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TMHS Class of 2014 Graduation: John Melloni's Salutatorian Address

Jun 08, 2014 05:54PM ● By Bill Gilman

TMHS Class of 2014 Salutatorian John Melloni accepts his diploma.

The following is a text of the Salutatorian Address given by John Melloni at the 2014 Tewksbury High Graduation Friday evening.

Class of 2014; we have had a remarkable, and unforgettable, journey, but our time together is quickly fading.  We’ve made it to graduation, and for that, I ask you all to give yourselves, and our class, a round of applause……Thank you 

Without uncertainty, our class has had a unique experience here at Tewksbury Memorial High School.  Although I have not polled the student body, if I were a betting man, I would wager that the majority of our class has expressed at least an infinitesimal amount of longing towards the old high school.  Personally, I never would’ve imagined missing such an ancient, I can say that, right?, building, but I did.  Most memorable to me was the area of school that we referred to as the meat grinder.  This tiny hallway, which I swear must have accommodated the entire student body each and every passing time, with a fence running through the middle, not only created incredibly awkward and crowded moments, but also took up your entire 6 minutes of passing, often causing students to be late.  Why do I miss such a nuisance?  I’ve tried, but I really can’t seem to explain it.

Nevertheless, we persevered through these changes.  Having spent two years in both the new and old high school we were presented with a unique opportunity to form a true comparison of the two.  But I’ve learned that the school itself only means so much.  Upon numerous occasions passersby have asked this question: having experienced four years at Tewksbury Memorial High School, would you make the same decision that you made in the Spring of 8th grade to attend TMHS.  My answer to this question is…. yes.  My reasoning, quite simple actually: you.

 I vividly remember entering high school four years ago, as I am sure all of you do as well.  Those of you that know me well can attest that I am not the same person who I was then.  I had no interest in sports, or aspirations of even playing football, let alone starting for an undefeated, state-championship winning team.  But many of you did have those aspirations.  And instead of leaving the timid, and I’ll be honest, pleasantly plump, freshman John Melloni out to dry during my first season of football ever, you embraced and welcomed me.  Because of that, your aspirations of success became mine, and together we achieved them.  That is only one example of one student’s story.  A famous author once said, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”- Dr. Seuss.  Graduation is a time for us to reflect on who we are, and what we’ve become.  TMHS granted me the opportunity to associate myself with a group of peers that encouraged me to express myself without fear of judgment.  I could always find support in the class of 2014, and for that I am eternally grateful.  I hope that I have offered that same support to you all as well.

As much as I am thankful for the support and company of my peers, I too am indebted to my teachers.  Not only did they assist me in furthering my education, but many of them went above and beyond that responsibility.  Those teachers whom I was fortunate enough to affiliate with outside of the classroom, such as my athletic coaches, I thank you for pushing me to break out of my shell and develop a sense of leadership, one that I plan to use for the rest of my life.

Furthermore, there were several teachers who showed a particular interest in who I was, assisting me at the drop of a hat, and you know who you are.  Their lessons will not go forgotten as I continue on.  Class of 2014, I know that I am not alone in appreciating their assistance. 

Teachers of TMHS, thank you.

 Before my conclusion, I would like to take a moment to address a special thank you to the families of us graduating students.  I know that my high school experience would not have been the same without the love and support of my parents and siblings.  Mom and Dad, wherever you may be, I genuinely and sincerely owe the world to you.  Thank you for always supporting me.

    Enough about the past.  Along with celebrating our years in these halls, graduation is a time to get excited for the future.  As we approach the end of this chapter of our lives, we begin a new tale.  One with just as much uncertainty, opportunity, and potential.  Regardless of where our journey takes us, whether it be college, the workforce, or protecting and serving our country by enlisting in the armed forces, I know, that because of our strong-willed determination, we will succeed.  However, after being a part of this class, 2K14, I know that not only will we succeed, but we’re gonna have some fun while we do it.  

    I once again would like to thank each and every one of you, and wish you all the utmost success in your future endeavors. 

    Thank you

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