With Words of Wisdom and Hopes for the Future, Arlington High School Celebrates the Class of 2023

The cool and cloudy day was made warm by the smiles of the 380 Arlington High School graduates who followed the bagpiper onto the field toward their seats. The colors were presented, the Jazz Band played the national anthem, and AHS Fusco House Dean Robert DiLoreto welcomed everyone to celebrate the Class of 2023. 

Principal Matthew Janger was the first to speak at this 157th AHS graduation ceremony. After acknowledging the last four years of change and growth, he had the students be still and think about someone who has meant a lot to them. He asked that they always remember the positive feelings these thoughts elicit, and to remember that it is the kindnesses we experience and pass on to others that means the most in our lives.

Kirsi Allison-Ampe, School Committee Chair and mother of a graduating senior, spoke about how this class had moved through COVID, building construction, and tragic national events on their journey to this day. After wishing the Class of 2023 wishes of success and happiness on behalf of the Arlington community, she turned the podium over to APS Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Homan. Dr. Homan  took a few minutes to list some of the many academic, arts, and athletic accomplishments of the students, and shared that they are going on to study at 117 colleges in 28 states and various countries, to serve our country, and to spend time abroad, Dr. Homan encouraged them to remember that “...challenges teach new lessons…” and that “... your rainy days only make you appreciate the sunny days more.’

Science teacher Graham Dimmock, Faculty speaker chosen by the class, delivered warm remarks that used poetry by Edna St. Vincent Millay and Maya Angelou to illustrate his points. 

He offered three pieces of advice that he described as “...habits of mind that must be nurtured.”  He asked them to continue to learn, stand against  the avalanche of information that comes every day, and to choose to be emotionally and intellectually open to the broadest range of life experiences.

Four students also spoke. Student Council President Megan Carmody reflected on her years at AHS and framed her remarks as messages that she wished she could have given her freshman-year self. Senior Class President Mona Mohtake urged the class to be “...courageous, inclusive, and committed…” as they worked to build the society they hoped for, one that is “..radically different from the world we live in today…”

Honors speaker Samip Phuyal asked his classmates to bring gratitude to the forefront as they remembered the past four years that included successes and failures, fun and studying, and challenges and rejections. The second Honors speaker, Olivia Moir, used poetry to deliver remarks about change–the old and the new, the things that are lost and missed, the pains of growth, and how different everyone’s paths will be. She ended with “Today we celebrate completion, but we are not complete…Change will come. Embrace being under construction.”

After the presentation of the diplomas, Class Vice President Linda Zhou and Secretary Margo Award came forward to bring the ceremony to a close. The class gift, funds to be used for equipment in the new high school cafe, was announced. Then the tassels were moved from the right to the left and mortarboards soared as the Class of 2023 began the next journey of their lives.


Graduating seniors in maroon graduation robes and caps  with white stoles standing in front of their chairs on Peirce Field, tossing their caps in the air!