High School Graduations, 2024

June 14, 2024
Two women pose proudly. The mom is smiling broadly and the daughter has her arm over her mother's shoulders. She's wearing the Minuteman blue and gold cap and gown.
Minuteman Technical High School '24 graduate Octavia Fernandez (right) poses with her mother, Madeline Cruz. Photo: Audris Cruz Rivera

AB High School Class of 2024 graduation goes off without a hitch

Students, families and friends gathered on Leary Field on June 7 to celebrate the 407 member Acton-Boxborough Regional High School graduating class of 2024. Principal Joanie Dean recognized graduating students for their resiliency, compassion and positivity, noting that they began their high school careers during the COVID pandemic. Class speakers Tanvi Sistu and Braelyn Valente-Phillips spoke to the uncertainty about the changes and challenges that lay ahead, and retiring teacher, Susan Nugent, offered the traditional sending forth message to the graduates noting, “You don’t have to have your future all figured out. It’s the ongoing nature of figuring things out that makes for an interesting and possibly remarkable life.”

During the ceremonies, Katie Neville, Executive Director of the Acton-Boxborough United Way, received the 2024 William L. Ryan Community Service Award for her pivotal role in the continued success of the AB Resource Center.

Interview with a proud Minuteman Tech parent

Minuteman High School’s graduation took place in Lowell on June 7, at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium, led by Interim Principal Kathleen Bouchard. Class of 2024 President River Araujo, Salutatorian Alisha Ahmad, and Valedictorian Arya De Francesco addressed the class of 162. Twenty-three Acton students graduated from the 53-year-old Minuteman High School this year, including Conner Russell and Octavia Fernandez.

Fernandez’s mother Madeline Cruz was full of gratitude after the graduation ceremony. First, for the air conditioning at Lowell Memorial Auditorium on a hot day! But more, she appreciated the preparation with which her daughter, Octavia, graduated. “She is going to a four-year college, University of Hartford, for respiratory therapy,” Cruz said. “She made incredible friends and had amazing teachers, including Health Assisting Instructor Ms. Nicole Copithorne…She made my kid happy. My kid will stay friends with her, that’s how important she was to us.”

Cruz said this class had a lot of challenges, starting with the pandemic taking away their eighth grade graduation and the beginning of high school. “I appreciated this graduation more than I have graduations in the past. The amount of resilience these children showed is empowering.” Fernandez earned certificates in phlebotomy, certified nursing assistance, emergency medical technology, and EKG technology at Minuteman, her mother said, “all while working a part time job that often seemed like a full time job. She would work 6 to 11 p.m. at Chipotles, then get on the bus in the morning—and she played volleyball for the last two years!” The only disappointment expressed by Cruz? “That they didn’t do the ‘turning of the tassel’ as part of the graduation.”

A young woman walks down the aisle sporting a blue graduation robe and cap. She is holding her diploma in one hand and waving at the seated graduates as she heads back to her seat.
AB ’24 graduate Emma Kremer walks back to her seat, diploma in hand. Photo: Anna Yu
A smiling young man walks across the stage to get his diploma.
AB ’24 graduate Robbie Rychlik strides across the stage. Photo: Kristina W. Rychlik
A young woman stands on Leary Field holding a bouquet of flowers and wearing her blue graduation cap and gown.
AB ’24 graduate Katie Dalaklis poses with a posy after graduating. Photo: Mark Dalaklis

Diane Baum is our school committee beat reporter. Franny Osman edits, and sometimes writes for, the Acton Exchange.


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