When faced with the possibility of an abridged graduation ceremony this spring or summer, the four graduating seniors at the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School were unanimous in saying they wanted to wait as long as it takes to experience the traditional, non-traditional charter school graduation ceremony.

The graduation will take place in the fall or later if needed but last weekend faculty, friends and family celebrated Matt Gonsalves, Kathryn Cuthbert, Ethan Aubrey Taylor and Finn Cole with a surprise presentation of their diplomas at their homes. The moment carried with it the same personal touch the students said they had experienced during their time at the charter school.

Matt, Kathryn and Ethan all live on the Vineyard while Finn made the seven-mile nautical journey across the Vineyard Sound from Falmouth every weekday. Finn started at the charter school in fifth grade, having been previously home-schooled. At the time, his two old brothers were still at the charter school.

Kathryn Cuthbert is celebrated at Misty Meadows. — Albert O. Fischer 3rd

“Having them commute on the boat made it easier for me,” he said.

Ethan came to the charter school in the fourth grade and immediately knew he was in the right place. “It was so much more individualized, they tailored everything to each kid so you were learning at the exact level that you needed, which was really helpful,” he said.

Kathryn and Matt arrived as freshmen. Kathryn had just moved back to the Vineyard after living in Rhode Island. She said the free-form scheduling was a big draw.

Matt had started his high school career at the regional high school but decided to switch based on the recommendation of his best friend. His older sister had graduated from charter school in 2018 and also spoke highly of her time there.

“I wanted to travel and go places and have fun while I’m at school, so I tried it out and it was fun ever since,” Matt said.

Ethan Aubrey Taylor gets his diploma at the Agricultural Hall. — Albert O. Fischer

And travel they did. Over the years the group collectively visited Italy, Panama, New Orleans, Maine and Hartford.

“I think the charter school gave me a lot of opportunities to travel and see new places,” Finn said.

The students said the school also provided them with opportunities to discover their passions through mentorships with members of the Island community and project periods, which allow for focused study on any subject of interest, from academics to animal husbandry.

Kathryn worked with horses at Misty Meadows during her mentorship.

“I just fell in love,” she said. “It’s become my passion working with the horses there.”

She plans to major in equine barn management at Johnson and Whales University next year in Providence, R.I.

Matt’s mentorships included working at the Plane View Restaurant at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport and State Road Restaurant in West Tisbury. He plans to work at State Road Restaurant after graduation, learning as much as he can so that one day he can open a restaurant of his own.

Finn is looking to pursue firefighting, specifically wildland firefighting, but is also hoping to acquire more skills in landscaping, mechanics and other trades.

Ethan will attend the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams where he plans to major in English. His love of writing began in the fifth grade when his teacher and some of the older students at the charter school guided his class through the journey of writing a novel.

“They really make sure you know there is no wrong way to learn, it’s just whatever works for you,” Ethan said.