Family, friends and the Island community welcomed the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School class of 2024 with raucous cheers as the students made their way into the Tabernacle on a rainy Sunday afternoon for this year’s graduation ceremony.

The 160 graduates were led to their seats by class marshals Avery Mulvey and Caleb Dubin while serenaded by raucous applause and Pomp and Circumstance.

Alexa Schroeder leads the procession into the Tabernacle. — Ray Ewing

Master of ceremony Vinny Paciello welcomed everyone, with guest speaker Rebecca Mandelli translating opening remarks into Portuguese. Mr. Paciello and Ms. Mandelli then gave their own speeches about different acronyms to describe the class and the closeness of the Island community.

“LOL — laugh out loud, because if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that humor makes everything better,” Mr. Paciello said. “From awkward moments to unexpected surprises, laughter has been our constant campaign. So let’s never forget to find joy and humor in every situation.”

Speeches by co-salutatorians Huck Moore and Alexa Schroeder and student body vice president Connor Graves echoed themes of diversity, resilience, community and embracing each other’s individuality.

Gunnar Graham, Chase Grant, Tyler Grasing and Antori Green. — Ray Ewing

Ms. Shroeder emphasized that she wasn’t giving “unsolicited advice.” Instead, she told a series of stories about choices.

“It’s not your accomplishment or your grades or the person you pretend to be that makes people respect you,” she said. “Trust me, tried it all, unfortunately. Choosing to be yourself is what’s most impressive.”

Superintendent Dr. Richard Smith presented valedictorian Lyla Solway with the Outstanding Student award.

Gabby Brooks is all smiles. — Ray Ewing

Mr. Smith then spoke about loss and gratitude, referring to the series of tragedies the school community has experienced this past year.

“What gives me hope in the face of so much tragedy is there’s so much beauty, so much to be grateful for,” Mr. Smith said. “It is the talents of this group sitting before me, of our young people... the strength and resilience of these graduates that gives me hope.”

Principal Sara Dingledy presented the Vineyarder awards and the Principal’s Leadership awards. The Vineyarder awards for “embodying the heart and hardworking spirit of the Island” were given to Norah Prestley and Lily Duarte. The Principal’s Leadership awards were given to Emma Burt and Mr. Graves, “whose actions and leadership set them apart,” Ms. Dingledy said.

Community helps celebrate after the ceremony. — Ray Ewing

Ms. Solway gave the last speech of the ceremony, lifting up themes of personal growth, self-reflection and making mistakes.

“It’s often through our missteps and mishaps that we learn the most profound lessons, even if it means saying, ‘I will never do that again,’” she said.

The Minnesingers added their voices to the proceedings, singing Capelinha de Melão and Homeward Bound, before Ms. Dingledy gave one final tribute.

Students were then called to the stage to receive their diplomas, while those assembled cheered them on.

The students then participated in one final moment together as members of the class of 2024, throwing their caps in the air just as the clouds parted and the sun began to shine.

More pictures.