July 13, 2024 Donate


Dexter Graduates Urged to Embrace the Future without Letting Go of the Past

By Trevor Sullivan

Dexter held its high school graduation on Friday, May 31, where it celebrated about 290 students. Those students, whose paths may all part ways, came together one final time to commemorate their accomplishments. 

Once the students were seated, there was a greeting and introduction from Mischa Rafferty, the president of the National Honors Society at Dexter High School. “Today, we celebrate not just an end but a beginning. Congratulations, class of 2024. Here’s to our future: bright, promising, and full of hope.”

This introduction was then followed by the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by student Maria DeMerell. Afterward, both the president of the Board of Education, Ms. Mara Greatorex, and Dexter Community Schools Superintendent, Dr. Chris Timmis, gave speeches addressing the students and how their future is in their hands. 

Grace Mendez, a graduating senior, spoke about the new beginnings and opportunities that lie ahead for the students. “This isn’t the end of something. It’s the beginning. It’s the beginning of our lives. No matter whether we have known each other for 13 years, or if we just met this year, we’ve come together to celebrate a lot of different kinds of relationships . . . So as you leave here today, and you step into the real world for the first time ever, remember that this is your beginning. This is your chance to make a difference, your chance to make your way in the world.

Grace Mendez speaking at podium at Dexter graduation

The second student speaker, Owen Bruderly, talked about the impact that Dexter had on the students and the sense of community that was created: “In a world changing faster than ever before, our class has developed unparalleled resilience and adaptability . . . We pushed ourselves to be better athletes, better scholars, better friends. We set lofty goals, and then we met them. We made our community proud. Decades from now, we’ll still be strong, determined individuals. We’ll be good team players, thoughtful leaders, responsible citizens of the world. Perhaps better put, we’ll remain Dreadnaughts.”Owen Bruderly speaking at podium for Dexter graduation

William Laurin, the final student speaker, ties this idea of community to the unity that has been created for the students across the years. “We may not all share the same life, but we do share the same responsibility, and that’s to build upon the solidarity that this class has already fostered. For the past 13 years, many of us have shown witness to life’s many ups and downs together . . . We have shown remarkable resolve, not only in the face of adversity but also in our commitment to each other . . . We have already proven solidarity toward each other, and now it is time for us to move forward and prove to the rest of the world what a community like this can achieve.”

William Laurin at podium speaking at Dexter graduation

The diploma presentation followed, with each student being awarded as they walked across the stage. In the closing statements, Dexter High School principal Ms. Melanie Nowak said, “The best is yet to come. Good luck, class of 2024.”