Dr. Scott Carpenter Superintendent, Monomoy Regional School District Office of the Superintendent 425 Crowell Road, 2nd Floor, Chatham, MA 02633 phone: (508) 945-5130 fax: (508) 945-5133 firstname.lastname@example.org
MRHS Commencement Address 2021
Posted by Scott Carpenter on 6/6/2021
The adage “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade” is a very apropos theme for the Class of 2021. Since the start of COVID, our seniors have been dealt some lemons, from personal losses to a shifting political and social landscape. Instead of seeing blockbuster movies in the theaters with friends, you discovered Joe Exotic, the “Tiger King.” Instead of “enjoying the go” with Charmin, you saw empty store shelves because of panic-buying and hoarding of essential items like toilet paper. Instead of a nation’s attention shifting away from major news stories after a few days, like typically happens, cell phone video footage has enabled us to see, empathize, and react to events.
Last year’s senior class had a very normal start to their school year, but it ended with remote learning, no spring sports, and no guests at their graduation. My worry for the Class of 2021 was that your senior year would even be worse than last year’s, as we found ourselves still very much in the midst of a global pandemic last fall. This school year began with COVID rates on par regionally with where they were in June 2020, and every indication was that in the opening months of the school year a second devastating phase of this pandemic would set in. We've soldiered on through a second and then a third phase of COVID, and we learned to take the lemons we had been dealt and make lemonade.
Against the odds, and unlike many students across the state and nation, the Monomoy Class of 2021 was afforded a school year as close to normal as possible. You were able to have in-person learning starting in September. You not only had fall, winter, and spring sports, you also had an extra Fall 2 sports season that began at the end of February for football and cheer. Last year, we were one of the first high schools in the state to pull off an in-person graduation, and thankfully, this year, your family and friends are also able to be here in person tonight to celebrate you. This spring, when Massachusetts was still trying to get all high school students back to in-person learning, the state was also dissuading schools from holding a prom. With thoughtful planning and hard work, we were able to ensure you had a fantastic send-off with a prom held under a tent on our high school’s front lawn -- dancing including. Throughout this pandemic, Monomoy managed to do what many districts couldn’t because of some incredibly committed teachers, coaches, and senior class advisors -- and of course, because of you, our incredible students.
Here are four takeaways from the past year:
First, tigers belong in the wild, and not in pens in Oklahoma.
Second, when blizzards, tropical storms, or even pandemics occur, don’t panic, and certainly don’t buy more toilet paper than you'll need for the next week or two.
Third, when senseless and unambiguous acts of injustice occur, whether they are caught on film or not, remember that your voice has the power to effect positive change, and I encourage you to use it.
Fourth, and most importantly, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade.
Congratulations Class of 2021 for making the best of a bad situation. Despite everything, we are here tonight at the culmination of a pretty good year, and I know next year will be even better for each of you. Once you've graduated in a pandemic, you can do anything!