East grads urged to 'dedicate yourselves to truth and honor'

Posted 6/12/19

By PAM SCHIFF Cranston High School East is a school built on tradition. While this year's graduation ceremony was moved from the typical location at the Providence Performing Arts Center to the Rhode Island Convention Center, the pride the school's

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

East grads urged to 'dedicate yourselves to truth and honor'


Cranston High School East is a school built on tradition.

While this year’s graduation ceremony was moved from the typical location at the Providence Performing Arts Center to the Rhode Island Convention Center, the pride the school’s community takes in its legacy – and in the achievements of its graduates – was on full display.

“Graduation will open many doors to your bright future, and the many exciting chapters yet to come in your lives,” Principal Sean Kelly told the members of the class of 2019.

The processional began promptly at 3 p.m. on Saturday, with Scott Maynard, the grand marshal and the faculty advisory for the class, leading the way. This year’s class includes 381 graduates, the most in more than a decade.

Class vice president Adriany Cruz led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a performance of the national anthem by the schools choir.

Kelly spoke of the various paths the members of this year’s graduating class will take.

“Eighty-six percent of you are going on to a two- or four-year program, with over $2 million in known scholarships and financial aid,” he said. “Five percent are joining the military, and I ask that you please stand and be recognized. Five percent will be going into the working world and full-time employment. And 4 percent of you are still undecided, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

Kelly spoke of his struggle to find the right words for the ceremony. He started at Cranston East 13 years ago, the same year this year’s graduating class started kindergarten.

“I feel as though we have grown together,” he said. “So, should I talk about time, and how we never have enough of it? I look to the events of the past few days, the memorials that mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day … I challenge you and your generation to be the next greatest generation. I challenge you to be the champions of freedom and justice. I challenge you to show care and concern for your fellow man. I challenge you to have the sense to stand for what is right. I challenge you to uphold the values and traditions of a moral and just society, to show bravery in the face of injustice and dedicate yourselves to truth and honor.”

Lia Dietrich, the class of 2019’s salutatorian, also spoke of the passage of time.

“One of the first things that Mr. Kelly told us when we sat down in the auditorium our freshman year was that the next four years would fly by faster than we thought. Reactions to his statement at the time ranged from hope to disbelief to disinterest. Now, standing here at graduation, I can tell you that he was right. Time does fly by,” she said.

Dietrich said she has “grown so much” during her time at East, and she spoke of the deep bonds she has formed with her friends and teammates. She urged her classmates to “stop talking about the change we wish to see and start making that change.”

“It is our opportunity and our obligation to create the world we want to live in,” she said. “No matter where life takes you next, whether it be to higher education, the military, the working world or raising a family, I hope you all follow your passion, continue to learn and engage in the broader community, and do some good in the world.”

Emma Boucher, the class president and valedictorian, recalled being one of her first school memories.

“Thirteen years ago, I walked into the school yard of Dutemple Elementary wearing a giant ‘Hello Kitty’ backpack and holding my dad’s hand. I immediately burst into tears,” she said. “The only thing I could think of that was scarier than starting kindergarten was doing it alone. But as I entered my classroom and saw all of the smiling faces of potential friends, I knew I would be just fine. These strangers played with me, learned with me, and became some of my best friends, still going strong 13 years later.”

She added: “Many of you had very similar experiences to mine. But many of you did not. Our graduating class contains students from nearly 20 different countries, speaks almost a dozen different languages, and has had a variety of educational backgrounds. Some may think that such huge differences in our childhoods and upbringings would make for a disjointed and cliquey high school experience, but the reality is that our diversity only makes us a stronger, closer community.”

Boucher said the members of the class of 2019 “have been part of something remarkable.”

“When you are off changing the world, I hope you keep a little section of your heart bleeding green forever, to remind you not only of where you have been, but also of who you are and will always be,” she said. “I am so proud to be a member of the Cranston High School East class of 2019, and I cannot wait to see what we have in store for the world.”

Cranston Mayor Allan Fung told the graduates not to be afraid and to “take that risk” in pursuit of their dreams.

“If it doesn’t happen right away, that’s OK,” he said. “Follow what is in your heart and do what you love.”

Superintendent Jeannine Nota-Masse urged the students to carry themselves in the same way they have at East as they continue on in life.

“Enjoy each day. Keep your humility and your humanity,” she said. “Thirty years from now, people won’t remember what you wore, what you drove or what your GPA was. They will remember if you treat them with kindness and respect. Thank you for being a part of our schools and our community.”

School Committee member Stephanie Culhane said she was honored to be presenting a diploma to her daughter and many other students she has watched grow into young adult.

“It has been a privilege to watch you all grow and become amazing and talented young women and men. Whether I was supporting you at a theater performance, cheering you on on the sidelines, or humming along to your band and chorus performances, I have cherished these last 13 years. And I know your families sitting behind you echo my sentiments,” she said.

As part of the ceremony Carlos Lourenco, the class of 2019’s treasurer, presented the class gift – an undisclosed amount of money – to class of 2020 president Genesis Aldana.

Ahead of the presentation of diplomas, class secretary Brandon Venda read Edgar Albert Guest’s poem “It Couldn’t be Done.” Assistant principals Chris D'Ambrosio and Sandi Matoian-Heard read the roll call of the class. Closing out the event was the choir’s performance of “In My Life” and the playing of the school song.


Sama Abbas, Nicol Abreu, Natalia Alfonzo Gomez, Deivi Almanzar, Sidney Almeida, Tala Almierrawi, Wildalis Almonte, Karly Alvarado Urizar, Chelsea Amadio, Robenson Antoine Jr., Dylan April, Esteffany Arenas, Oscar Arteaga, Sarah Aughinbaugh, Yusef Avant, Cody Baer, Nathan Baldini, Luis Batres Escobar, Bryan Belsky, Jean Carlos Berroa-Tejeda, Alexia Bessette, Brenna Bidwell, Nelvin Blanco, Malik Blue, Ava Bodreau, Emma Boucher, Mikayla Brady, Vincent Branca III, Curtasha Briggs, Eily Brindak, Ricardo Brito, Rose Brooks, Jada Brown, Drew Buchanan, Mariah Bueno, Lily Burke, Christian Bustos, Natalie Butterfield, Kevin Cabral, Nicole Cain, Cesar Calcano, Alyssa Caldarone, Maria Calderon Alzate, Nicholas Calvino, Rubendy Camacho Perez, Dulcibelle Camilo, Kaidan Campbell, Giovanni Canales, Hilary CaneloMatias, Christina Capobianco, Jessica Carazo Montes De Oca, Arianna Cardona, Jamari Cardoso-Mason, Amber Carnevale, Jared Carr, Navelyn Carrillo, Kayce Carter, Brenda Castillo Pimentel, Rafael Castillo Pimentel, Miranda Castro, Elijah Chabot, Yonah Chan, Brandon Charon, Nicholas Chea, Julie Chen, Jacques Cherduville, Brenda Chhan, Arian Chhim, Ciara Colburn, Zachary Cole, Jazzmine Collazo, Destine Colon, Ava Marie Concepcion, Jay Cooke Jr., Aolani Costabile, Cindy Cotto, Amberly Cruz DelaCruz, Adriany Cruz, Benjamin Cruz, Gabriel Cuellar, Junior Cuevas Almanzar, Abigail Culhane, Trinity Curran, Samantha Daniels, Alexandria Dayacap, Genesis De La Cruz Hiraldo, Dayra De La Cruz, Devon Defigueredo, Joshua Deland, Rayven Deoliveira, Rachel DePardo, Holli DePina, Giovani Diaz, Nelson Diep, Lia Dietrich, Reyle Dineen, Jonathon DiPietro, Kearra Doeur, Alexa Dominguez, Ana Dominguez, James Dunbar, Maddison Duncan, Dalyner Duran Acevedo, Gerilou Ebrada, Nicole Espinal, Alejandro Espinosa Jr., Jaymie Estrada, Dalila Fabian, Emily Fagundes, Destiny Fallon, Ygnacio Fernandez Beato, Isaiah Fernandez, Isabella Ferry, Vanessa Fevry, Nathaly Figueroa Sotomayor, Kiryl Filipau, Adam Finucane, Skylar Folco, Emily Fontes, Justin Forgue, Alicia Francis, Lily Frappier, Salome Freulon, Reyna Funes, Haley Gaess, Jadin Gagnon, Kenneth Gallo, Anyelisa Garcia Tatis, Sabryna Garcia, Samuel Gaston, Julieanny Genao, Michaela Giacobbe, Patrick Gibb, Alina Gold, Angela Gomez, Emerson Gomez, Arthur Goncalves, James Gonzaga, Andy Gonzalez Tejada, Ashley Gonzalez, Jazlyn Gonzalez, Sarah Goyette, Britney Granados, Bryan Granados, Joshua Grimshaw II, Alahna Guenette, Lauren Guzman, Brennan Haid, Justin Hall, Khaled Hammoud, Karissa Handrich, Maclean Hanley, Roland Hanson, Phoebe Harris, Erik Hernandez, Jorge Heyaime Jr., Griffen Hill, Monaye Hinds, Luke Hogan, Jack Honauer, Dylan Horner, Jenna House, Jason Huang, D’Andre Hunt, Margaret Hurley, Elizabeth Hyson, Kaitlyn Idskou, Jamee Isme, Eriq Isom, Jovanna Jett, Amy Jimenez, Destiny Jimenez, Andrew Joel, Maurice Johnson, Michael Johnson III, Caleb Joubert, Makayla Justa, Shuichi Kameda Almeida, Fiona Kelly, Anna Khabaeva, Lakisha Khiev, Larry Khun, Andrew Khvang, Kiana King, Mey Linh Kith, Nathan Kong, Bee Kue, Tatum Kumes, Lyda La, Devin Laflamme, Matthew LaForge, Eric Lam, Quinn Lanigan, Ricky Lao, Alily Larios, Jason-Lesly Larosiliere, Gabrielle Lawton, Genesis Lebron, Olivia Lee, Kailey Lei, Crystil Lima, Kenneth Lima, Bernadette Ann Linsangan, Denali Lomba, Jose Lopez, Sokpearoun Lorn, Denno Louis, Renedia Sarah Meronville Louis, Carlos Lourenco Jr., Shawn Low, Johnathan Loy, Antonio Lucchetti, Emilio Lucchetti, Luong Sam Ly, Richard Magnone, Delia Maguire, Paul Maguire, Angelina Mailhot-Fonseca, Kailey Maldonado, Domenic Maples, Michael Marrero, Hector Martinez, Julia Martinka, Tayla Massemino, Jaelyn Mateo, Zachary McCombe, Ashlyn McCormick, Karezz McCormick, Colin McCreavy, Chance McKinney, Jacob McLane, Angel Medina Bereguete, Jacob Medina, Luis Medrano, Jose Mejia, Aileen Membreno, Jalen Mendoza, Jeremy Mendoza, Aleisha Meneses, Aaron Mickelson, Anthony Migliaccio, Emily Mikulskis, Colin Miller, Jordan Miller, Myken Milsette, Andrea Miranda Duarte, Abigail Monroy, Dennis Montalvo Narvaez, Faith Monteiro, Giancarlo Montiel-Rodriguez, Serena Mora, Sarah Morris, Dathan Mortan-Paradis, Ethan Mulholland, Heriell Munoz, Sarah Murphy, Angella Nakasagga, Teyara Neou, Tyrell Newmann, Jalen Ngim, Devin Nix, Amadou Njie, Daniel Norridge, Kevin Nota, Allie Notarianni, Guillermo Nova, Katelynn Nunes, Alexus Oliveira, Katherin Ortiz Linares, Shayoung Ouk, Adrienne Pacheco, Demetrius Pacheco, Dylan Pacheco, Milagros Padilla, Mason Paugh, Johan Paulino, Gloria Maria Paz, Christian Pena, Randy Peralta, Berkis Perez Padilla, Jaileen Perez, Pamela Perez, Roberto Perretta, Matthew Perry, Michelle Phan, Malyza Phim, Joshua Pichardo, Jason Poissant, Juan Porres, William Portillo, Susan Quattrocchi, Melissa Querido Sena, Francisco Quezada Castillo, Jesahias Quiroa, Sienna Racal, Maria Ramirez Contreras, Alexander Ramos, Aireus Raspberry, Valerie Recarey, Allen Recinos, Noah Rennick, Moses Reyes-Orellana, Chenda Rivera, Marthairis Rivera, Alek Roberti, Hannah Rocha, Justina Rodrigues, Ennie Rodriguez Jimenez, Hector Rodriguez Jr., Johnny Rodriguez, Praxeres Ruiz, Michael Sabetta III, Ashlee Sadowski, Treanna Saing, Samnang Sam, Tola Sam, Asusena Sanchez, Ihona Sanchez, Emily Santiago, Carlos Santos, Jordan Santucci, Samantha Schleifer, James Schroeder, Alex Seng, Alexander Shaw, Kayman Shepherd, Mallory Silva, Anthony Silvestri, Lisa Sim, Jessie Similien, Jeferson Soberanis-Tinoco, Jalazia Solis, Jerriezza Solis, Taylor Soltys, Nevin Som, Daniel Soucy, Richard Suarez, Sydney Talabac, Nicholas Tann, Elinette Tavares, Joseph Tavares, Edison Tavarez Castro, Hector Tavarez-Duran, Noel Tavarez-Rodriguez, Edward Tejada Santana, Daravuth Tep, Eric Testa, Noraneath Than, Timothy Thongvilay, Javriel Torres Carrasco, Iyanna Torres, Mariela Torres, Mhartyn Torrico, Alyssa Trainor, Eleanor Trimm, Melanie Trindade, Ethan Trott, Christopher Umana Boj, Franklin Umana Lazo, Peter Vannini, Geryl Sophia Vargas, Cheyla Vasquez, Nathaly Vazquez, Amy Velasquez, Angely Velasquez, Angelique Velazquez, Brandon Venda, Sebastian Vidal, Jonathon Villani, Jordan Wasko, Zackery Waters, Tyler Wetzel, Dayshaun White, Brianna Williams, Robert Williams, Liberty Williamson, Christine Wong, Tyler Wood, WeiQiang Wu, Nicholas Yau, Alfredo Zabala


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here