort back.”
Kevin Lin noted “It doesn’t feel real. It’s crazy how it all went by so quickly. Seeing everyone here makes me happy, but also say at the same time. Freshman should cherish every little moment and get involved as much as you can. You’ll meet friends forever.”
Brandon McMahon said, “Wow, what a great four years, what an experience. I love everyone I have met and I love everyone that I’m going to be moving on with.”
The remainder of the night was filled with the joy of family and friends. We wish the Class of 2023 good luck in whatever their future may hold.