The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 27, 2003


High spirits reign despite a reainy middle school graduation

Almost-graduates wait to enter the auditorium at the beginning of commencement ceremonies. Lining up on the left are Liz Izenstein, Eliza Jacobellis and Sarah Kennedy. On the right (front to back) are Alexandria Alberto, Julian Allison and Cori Armistead. (Photo by Mike Quayle)


That it rained for the Carlisle Middle School graduation on Wednesday June 18 came as no surprise to anyone. The first indoor graduation in over three decades was a fitting reminder of the heavy precipitation experienced by the class of 2003 during their eighth-grade year

"This class is special," said principal Andre Goyer in his greeting to audience members occupying every available seat in Corey Auditorium. "In fact, they're so special that for the first time in 32 years, we're letting them graduate inside."

Retiring teacher David Mayall, who has taught at the Carlisle Middle School for over 30 years, addresses the graduates and their families in Corey Auditorium.(Photo by Mike Quayle)

In light of the drenched crowds at the Concord-Carlisle High School graduation less than two weeks earlier, and the drizzle that wilted the hair of many a grandma waiting on line for the 6:30 p.m. admittance to the auditorium, the decision seemed right. The auditorium seats were comfortable, the sound system more effective indoors anda bonusthere were no mosquitoes.

Nothing could have dampened the pride of the assembled relatives as the eighth-grade class processed down the aisles toward the stage, led by seventh-grade marshals Lauren LaLiberte and Daniel Gentile. The young men and women for they did not look like children any morewere dressed for the occasion, the young women in white or pastel dresses, the young men in suits.

Speakers, yearbooks, dogs
After opening words from the principal, class speakers Alexandra Byer and Sarah Guo impressed the audience with both their words and their poised presentations (see complete text on pages 1,10,11).

Meredith Poplo presented the class gift, noting that one of the words that best described the class of 2003 was "spirit." "Therefore, we are presenting our own husky mascot." There were cheers as the brand new Carlisle School mascot in a gray and white husky costume costume worn by teaching assistant Jon Willard entered the auditorium and waved at the crowd.

Olivia Cooney, Kate Erickson, Emily Howe, Deirdre Offenheiser, Catherine O'Kelly and Emily Yu presented yearbooks to retiring teachers Esther Almgren, Margaret Bruell, Geraldine Madigan and David Mayall, reading aloud tributes they had written for the yearbook.

Later in the program, retiring teacher David Mayall expressed his appreciation, noting that the last time he'd received a yearbook dedication and just barely was in the 1980s. Back then, "the choice was between me and a stray dog that roamed the campus," he said, adding that he won the toss-up when "the dog died."

Awards presented

Diplomas are in place waiting for the graduates. (Photo by Mike Quayle)

The Marguerite F. Grant Citizenship Award, for the two eighth-grade students who most embodied the qualities of leadership, cooperation, academic excellence, friendship, teamwork, hard work, and school spirit was presented to Pamela Anderson and Eric Zuk.

Several awards were presented to former Carlisle students who are attending college in the fall. The Amy Lapham Award for Continuing Education was awarded to Megan Miller and Stephen Yu. The Carlisle Teachers Association (CTA) Scholarship Award was presented to Liz Orlando and Jamie Frailey.

Then many eighth graders left the stage to participate in their last official Carlisle School band performance, a brief musical tribute to the eighth grade class led by director Thomas O'Halloran.

"It's up to you"

In her address to the class, Carlisle School Superintendent Davida Fox-Melanson referred to the recent passing of long-time children's show TV host Fred Rogers, a gentle presence in the children's early viewing years. She noted the many qualities Mr. Rogers would have encouraged in them, including stablity, friendship, peace and kindness, with a recurring exhortation: "But Mr. Rogers is gone, so I guess it's up to you."

Then came the crowning moment of the evening: the reading of the names of the class of 2003, with diplomas presented by school committee representatives Nicole Burkel and Suzanne Whitney Smith.

During the "lowering of the flag" (during which no flag was actually lowered, one of the casualties of the indoor ceremony), students Basil Borque and Kelly Davin presided as Andrew Brown played trumpet and William Lucky, the drums.

Following the recessional, "Downing Street March," presented by the junior and senior bands (this time without the newly graduated class), the assemblage proceeded to the cafeteria to enjoy a reception of punch and cookies before heading outside where, at least for a little while, the rain had stopped.

2003 The Carlisle Mosquito