Xavier High School's Graduation Closes Stellar Year For Class Of 2018
Xavier High School graduated 159 students on May 20, 2018.
Shawn R. Beals
Xavier High School’s Class of 2018 graduated Sunday morning, ending a stellar year for the school in academics and sports.
Some of the 159 graduates were part of the group that won an international engineering competition and a top-20 finish in the cross country national championships in Oregon, impressive feats even for a school already known for its success.
Headmaster David Eustis said the Class of 2018 has earned a combined $6.8 million in scholarships and financial aid. Eustis, who is finishing his first year as headmaster, said the group includes 16 graduates going to UConn, three going to Ivy League schools and seven who will be engineering majors.
“Even though I only had one year with you, this class has amazed me with its grit, determination, academic success, college placement, service to community and care for each other,” Eustis said.
Salutatorian Mark Lavrentyev said the brotherhood created among the students over four years was critical in preparing for life after high school.
“If you humor the nerd inside me for a moment, we’re like water molecules traveling up the xylem of a tree, journeying, sticking together through cohesion and helping this tree of Xavier, planted in 1963, flourish for yet another school year,” Lavrentyev said.
During Sunday’s ceremony, Xavier gave the Loyalty and Service award to Benjamin Clemmey and the Falcon Achievement Award to Kyle MacGillis. The two awards are the top honors the school gives each year, and go to students who demonstrate exceptional contributions to Xavier’s school community and its sports programs.
In his remarks, the Rev. Michael R. Cote, bishop of the Norwich diocese, mentioned the school shooting last week in Texas — more “horrific violence” that has shocked the country. But he said young people like the Xavier graduates can be a force of good to combat the evil in society.
“I know that evil and hatred will always be with us. It is the result of illness and the sinful human condition. Sad reality, but part of reality. Yet people of good can continue to make a difference. You and I are called to make that difference in the little part of the world in which we live,” Cote said. “We can be and are people who respect life in every instance.”
Valedictorian Maxwell Carmichael said he remembers the first week of school as a freshman when his teacher wrote the words “Do More” on the classroom’s white board, clearly stating the school’s high expectations of its students.
“Within those six letters is a lesson for a lifetime,” Carmichael said. “It’s a call to honorability, a call to experience everything the world has to offer, a call to find a vocation in life, a call to grow.”
Carmichael encouraged his fellow graduates to live by the values of growth, optimism, understanding, love and dignity.