WOONSOCKET — The 118 graduates of Mount Saint Charles Academy’s Class of 2019 come from as close as Harrisville and Woonsocket to as far away as Changwon, South Korea and Shanghai, China.
Either way, as “Mounties” they all grew and learned together as a class, Alan Tenreiro, the school’s president, said during Mount Saint Charles Academy’s 94th commencement exercises on June 9.
“The point of the journey is not arriving at a destination, a milestone or achievement,” Tenreiro said. “The point of a journey is what you learn, what you see, what you experience, who you become along the way, what you take with you, and who you share it with.”
Alicia Bergeron, the class salutatorian from Douglas, Massachusetts, talked about the stresses, struggles, late night studies of high school, and how all that prepared her and her classmates to walk across the stage and receive their hard-earned diplomas.
“We have experienced many changes, changes that our minds were not open to. Some of these changes, we were not too happy about at first,” Bergeron said, adding though that those changes, however, had taught them to be passionate and speak their minds.
The graduation also featured special 50th anniversary diplomas that were given to members of Mount Saint Charles Academy’s Class of 1969, several of whom attended the ceremony and received standing ovations from the new graduates.
Principal Edwin Burke conferred the diplomas, and told the graduates that he was confident that they will rise to the challenge when they are called to put their strengths and abilities at the service of others.
Class valedictorian Andrew Goyette, of Smithfield, delivered a speech mixed with self-deprecating humor about being a “short and scrawny kid” who somehow survived several years of playing ice hockey.
“Playing hockey as an undersized individual taught me an important lesson,” Goyette said. “There will always be people who will try and knock you down. Sometimes they will fail, but other times they will knock you down. But when they do, it is your duty and your responsibility to stand back up everytime. Because the only way to succeed is by working hard and persevering.”