Covid school year complete as OR graduates seniors

Jun 5, 2021

MATTAPOISETT -- The Old Rochester Regional High School class of 2021 will not be overshadowed by covid.

“Are we sick and tired of bemoaning the 2020-21 academic year? I sure am,” OR principal Michael Devoll said at graduation on June 5. “Calling the last year a lost year devalues the work done by this school community.”

From a one-by-one recognition of where OR’s seniors are going next year at Senior Awards Night on June 4 to a recognition of all the accomplishments of the class this year, Devoll was sure to give the graduating class their due credit.

At awards night, Devoll took the time to recognize every graduating senior individually, reading off their names, post-high school plans and their favorite teachers and proudest accomplishments.

At graduation, Devoll recognized the class again, asking the seniors to stand when a statement applied to them: How many AP classes they’ve taken, the elementary school they attended, whether their families are fellow OR alumni, how many times they were quarantined.

“Here’s one: These students transferred out of Old Rochester and then back in,” Devoll said, prompting a number of students to stand. “The grass isn’t always greener.”

ORR School Committee chair Cary Humphrey gave the Superintendent’s address, as Superintendent Michael Nelson was at his own step-son’s graduation.

In addition to a few of his own comments, Humphrey read a statement from Nelson.

“I’ve seen just how hard this year has been for high school students,” Humphrey read. “Especially this class.”

During Valedictorian Katelyn Phuong-Vy Luong’s address to the class, she focused one one theme: “Nobody really knows what they’re doing.”

She noted that just like her other classmates, she sat in classes and wondered what was going on.

Luong gave the class one bit of advice: To live in the moment. She said the reason the school year seemed to fly by both “at a snail’s pace and fast as light” was because she and her classmates were too focused on the future to appreciate the present.

Luong had one last thing to say to her fellow classmates and the school community before she crossed the stage: “Stay sway shawties. Peace out.”