Education, News

St. Mary’s graduates 119

St. Mary's High School Graduation

The end of St. Mary's graduation ceremony ends with a traditional cap toss.

St. Mary's High School Graduation

The St. Mary's High School Class of 2023.

St. Mary's High School Graduation

One of the caps worn during St. Mary's graduation.

St. Mary's High School Graduation

One of the caps a student sported during the St. Mary's graduation ceremony.

St. Mary's High School Graduation

Valedictorian Tara Elise Powers addresses the St. Mary's Class of 2023.

St. Mary's High School Graduation

Former Lynn Fire Chief Stephen Archer speaks during his Honorary Diploma Presentation speech.

St. Mary's High School Graduation

St. Mary's High School Aniya Myette sings the National Anthem during graduation ceremony.

St. Mary's High School Graduation

Jillian Kirby of Nahant receives her diploma during St. Mary's graduation ceremony.


Marco Leone, left, and his friend Anthony D'Itria, celebrate graduating from St. Mary's on Thursday.

St. Mary's High School Graduation

Graduate Christine Hippolyte celebrates with her parents Nereth, left, and Jean of Lynn.

LYNN — Friends, family, and members of St. Mary’s High School’s faculty and staff gathered outside the school Thursday evening to celebrate the class of 2023, consisting of 119 graduates. 

As the graduates began to walk out to the sound of “Pomp and Circumstance,” the sun simultaneously broke through the partly cloudy skies, seemingly casting a bright spotlight on the graduates as they filed into their seats. 

Before the series of speakers began, Aniya Myette, a member of the class of 2023, performed her rendition of The Star Spangled Banner in front of the audience. 

Valedictorian Tara Powers addressed her fellow graduates before the presentation of diplomas. In her speech, she said that the lasting memories and lessons learned at St. Mary’s will help each graduate thrive in the future.

“Do not take your experiences and memories for granted, but instead, look closer, and see what your time at St. Mary’s has done for you,” said Powers. “With that, I have no doubt the class of 2023 is ready to take on all the world has to offer and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. Go Spartans.” 

Salutatorian Zackary Perry also addressed the graduating class, beginning his speech by listing the numerous accomplishments of the school’s clubs and athletics.

With the pandemic beginning during the class’s freshman year, Perry said that though COVID-19 hindered their start to high school, it made them stronger.

“We had a rough introduction to our high school experience, however, we pushed through the turmoil,” he said. “Not only with a surplus of accomplishments for all of us to be proud of, but also with a deeper bond that binds us together like one.” 

Powers will be continuing her studies at Boston College while Perry is headed to Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

To begin the evening, Rev. Brian L. Flynn gave an invocation before Head of School Dr. John F. Dolan gave his welcoming remarks.

Also speaking at the event were Parent Advisory Council Co-Chairs David and Heidi Guarino. David Guarino, in his speech, advised students that while they deserve to be celebrated, they should take time to sincerely thank their friends, classmates, family members, and the school’s staff for helping them achieve this goal. 

In an emotional speech, Heidi Guarino urged students to make their voices heard and work to solve problems with critical thinking.

“Speak up, ask questions, don’t just point out problems and criticize, but think creatively and help find solutions,” said Heidi Guarino. “Because your voices and the voices of everyone around you, they matter.” 

Former Lynn Fire Chief Stephen Archer, who retired this past December, was awarded an honorary diploma by St. Mary’s Director of Campus Operations and Athletic Director Jeff Newhall. Archer, who became Lynn’s first Black fire chief in 2018, presented a few words of advice to the graduating class, centered around making good use of the sacrifices that others have made to ensure their success.

“Do all that you can to protect the investment that has been made in you,” said Archer. “In other words, take care to avoid all the pitfalls in life that can undermine the time and effort that others have invested in you.” 

Of the 119 graduates, 40 were given the National Honor Society distinction.  

Msgr. Paul Garrity gave the graduation address before the presentation of diplomas, which was immediately followed by a prayer led by Rev. Flynn to conclude the ceremony. 

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