In the many reflections, events, and speeches leading up to The Winchendon School’s 2017 Graduation Commencement this past Saturday, there was much talk of important journeys, paths to success, and roads less traveled. And in the end, neither wind nor rain could obscure the adventure that had led the senior class to their triumphant moment.
The day began with a vivid, cloud-flecked sky smiling down on the green hills of Winchendon’s golf course, giving way to a beautiful rendition of “You Raise Me Up” courtesy of TWS’ Instrumental and Vocal Ensemble to start the procession. Student co-presidents Zhe Michael Wang and Will Crowley, true to both their individual and collaborative natures, gave uniquely personal, witty speeches, while valedictorian Xinyu Andy Zhao enraptured the audience, his address bemoaning the arrival of summer as a bittersweet signal of the end of the school year.
As Board of Trustees President Glenn Hunt, Head of School John Kerney, and Associate Head of School Laurie Lambert handed out the diplomas, though, the roiling clouds let loose the rain, sending the crowd inside the School’s Dining Hall. And while the inclemency could’ve been a thorn in the side of a magnificent celebration, the true collaborative spirit of the senior class shone one last time as they good-naturedly relocated and continued the ceremony undeterred.
Senior Brendan Demore darted through the buzzing commencement crowd, floating on the vibes of the day. “Hey, I got my diploma, that’s all that matters.” That, and the road that led them all to this. Congratulations, class of 2017!