Tassel worth the ‘Hassell’ – Scituate High Class of 2018 says goodbye

Tassel worth the ‘Hassell’ – Scituate High Class of 2018 says goodbye

From left, Emily Plasse, Alyssa Dulieu, and Hannah McCann listen to one of the speakers during the Scituate High School graduation ceremony, held at the Samuel Tourtellot Memorial Common in North Scituate last Friday. (Breeze photos by Bill Murphy)

SCITUATE – Under the cumulus clouds on a warm early evening last Friday, members of the Scituate High School Class of 2018 received their diplomas during the school’s 61st graduation at the North Scituate gazebo.

Twelve members of the first graduating class of 1958 celebrated the 60th anniversary of their commencement.

Behind the chairs in the parking lot, teenagers stood in the beds of trucks cheering for friends and classmates, enjoying the outdoor graduation tailgate style.

In total, 101 students walked through the gazebo to pick up diplomas and shake hands with Principal Michael Hassell, Supt. Lawrence Filippelli, Assistant Supt. Michael Sollitto, and members of the School Committee.

Both superintendents celebrated their last “Rockwell” graduation this year, as the pair will part ways for new superintendent positions in other districts. Filippelli spoke to the students about how they’ve used their hands to get them this far: writing hundreds of essays, high-fiving friends, waving hello, typing messages – an endless list, he said.

“Of all the wonderful things you have used and will use your hands for, use them for good,” he said.

He asked the class to think of the future uses for hands, including shaking hands with prospective employees, writing a novel, finding a cure for a disease, holding a soulmate’s hand, and more.

“Good luck in all you do on your journey ahead. Come visit Scituate again, when the educational journey of life allows, our hands will be extended to embrace yours,” he said.

The evening began with a prologue from the Rev. Johanna Marcure following the national anthem sung by SHS senior Alexander Grady Marcure spoke of the students’ talents, abilities, and self-discipline, and prayed students enjoy the distance traveled, and the road ahead.

The senior chorus warmed up the night’s events singing “Lean on Me” before a sea of green and white robes walked to sit as a class one last time.

Hassell welcomed the class and guests to the ceremony, and spoke of the past year. Starting the year with the loss of a Spartan, students adopted a catchphrase repeated throughout the school that was chanted at pep rallies, homecoming, spirit week, and embedded in every senior event through the year, Hassell said. The phrase was, “This is it,” he said. “I am here to tell you all tonight that this is certainly no it.”

As members of the SHS Class of 2018 leave Scituate and begin the next journey in life, he said to always remember to embody the Spartan values.

“I would imagine that if you asked any of the members here tonight from the Class of 1958, they would tell you that their Spartan journeys have never ended. The memories they made and values learned at Scituate still shape who they are today 60 years later,” he said.

Salutatorian Justin Bessette kept his speech short, giving a shoutout to “the boys,” and thanking his family, friends, and on behalf of the class, the teachers. He left his classmates with simple advice: “Take a deep breath and take it all in; you’ve earned it.”

Valedictorian Emily Pietrantozzi spoke of the “plethora of achievements” by this class, including numerous sports championships, a Unified Sports Program, and wins in international dance competitions. She thanked her classmates for pushing her harder and making her think bigger.

“I know that this journey was made easier having every single one of you by my side,” she said.

Leading the class through the ceremonial tassel move from right to left, the class officers took the stage a final time. Class President Benjamin Russo joked to the class and the principal, “The tassel was worth the Hassell.”

Aidan Pendergast gets a kiss from his mother, School Committee member Coleen Pendergast, after she presented her son with his diploma during the graduation.
The scene at the Samuel Tourtellot Memorial Common in North Scituate as School Supt. Lawrence Filippelli delivers his address during the Scituate High School graduation last Friday.
Valedictorian Emily Pietrantozzi gets some help adjusting the microphone from Principal Michael Hassell as she begins her address at the Scituate High School graduation.
From left, Hannah Caracciolo, Ashley Rubiano, Brandi Misiaszek, and Julia Rossner, wait for the start of the Scituate High School graduation.
Stephen Durvin receives his diploma from Principal Michael Hassell.