ANDOVER — Superintendent John Lavoie is pleased to announce that 302 students graduated from Greater Lawrence Technical School last week.
On Thursday, June 8, at 6 p.m., seniors from 19 vocations earned their diplomas during a ceremony outside on the athletic field.
Students of the 51st graduating class represent the communities of Lawrence, Andover, North Andover and Methuen.
Superintendent Lavoie praised students for their work over the last 12 years, recognizing that the expectations and demands students faced throughout the years have never been higher. Their future, he said, comes down to one question: Are they willing to continue to put in the effort, continue to work hard and continue to learn?
“You have already seen so much change in your short lifetimes, and through learning, you have adapted well to it,” Superintendent Lavoie said. “But I will tell you that what you have experienced up to this point is nothing compared to the changes you will see in the future. You cannot survive in any career, or—more importantly—grow within a career if you don’t commit yourself to learning throughout your life.”
Principal Elizabeth Freedman shared a collection of statements from students about how GLTS changed them throughout their four years at the school. From their career choice to their personal beliefs, students all had their own memories of how the school affected their lives.
Keynote Speaker Leo Lamontagne, chairman of the School Committee, asked students to walk through life with respect for themselves and others.
“Think about your experience here at GLTS,” Lamontagne said. “When you showed respect in the classroom or shop by getting things done on time as asked, you were shown respect. On the sports field, win or lose, no matter what sport it is, Reggies show respect, and our respect helps get us our results. The same is going to be true in your next journey.”
Valedictorian Christopher Molinari, of Methuen, noted that graduates come from a variety of backgrounds, and that each person that sat in the stadium is their own unique person. He encouraged his peers to follow their aspirations, whatever they may be, and to be their true selves, regardless of social norms, in all future endeavors.
Salutatorian Jennie Vuong, of Lawrence, quoted political figure Edmund Jennings Lee, who once said to surround yourself with those who see the greatness in you, even when you don’t see it in yourself. She carried that message throughout her speech, concluding that on the road to success, it is your friends and loved ones that will be there in times of need.
“I hope that one day the most important lesson I ever learned in my four years of high school resonates within you,” Vuong said. “Surround yourself with people who push you to become the best version of yourself and push you to pursue your dreams because each and everyone of us deserves all that the world has to offer.”