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Marine Science Magnet School's Arielle Frommer

Good afternoon, classmates, teachers, friends, and families, all of those who are here because you care about the members of our class. As we welcome you today in the shade of our school, I am reminded of how far we have come. On this day, in 2020, the world remained in the height of the pandemic, us in self-imposed isolation. We were awaiting a return to normal, an exit from quarantine, and a new beginning. While our senior year may not have been the year we expected, I have to admit that change was important and necessary. Together, we faced these unprecedented challenges of reopening a school during our pandemic and welcomed a new principal—Ms. Amatrudo. Under her drive, direction, and optimism, our community is forging a stronger identity and ushering in a new era for MSMHS.

Our class may depart from the halls of MSMHS on this day, but these years will continue to be important in our lives, and a significant milestone of school history.

When I embarked upon the task of writing this speech, I was challenged by what I ought to convey through these words on this important day. How do I summarize the tale of our class? We dealt with disappointments and then victories, emerging from the chaos of our tumultuous early years to form unbreakable bonds and create a legacy as a spirited and passionate class. My favorite part of MSMHS has always been you, and so I wanted this speech to be a tribute to all the stories, memories and lessons learned from this exceptional class.

One virtue that our grade has honored time and time again is patience. When we started our tenure at MSMHS, we were far from the most mature, successful, or enthusiastic class. By our sophomore year, we had already received several stern lectures, and it was clear that our class was not taken seriously. Yet rather than continue fulfilling this expectation, we bonded over shared jokes and memories, maintaining our humor and fun while evolving into a class capable of being leaders in our school and community. We found our identity as a class in each playful exchange, from a hilarious freshman Field Day skit to an embarrassing but incredibly fun Valentine’s Day dance performed in front of the whole school. And how can I forget the ultimate payoff of our hard work and newfound bonds -- our triumphant win as sophomores on Field Day, a victory that solidified the legendary spirit of our class. As our momentum carried into junior year with a fall Spirit Week win, school was suddenly and abruptly cut off. After a year that would go down in class history, we faced a year that would go down in global history -- the COVID-19 pandemic.

Once again, we were patient, learning to find time to take care of ourselves and stay active in the isolation of quarantine. While past years saw us united in triumph, our senior year has brought our class together through the trials we have faced. We spent hours in virtual class, guided by the care, support and compassion of our wonderful teachers. We dealt with the absence of senior privileges and the loss of important events, and in March, when we resumed in-person schooling, both cohorts united again, we entered school with a newfound appreciation for each other’s company. While unity was easy before, now it was hard. We had to make a conscious choice to maintain our identity as a class. We may have not won our final Field Day senior year, but we had the most spirit out of everyone, because we understood most deeply how lucky we were to be together in that moment. This year tried to break us, but Field Day proved that these bonds are unbreakable. It is truly the people that make the experience, and it is these people that will make our high school years ones to never forget.

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