There was no hesitation when Mike McCarthy, director of guidance and counseling, reflected on the largest challenge faced by the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School’s class of 2017.

Marshals lead procession during rehearsal. — Ray Ewing

“These guys have gone through five principals,” he said of the 177 graduating seniors. “They had to be very resilient. That’s the word that’s been thrown around for them a lot. They’ve gone through so much change. They kept working hard at what they’ve been doing.”

On Sunday, June 11, the students will see their hard work pay off at their graduation ceremony, beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the Oak Bluffs Tabernacle.

Fellow guidance counselor Amy Lilavois agreed with her colleague’s assessment. “Different leadership has an effect on the whole system,” she said. “There’s been changes in administration, changes in rules, and they have survived it and survived it well.

She stressed that rocky seas can be good teachers. “Life isn’t always even keel. I think they’ve grown from that. They rode the wave with all of us.”

Time to check if any more good wishes have been texted. — Ray Ewing

Ms. Lilavois also showed no hesitation when describing the biggest joy of working with this particular class. “Since their freshman year, they have volunteered for every event we’ve asked them to volunteer for, helping with the eighth grade transition, the Race-Culture Retreat.”

Ms. Lilavois credited the work of Kaela Vecchia-Zeitz ‘16 and her ongoing project Stand With Everyone Against Rape (SWEAR), for highlighting this volunteering spirit, particularly among the young men of the senior class.

“We collaborated and created a training program for boys,” Ms. Lilavois said. “They talk about how sexual assault is not just a women’s issue but a men’s issue as well, and how it’s time for men to step up and accept their privilege.”

Ben Nadelstein tests the microphone. — Ray Ewing

Fifteen senior boys participated in SWEAR this year, all nominated by faculty. All were juniors last year and helped train the juniors this year.

“These boys are leaders in our school,” Ms. Lilavois said. “I have been here for 12 years and I felt that there was a really great group of young men in the class.”

Teachers at the high school reflected on the satisfaction of seeing the students grow into young, capable adults. Chris Baer, the department chair of photography and graphics, credited the new senior project semester as giving students a chance to test interests that may lead to future careers.

Dylan Araujo and Whitney Schroeder play rock, paper, scissors. — Ray Ewing

“With the senior projects, it’s cool to see how they can work independently from the school,” Mr. Baer said. “There’s something that happens senior year when their eyes refocus.”

Head of the English department, Dan Sharkovitz, is graduating out of the high school along with the seniors. After almost four decades, Mr. Sharkovitz will retire at the end of the year.

“I don’t feel comfortable defining an entire class,” he said. “However, three outstanding students come to mind: Sophia McCarron, Willa Vigneault, Danielle Hopkins. In many ways they embody some of the great characteristics of the senior class.”

Mr. Sharkovitz advises the school newspaper, The High School View, and he described how these three students essentially guided the paper while he had to be away.

Students tried on robes and caps but no throwing them in the air until Sunday. — Ray Ewing

“No other three editors-in-chief have ever had to take it upon themselves to lead the staff while the primary faculty advisor was away,” he said. “I will never, ever forget what they achieved. But they didn’t do it for me. They did it for the community and the staff.”

While some students flourished in the arts, others excelled in science. Daniel Gaines created two science fair projects that went on to the regional and state levels.

“My junior year project was on plastic roads, replacing concrete with recycled Styrofoam,” he said. “For my senior year project, I was attempting to create a novel treatment for cartilage diseases.”

Daniel will attend Clark University next year to study biology and geography. He said the freedom the school gave him to make choices about his course of study was a key to his success. “I love the emphasis on research that they have and the variety of classes. That was very helpful for someone like me that’s been exploring a lot of different interests.”

Julia LeVesque, Amanda McKenzie, and Julia Bettencourt. — Ray Ewing

He continued: “That would be my biggest advice to new students: take a bunch of courses and explore new things. See what’s out there.” Paulo Pereira Filho, ranked third in the class and taking on the role of class essayist for the graduation ceremony on Sunday, felt that the regional high school prepared him well for the future. So did the wider community. “I was awarded the MV-Youth Scholarship. All the hard work from high school paid off. I won’t have to worry about the debt from my undergraduate years.”

While Paulo wouldn’t fully reveal what he will talk about on Sunday, he cited his childhood and the American Dream as inspirations.

“I was born in Brazil and moved here when I was young,” he said. “Coming here from another country and being presented with the amount of opportunities, compared with Brazil there are more opportunities here. Going to college, I always dreamed about graduating high school and going to college. That’s one dream that I’ll be accomplishing.”

Paulo is still waiting to hear back from his first choice, but for now he is planning to attend UMass Amherst where he will study either business or pre-med.

Quiet moment before the big day. — Ray Ewing

Mr. McCarthy commented on the worldliness of this generation and how the students future plans reflected their enthusiasm for travel. “In the old days, we thought going to Falmouth was a big trip but these kids really expand their global boundaries. These kids are not restricted to our old boundaries.”

Pierre (Nick) Bonneau will travel to Spain next year to play soccer and Sophia McCarron will attend the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

In addition to the challenges they saw for this class, both Mr. McCarthy and Ms. Lilavois found it easy to sum up this group of students.

“They’re very caring, they’ve bonded a lot, and they are kids who’ve done really well,” said Mr. McCarthy.

Ms. Lilavois agreed. “They’re an altruistic bunch and we’re going to miss them.”