By Morgan Pilz, Staff Writer
(May 30, 2019) Fifty-three Worcester Preparatory seniors accepted their diplomas last Friday during the 47th annual commencement ceremony at the Berlin school.
Numerous awards and honors were presented to the graduates during the ceremony in the Athletic and Performing Arts Center, which also included the Upper School Chorus singing “Don’t Stop Believin’” and the Worcester Preparatory School song.
The students will attend 32 schools across 13 states. One hundred and thirty-eight scholarships were awarded to the class of 2019, with a monetary value of $5.7 million, according to Headmaster Randel Brown.
Brown, who just completed his first year as headmaster of the school, congratulated the graduating class and credited the seniors’ success to their hard work and the collaboration of the teachers and staff in the school.
Ten of the graduating students have attended the private school since pre-K and another 28 have been a part of the school since first grade, Alumni President Steve Green said during the ceremony.
“Graduation day is an inspiring one,” Green said. “Worcester Prep has a 49-year tradition of producing young adults like you – well-rounded, talented, impressive mannered, sensible and responsible people.
“Today is a day you looked forward to for some time,” he added. “Graduating from Worcester Prep is something to be extremely proud of. A diploma from this school represents a significant accomplishment in your life.”
Many of the awarded scholarships were for academic achievements or athletics, while others played upon a student’s character, charitable contributions, community service, or engagement in the arts.
The salutatorian, Dominic Anthony, who finished with a GPA of 101.1, will attend Fordham University. The valedictorian, Maya Natesan, who earned a GPA of 101.45, will be attending the University of Virginia.
The students were sent off with a heartfelt speech by 2019 Class President Maria Deckmann, who will be continuing her education at the University of Michigan this fall.
“Over the past few years we have learned a lot about each other and ourselves, and as a result, the relationships that we have formed are stronger than ever,” Deckmann said. “This is a group made up of many types of people. We have singers, athletes, gymnasts, actors, fishermen, hunters, piano players, artists, photographers, filmmakers, and equestrians … just to name a few.
“This is a group of leaders,” she continued. “We are not leaders in the sense of popularity, but rather we are active students who have conducted individual research, engaged citizens who have sacrificed time for the sake of others in need and supported friends who are selfless and devoted to being there for one another.”
Deckmann finished by sharing parts of her last English assignment with the audience, which required the students to write a letter to 14-year-old students who will be moving on to high school in the fall.
“As I wrote down all the most experienced encouragement I could muster up, I realize that all this advice can be applied to the college journey we are about to embark on. Life is truly just beginning, so here are some things I wrote in the letter.
“Find something that makes you happy and stick with it,” she read. “Branch out and try new things. Be courageous and seize every opportunity. Make the most of every minute. Don’t worry about what other people are doing and live in the moment … follow your dreams and always be true to yourself. I’m only 18 years old, but I know for sure that by following this advice we’ll be ensuring a life of joy and bliss. Class of 2019, let’s take this world by storm.”