With plenty of pomp and circumstance, Atlantis graduated its first senior class on Friday, June 8, 2018.
The 40 young men and women who made up the Class of 2018 filed into the new Tritons gymnasium clad in their caps and gowns to receive their diplomas. Their parents sat beaming as they watched.
“For some of them, this was the first member of the family graduating from high school,” said Diane Richard, advisor for the senior class. “Their pride and excitement were evident. Some of these students had struggled along the way because it’s a lot of work, but they finally made it.”
They made it and they set a high bar for the classes to follow. All 40 of the 2018 graduates were accepted to college for the Fall.
This was the first class to participate in Atlantis’s innovative career academies, so it was fitting that Atlantis invited Matthew Kressy to deliver the keynote speech at the graduation. Kressy is the founding director of the MIT Integrated Design & Management (IDM) master’s degree program, and he played an integral role in the development of Atlantis’s STEM Academy.
“The message that I wanted them to receive was that what determines success in life is not academic performance,” Kressy recalled. “You shouldn’t be discouraged if you are a not a fantastic academic performer, but if you are true to your unique path and you take action on that unique path it will bring
you to a place where you have unique value to the world.”
Richard described the ceremony was very intimate. She said the small size of the graduating class allowed each student to have his or her moment to be recognized as a high school graduate.
It was a very busy week at Atlantis leading up to graduation. Events included an awards ceremony, a pasta dinner for families, a junior/senior prom, and an after-prom party.
Atlantis also took time on the afternoon of graduation to recognize the supporters who have helped make the new Atlantis Charter School campus a reality. About 80 people gathered outside the school for a ribbon cutting, including board members, beneficiaries, a state senator and two state representatives.
Richard said she is sad to see this inaugural group of high school seniors leave Atlantis because she has been with them since they were in the fifth grade, but she is excited to see what they will do next. “I am so proud of these kids. I have seen them accomplish so much, and I know they are going to go out and do amazing things.”