HomeWilliamstown News'I watched you all grow up': Williamstown High graduates 265

‘I watched you all grow up’: Williamstown High graduates 265

Albert J. Countryman Jr./The Sun
Destiny Lauletta sings a rendition of Billy Joel’s “Vienna” during the commencement ceremony on June 17.

More than 1,000 family and friends took the long walk from the parking lot to the football field to celebrate the graduation of 265 students from Williamstown High School Class on June 17.

The heat and sun did not deter the family and friends of the Class of 2024 enthusiasm as they sought spots to sit in the stands or watched standing along the fences. Class secretary Alexa Obermeier started the commencement by leading a flag salute as Junior ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) students presented the colors.

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She was followed by Fiona Mbogoni, who sang the national anthem and held the high note at the line “O’er the land of the free” for seven seconds as attendees cheered.

Principal Angelo DeStefano introduced Assistant Principal Kathleen McKinney, who he said has comforted and assured the graduates since second grade in other school roles.

“We have shared so many memories, like the Halloween parades and the football games,” noted McKinney, who said she was thrilled five days before the ceremony when a group of the graduates “showed up in my backyard for a surprise barbecue.”

“I watched you all grow up,” she recalled as she wiped away a tear. “I don’t want to see you go. This class is my favorite. I love you all. Congratulations.”

Next at the podium was class vice president Angela Oliveto.

“We didn’t have a normal freshman year because of COVID,” she recounted. “However, we still got to know each other. We have the memories of the class trips to Virginia and Florida, and cheering at the football games.

“We will walk off this field as Williamstown High School alumni forever. Congratulations, Class of 2024.”

Salutatorian Peter LaMonaca Jr., a longtime member of the school band, spoke passionately about the importance of art.

“Students, make your voices heard,” he began. “All arts programs should receive the funding and support that they deserve. Arts are all about conveying emotion, and there is nothing like the joy of performance.

“Never lose your creativity.”

LaMonaca then introduced valedictorian and fellow band member Aidan La France.

“We have earned our diplomas,” he remarked. “Let’s continue this path forward. I have been fortunate to have the teachers I have at Williamstown High School. They have made learning fun.

“Thanks to our families and friends who have given us unwavering support, especially my single mom,” he added. “Without you I would not have been here. We are all in this together. We have made it through the highs and the lows.

“Cheers to us.”

Destiny Lauletta sang a the Billy Joel song “Vienna,” and class treasurer Emma Lilley went to the stage to read her poem, “Goodbye Williamstown High.”

The students then received their diplomas one by one.


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