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Bishop Guertin holds 50th graduation

NASHUA – Bishop Guertin High School graduated its 50th class on Sunday, when 202 young adults received diplomas and walked toward the next stage of their lives.

Wearing the forest green color of their school, the graduating seniors of 2016 marched to the sound of "Pomp and Circumstance" into the high school’s Roedel Field House, where they were welcomed by the gathered mass of family, friends and school faculty.

Tim Morrison, class valedictorian, gave a short address that called on his fellow students to reflect on the challenges they faced during their time at the private, Roman Catholic college preparatory high school.

"I would argue that the most meaningful life lessons of graduation come not from listening to inspirational speeches, but from reflecting on your time here," he said. "What experience challenged you the most at Bishop Guertin? This experience, though it may have seemed irritating at the time, is apt to be one of the most valuable of your life."

Morrison went on to acknowledge the many problems facing both the class of 2016 and the world at large.

"Arguably, the most cliched line in the esteemed history of valedictory addresses is that ‘We are the leaders of the future,’?" he said. "A more honest way of phrasing this sentiment is perhaps that the world we are inheriting is rife with problems, problems that require empathy, reasoning and cooperation. While the courses we have taken at Bishop Guertin have ostensibly been about other things, surely they have, at their core, been about instilling within us these very qualities."

Class salutatorian Gabriel Madonna poked gentle fun at Morrison when he claimed, "first is the worst, second is the best." He said that he was thankful for the chance to try to rise to the challenge his fellow students presented him, but that the real credit was due to the faculty of Bishop Guertin.

"I owe far more to the people who defined the environment at Bishop Guertin," he said. "I believe I speak for my class as a whole when I express our gratitude to the teachers of this school, for they provided us with far more than an education."

The commencement address, given by Principal Jason Strniste, highlighted the community service performed by the class of 2016. According to Strniste, the graduating seniors, during the school’s inaugural "Senior Day of Service," invested more than 1,000 hours of their time to the greater Nashua community.

"The class of 2016 has left a strong legacy here at Bishop Guertin," he said. "You achieved success the right way, acting with integrity and class, looking out for your peers, providing strong role models for freshmen and sophomores in the school, and projecting kindness into the community, being our ambassadors, being of service to all."

The Bishop Guertin class of 2016 included seniors from Amherst, Ayer, Mass.; Bedford; Brookline; Chelmsford, Mass.; Concord; Derry; Dracut, Mass.; Dunstable, Mass.; Groton; Mass.; Hollis; Hudson; Litchfield; Londonderry; Lowell, Mass.; Lunenburg, Mass.; Manchester; Merrimack; Milford; Mont Vernon; Nashua; New Boston; Pelham; Pepperell, Mass.; Tyngsboro, Mass.; Weare; Westford, Mass.; Wilton; and Windham.

Matthew Medsger can be reached at 594-6531, mmedsger@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_MattM.