Westport grads look ahead to a new life

By Ted Hayes
Posted 6/5/23

The weather kept them indoors Saturday morning, but the nearly 70 members of Westport High School's graduating class took some solace in the fact that while they didn't have a sunny day, they've had …

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Westport grads look ahead to a new life


The weather kept them indoors Saturday morning, but the nearly 70 members of Westport High School's graduating class took some solace in the fact that while they didn't have a sunny day, they've had each other for most of their lives and will always have their memories.

"We can all agree that it flew right by," salutatorian Noah Sowle said during his speech in the high school's auditorium shortly after 11 a.m.

"Being from Westport means you have a family. We have all known each other our entire lives (and) that sense of family and community is what makes being a Wildcat special."

This year's graduating class has had to deal with more than many — what Valedictorian Lily MacDonald called "a world-breaking record number of principals," the pandemic, and the move into the new high school two years ago. She and others said their experiences have made them stronger.

"Despite of the pandemic we managed to support each other so we could all persevere and finally make it here for this day," said MacDonald, who joked that she was thankful for her anxiety as she stood in front of hundreds and bared her soul.

"Everything we've gone through together will forever be a part of this story."

While there were big moments that most will look back on collectively, she said, it's the small things the class has collectively shared that she'll remember — "The head store, yelling 'Calves!' every single time we drove by Silva Farms, the ocean water in our sandals and the farm dirt under our fingernails make us the people we are today. When we all go our separate ways and move to different cities and countries, I know that we'll have the Westport River running through our veins."

Students weren't the only ones who spoke. School committee member Antonio Viveiros, whose son Avery was among the graduates, foreshadowed later students' speeches by speaking of the importance of family and friends:

"Expect failure and disappointment," he said. "You learn from them and you become stronger. That's part of life, and don't be afraid to ask for help."

When they need it, he said, it won't come from the "1,000 friends you have on Facebook. The people in this room, these are the people who love and care for you."

Principal Laura Charette said she is impressed with this graduating class, and encouraged graduates to live their lives with passion and resiliency.

"You will face challenges," she said. "But remember it's not about how many times you fall, it's about how many times you rise back up. You ... have the power to overcome any obstacle no matter how insurmountable."

For his part, Sowle, a shortstop on the Wildcats baseball team, said he has faith that his classmates will do great things. Among them, he said, are future actors, aerospace engineers, veterinarians, doctors, environmentalists, psychologists, electricians and "of course, our very own future Hall of Fame pitcher."

"I'm proud of not only myself but also my friends. I'm glad I didn't make the mistake of transferring after eighth grade — the relationships I've been able to build have been something I can never forget."

This year's graduates include:

Carlos Eduardo Andretta

Tyler Richard Arraial

Megan Bevin Avery

Guinevere Morgan Bates

Molly Jean Bazinet

Genavieve Bento

Isabel Jade Berube

Matthew David Borges

Benjamin Scot Boudria*

Michael Joseph Braga*

Hunter Michael Brodeur

Xander Gregory Carpenter

Olivia Regina Carvalho

Cote Michael Couto

Renato De Campos Ferreira Neto

Emily Lorraine Delcampo

Shaun Matthew DesRoches

Nicholas Elliott Dos Vais*

Colin John Duclos

Antonio Dutra Africano

Kyleigh Soleil Finglas

Lexie Bella Flanagan

Alison Lee Francouer

Owen Chaseley Friedrichsen

Lindsey Jae Gaughan

Angelo Manuel Gonzalez

Ayden Joseph Gorman

Vorsika Hak

Brady Douglas Albuquerque Huard

Noah Russell Lacey*

Shawn Stephen Lavoie

Cameron Jack Leary*

Christine Renee LePage

Lily Marie MacDonald*

Peyton Shirin Mahjoory*

Coltrane Markham McGonigle

Maxwell Miranda

Braylin Annallyse Montigny

Maxwell Robert Morotti

Olivia Emily Cordeiro Morris*

Shelby Jean Orr

Kimberly Marie Orrell

Taylor Christine Perry*

Sean Hadley Poliquin

Justin Frederick Rego

Mikhaela Louise Rego

Camryn Alexa Rezendes*

Vitoria Rodrigues

Lily Anne Rymut

Jacob Tyler Silver

Tyler Gerald John Simonin*

Matthew Christopher Smith

Tiago Jose Sousa

William Alan Souza

Noah Benjamin Sowle*

Tabitha Lynn Olson Steele

Jasmin Aaliyah Summers

Leah Alexandra Sylvain

Max Jung Taber

Samuel James Taromina

Cadence Helena Tavares

Avery DeCoteau Viveiros

Abbigail Elizabeth White

Briana Elizabeth Woollam

*Denotes membership in National Honor Society


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