Hello everybody. Classmates, congratulations. Friends and family, thank you for coming. Teachers, thanks for edumakating us real goodly. And guidance, thanks for guidance. And you, yeah you, the tourist over there hoping for a quiet lunch in the famous Oaks Bluff Camp Ground, the bridge to Falmouth is that way.
We live in a special place, but you all know that. I have no cliched advice for you today, no insightful message or sentimental speech about a childhood on this Island. Instead, I’d like to recognize some of the kids who have made this class exceptional. What we lack in senior prank preparation, we certainly make up for in talent.
We have amazing musicians. Hudson Bausman is drumming at the Berklee School of Music next year with bassist Avery Lazes, and you should all check out Charlotte Benjamin’s album Miles.
Barra Peak is a talented violist. Her, Mikayla Tinus and Sarah Ortlip-Sommers are great violinists as well. Apparently they’re kinda smart, too. Sarah is going to Stanford next year, Mikayla to Brown and Barra is studying astrophysics at Harvard.
Slackers. Really though, Barra, you deserve it. You’re truly brilliant and I’ve been learning from you since fifth grade.
We also have plenty of artistic talent. Sarah Alexander and Willoe Maynard have taken astonishing photographs, and Claudia Taylor’s poetry is amazing. Danny Meaney is graduating with us today: his exhibit at Evening of the Arts was fantastic.
Sam Permar, our Master of Ceremonies, is pursuing his dream of becoming an actor at NYU, and our filmmaker Paul Robinson had a standing-room-only showing of his documentary on Vineyard sports.
Isaiah Maynard will bike across the country this summer to raise money for the True Health Foundation, and you can fund and track his progress at FollowMeAcrossAmerica.org. Crossing the seas, we’ve got Shane Metters, who will be at Mass Maritime Academy next year. Also, Sawyer Klebs is back to graduate with us: he ditched the second half of senior year to mountain climb, hike and make shoes, which honestly sounds more productive than what the rest of us did.
Mary Ollen is heading to Wellesley, Hillary Clinton’s alma mater, and wants to become “at least a U.S. Senator.” She was also captain of girls’ field hockey, with lacrosse and field hockey captain Isabel Smith. Boy, did I have a crush on that girl.
Mary and Issy weren’t our only excellent athletes, though. Jeremy Alley Tarter has broken just about every running record I’ve ever heard of, and I hear Deshawn James isn’t too bad on the basketball court. Kat deBettencourt had a great winter, too, as captain of the basketball team. She’s playing at Florida Gulf Coast University next year. She was also captain of the golf team with her cousin Matt Marchand, on his way to Providence College. They tied with a low stroke average of 39 this season.
I’ve also gotta give my football team some love. I was clearly the MVP, ending three seasons with a combined touchdown count of — one. Aaron Lowe was a star on defense. He’s also a star chef. Literally. He’s cooking for l’etoile this summer. I dropped French sophomore year, but I’m pretty sure l’etoile means star. And what would we have done without Joe Turney?
Tony Canha, Kyle Stobie and Andrew Jacobs-Walsh were also crucial on defense.
Andrew is the nicest kid you’ll ever meet, but you’d never know it watching him sack the quarterback three times a game. Best work ethic, too. Freshman year, let’s just say Andrew was on the heavy side. Now he’s the second strongest guy in the school.
Which brings me to John Henry O’Shaughnessy. Junior football season he tore his ACL, LCL, MCL, PCL and both meniscuses — whatever those are. His orthopedic surgeon said it was the worst injury he’d seen, and no one thought John would ever play again. But senior year he was back on the field, stronger than ever. I can’t imagine how much courage that must have taken. He’ll play lacrosse next year at Westfield.
Tony Breth, his half-season as starting quarterback was: ehhhh. Seriously though, funniest guy around. I don’t think we’ll ever forget when he came to school dressed as a cow, or dragged Tallula through that three-legged race. I checked the YouTube video last night, and it has one hundred thirty thousand views. Tony, I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this before (maybe at 3 a.m. after a party) but you’re my best friend. University of South Carolina will be lucky to have you.
I’d also like to recognize a classmate who isn’t here today. James Cleary, nickname Cito, left the school partway through this year. He’s a great kid and an important part of our class, and I wish he was graduating with us. I guess what goes around comes around.
Seriously though, every member of this class has been special, to me and to everyone, and I’m sorry I couldn’t mention everybody. I can’t imagine a better or more interesting group to have spent high school with, and I’ll miss you all, eventually. Thank you for a perfect four years. Thank you.
Nathaniel Horwitz is the class essayist of the class of 2014. He will attend Harvard University in the fall.