Arlington celebrates commencement with 30 graduates


ARLINGTON — Thirty Arlington seniors crossed the stage and accepted their diplomas Saturday, June 8, as a diverse and high-achieving graduating class celebrated their accomplishments so far.

Principal Sarah Merrill welcomed graduates and guests to the gym at Arlington Memorial High School for the 2019 commencement program.

"Today we share the successes of the collective work we do each and every day, for it is the partnership between home, school and community, which yields the greatest results," Merrill told the crowd filled the gym's bleachers and chairs set up on the floor.

Merrill shared that she, herself received her Arlington Memorial High School diploma 30 years ago, matching the number of graduates to turn their tassels in 2019.

"I am honored to have been asked to welcome you to our commencement ceremony for it wasn't long ago, 30 years, I received my Arlington Memorial High School diploma on this very stage," Merrill said.

Among those 30 were three international students from Germany, Mexico and the Czech Republic.

English teacher James Aschmann gave the commencement address, salutatorian Therese Kristan Belnap and valedictorian Shaana Avaon Staab also spoke during the ceremony.

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After greeting the crowd, Merrill shared some numbers that helped identify the Class of 2019.

She said that 40 percent of graduates were the first in their family to graduate from AMHS.

Of the 30 graduates, 70 percent were involved in athletics and produced 13 state championships. One of those students was a soccer All-American.

But it wasn't just athletics, nine were members of the music program, seven acted in theater performances, three were successful hunters, one was a Dorset Theater playwright, and one was a Congressional Art Award artist.

Three received technical certificates during their high-school years, four enrolled in college courses, and one completed the first year of college while finishing high school and 19 held jobs while they finished school.

In all, 25 plan to go to colleges, and the seniors earned 54 acceptance letters from colleges and universities. Five will enter the workforce.

Merrill thanked everyone for coming.

"Thank you for being here to celebrate a milestone in the life of our seniors," Merrill said. "Congratulations to the families of our graduates who have supported these young men and women throughout the years. Thank you to our staff who chose a career that shapes the lives of the next generation, and the community for continually supporting our children."


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