The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School class of 2019 will be remembered as a class that chose to go their own way, to embrace their individualism, their voices and their convictions.

It was not always an easy ride, commented faculty and advisors.

Global history teacher Ena Thulin defined the group not as troublesome, but rebellious.

“At times, it’s hard for them to contain their passion.” she said. “They’re not afraid to fight for what they think is right.”

A time to celebrate and to say goodbye. — Ray Ewing

They are also not afraid to succeed.

Director of guidance Mary MacDonald, who has been involved with the school for 26 years, said this class will be awarded a record breaking $2.5 million in scholarship funds through donations from the community.

“There is a lot of talent athletically, academically, artistically, and musically . . .  the scholarship funds reflect that,” she said.

The class will graduate 144 students on Sunday, June 9 in a ceremony at the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs that begins at 1:30 p.m. Harold Lawry 5th will serve as master of ceremonies. Speeches will be delivered by valedictorian Astoria Hall, salutatorian Alexis Condon, class essayist Adeline Haymon and student council president Mackenzie Condon. Scholarship presentations take place at Class Night on Friday, also at the Tabernacle, beginning at 6 p.m.

Mark McCarthy, who has served as the school’s athletic director for nine years, commented on the diverse interests of the graduating class. Athletically, it is no secret the group has been successful. But Mr. McCarthy said that the success of the graduating class extends well beyond sports.

Minnesingers practice at rehearsal on Thursday. — Ray Ewing

“Wins and losses are how people measure success in athletics, but I have seen just as much success off the field,” he said. “We have a lot of depth. The depth of this class has given it its strength.”

For many teachers, the depth of the class is reflected in a trend of pursuing individual areas of interest as opposed to following the common core curriculum. School librarian Kevin McGrath also serves as the coordinator of the Senior Capstone program which gives seniors an opportunity to explore their passion and develop it into a project.

“It’s about individual growth,” he said. “But it feeds into the school’s mission, which is focused on community service.”

Jason Davey, who will attend Virginia Military Institute next year, took the opportunity to publish a 149-page historical fiction novel, titled Nearly Free. Victoria Scott, who will attend Bates College in the fall, studied the effects of tagging channeled whelk on the Island’s local ecology and explored how to move toward a more sustainable future for the industry.

Though he didn’t participate in the Senior Capstone, Max Smith also reflects the student body’s drive towards individual concentration through his involvement with the technical education program. Max is currently working with the grounds crew at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport in addition to doing technical work for private planes. He received the Massachusetts Outstanding Vocational Technical Student Award and will study in the aviation program at Cape Cod Community College.

Junior class marshals Jared Regan and Alexandra Rego. — Ray Ewing

Both students and faculty agreed that the class was especially involved with community service. Assistant principal Barbara-jean Chauvin, who started her job when the seniors were freshmen, specifically cited their leadership in Give-Back-Day as an example of their dedication. They were the first class to participate in what has become an annual tradition of volunteering, said Ms. Chauvin.

Meghan Sonia, who will attend Anna Maria College, led the charge to clean up State Beach during Give-Back-Day. She is also a nationally certified emergency medical technician and has helped put up fences to protect against coastal erosion.

Meghan made sure to say that she was not alone in her involvement with social and environmental activism. She cited the many students involved with March for Our Lives, who traveled to Washington D.C. last year to demand legislation that would prevent gun violence in the United States and specifically in public schools. She also cited the student-led organization, Protect Your Environment. For numerous Fridays this spring, the group of about 20 students raised awareness for climate change by holding demonstrations along Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road.

Other groups include students who volunteered for the Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, those who participated in Connect to End Violence and the Navigator Program.

Onward they go. — Ray Ewing

Class president Sam Wallace said he did not object to the title bestowed upon his class by Ms. Thulin, but also pointed to work by his peers to protect the environment in addition to political activism. For his Senior Capstone project, Sam explored solutions to reduce food waste on the Island through different methods of composting. He believes the class must now go beyond the bounds of the Island to participate in global change.

“I’ve been blessed,” Sam said. “But now it’s about me trying to give back.”

Back in the teacher’s lounge Ms. Thulin agreed with the student’s assessment of themselves.

“They’re not a passive group of students, and I think that will serve them well in the long run,” she said.