The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 16, 2006


CCHS graduates Class of 2006

Principal Art Dulong addresses the Concord-Carlisle High School graduation class of 2006. (Photo by Mollie McPhee Ho)

The monsoon weather of this last week forced graduation inside the CCHS Upper Gym on Saturday, June 10, but friends and relatives packed the gym and auditorium with undampened spirits. Down in the Lower Gym, teachers who have become friends to '06, organized the chaos into rehearsed lines. With Pomp and Circumstance in the background (thanks to the concert and repertory bands under the direction of Mr. Dentino), we filed into the over-packed gym and took our seats at center court. The bleachers were filled with people waving, clapping, whistling, screaming our names, and it felt odd to be the ones sitting silently for once.

Principal Arthur Dulong opened with a joke about the rain before saying a few words to the class of '06. He ended with the promise, "The new challenges that await will never be insurmountable because the strength of your character will never desert you."

At this time the seniors in the band joined the ensemble to play excerpts from Pirates of the Caribbean. The swashbuckling theme, rife with brass- blare and rumbling horns, was an instant crowd favorite.

AnnMarie Bilotta and Nick Chehames listen to the address by Principal Art Dulong.

Next to address the assemblage was class president Sean Morris, formerly of Carlisle. Sean expressed our appreciation and belief that "we are better people now than when we began." He included each facet of the class individually, even those of us who "came from the vast forests and cowfields called Carlisle," and the applause was deafening. Sean knew of two pieces of wisdom we had gained at C-C. The first was a sense of community. It is essential "not just to get caught up in human doings but to understand and appreciate being human beingsWe are all in this together." The second thing we gained was a passion for education. "Our teachers taught us to be simply more." On behalf of the class, he turned to them and repeated, "Thank you, thank you, thank you for your unconditional devotion!" The riotous applause spoke for itself. Sean went on to thank the mothers and fathers of '06 and reveal that, "We hope, above all, that we have made you proud."

Senior class secretary Stephanie Philippou (left) and vice-president Luke Henesy present the senior gift to Cricky Ciccetti of the class of 2007.

The speech ended with a quote from Jonathan Livingston Seagull: "perfect speed, of course, is being there." Sean Morris explained, "Right now we are there. This moment, this day, this season belongs to us!" Amid his final thank you's the applause went wild and the class of '06 gave its president a standing ovation.

The class officers Luke Henesy, Stephanie Philippou, (both of Carlisle) and Eugene Han presented the school with a class gift of two granite benches for the entrance to the student parking lot.

The 2006 Commencement Address was given by Mr. Dennis Cleary, Chairperson of the Social Studies Department and popular six-time graduation speaker. Mr. Cleary has influenced many people in his thirty-five years teaching at CC, started a vibrant moot court competition and earned the praise of being, in Principal Dulong's words, "one of the finest gentlemen you could ever hope to meet."

Carlisle kids celebrate. Back row left to right, Joe Lesses, Corey Robart, Justin Derossiers. Front row, Jill McElligott, Devon Jeffers, Greg Martini, Samantha Luther, Joanna Orlando, Susanna Fardy.

Cleary opened with comments about the rainy weather but concluded, "Who needs the sun? We have each other." He fondly remembered his previous commencement addresses, his children in '96 and '97, and anticipated his first grandchild before demanding in typical fashion, "What in god's name do I have in common with you? You don't remember where you were when JFK was killed. I do. You don't remember the Iranian hostage crisis. I do. You don't even remember the Rolling Stones when they had teeth of their own. I do! Yet I feel closest to you because, like you, my days are numbered at CCHS." Growing more serious, he addressed the class of 2006 directly. "You are the culmination of many generations of your ancestors' dreamsPlease don't trivialize that sacrifice by leading a mediocre lifeThose of you who have studied with me have heard the mantra over and over again: someone is always watching; someone is always evaluatingIn the end you will have no excuses for a life poorly led."

Left to right, Keith Lewis, Nikki Spencer and Teresa Huang celebrate a day to remember.

Mr. Cleary then took a moment to thank his wife for her lifelong support. He closed with a quote by Robert Kennedy: "Each time a person stands for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice, that person sends out a tiny ripple of hope. Crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."

Mr. Cleary ended what was a truly memorable speech with simple, heartfelt words. "Have wonderful lives. Have worthy lives. You've brought much joy to the CCHS community past and present, and especially to me, for that I thank you. God bless you."

Left to right, Kate Swanson, Sarah Franklin and Marie Benkely receive Faculty Gold Medals from Principal Art Dulong. The medals are given to the students with the highest scholastic averages.

After the standing ovation had settled, Superintendant Brenda Finn presented the Flag Awards to Nora Lawrence and Sean Morris for outstanding patriotism and school spirit.

Principal Dulong gave the Gold Medal Awards for highest scholastic average to Marie Benkley, Kate Swanson, (both of Carlisle) and Sarah Franklin.

The reception afterwards was hosted by the class of 2007 and held in the lower gym. The class of 2006 had come full circle in an afternoon. Graduates, teachers, parents, siblings, and classmates mingled and took pictures until everyone dispersed to various graduation parties filled with well-wishing relatives and Congrats Grad! balloons.

Carlisle graduates celebrate with a group hug. Back row, Elyssa Michael, Sean Morris, Becca Hughes, Luke Henesy. Front row, Jill McElligott, Emily Cote.

Later that night we all returned to the high school for the All Night Live party sponsored primarily by the parents of '07. The recent graduates signed yearbooks, discussed summer plans and foretold college adventures. Nostalgia was kept in check until 5:00am, when it became painfully clear the night was over and we were headed separate ways. People circulated, dazed, hugging everyone they knew or wished they had known better. As we emerged into the fresh air, the day seemed clean and it took us a few minutes to realize why. The sky had finally cleared and the sun was just now shining for the first time since we started senior week.

We're done. We've begun.


Juniors Diane Lee and David Tobin serve refreshments at the reception hosted by the class of 2007.

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito