Walpole Celebrates Class of 2022’s Graduation

The official graduation ceremony for the class of 2022 was held on Sunday, June 6, and was the first traditional graduation that WHS has seen since 2019. Parents, family and friends filled Turco field to celebrate this year’s graduating class. The ceremony was not only a culmination of their past four years at high school, but a celebration of their accomplishments, perseverance and dedication to the community, particularly in the midst of the pandemic.

Opening the ceremony was principal Stephen Imbusch, who welcomed all those offered up their time to be their in support of the graduates, followed by a singing of the national anthem by WHS chorus students. Senior class vice president Matt Byrnes presented the class gift to junior class president Stephen Bond, who thanked the seniors for not only the leadership they have shown the school these past few years, but the friendship they have also given to underclassmen. The seniors leave behind a donation for all clubs and activities at WHS. 

Following the class gift presentation, five commencement speakers were called up to present their speeches throughout the rest of the ceremony. Traditionally, WHS graduation’s have featured only two speakers; however, recent ceremonies have opted for multiple speakers to give a wider range of perspectives during the ceremony. This year, Scotty Cameron, Maggie Mahoney, Cole Donato, Colin Wilber and Erin Ledwith spoke to the graduating class, and although all five speakers brought in different elements of their personalities and experiences, the speeches had a joint theme of unity in spite of individual differences. 

Alongside speeches, academic awards and scholarships were given to many of this year’s graduating class. Student recipients of the Tommy Quinn and 4 You I Will Fight scholarships joined their distributors on stage to receive their awards, while other recipients stood up to be recognized for department awards, Walpole Scholarship Foundation scholarships and other honors. During this time, Imbusch also recognized the late Hannah McClark, a member of the class of 2022 who died in 2020.

Following the award distribution and final speech of the afternoon, the diploma ceremony began. Assistant principals Lee Tobey and Sean Powers called seniors to the stage to receive their diplomas from Assistant Superintendent William Hahn and School Committee Chairperson William Buckley, Jr. After each senior received their diploma, the ceremonial tassel flip was led by senior class president Cole Donato to commence the afternoon. The rest of the class followed suit, flipping their tassels and throwing their caps in celebration as their new futures began.

The seniors will set out on differing paths including pursuing secondary education, joining the armed forces, and entering the workforce; however, no matter what journey they take, the class of 2022 will take with them the memories they made, the friendships they fostered, and all of the lessons they learned from their past four years at WHS.