Faculty Farewells: edited by Eve Brown-Ryder

A survey was sent to Memorial’s staff asking if there was anything they would like to share with the graduating Class of 2020. These remarks are typically goodbyes, well-wishes, and memories. Of course, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year is special so many staff members included something on that topic.

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To my current seniors and to seniors that I’ve had in years prior, I truly wish you the best of luck. This year has definitely been one for the history books. 

I wish the end of the year could have had better memories for everyone both in class and with your events. Senior year is meant to be filled with excitement and I hope you’ve been able to make at least a few memories that you will cherish. 

This speed bump we’re going through will hopefully make better people out of all of us. I wish you the best of luck and if you need anything you know where to find me.

Mr. Comey

Well, you guys, you made it. It has been a roller coaster of four years, but you persevered and made it. It has been an honor to be your class advisor and I wish everyone the best beyond high school. I usually read the following poem to my upperclassmen on the last day because it contains a lot of good advice, so I’m giving it to you to enjoy. 

“Desiderata” 

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.
– Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

Mr. Michie

Congratulations to the Class of 2020. I am sure it’s not the way you wanted to go out, I know it’s not the way I wanted to go out. A unique ending for a unique class (that’s meant to be a compliment). Best of luck in your future. 

Tom Dolan

For all the seniors who moved here from another country, you are brave to begin a new school here. For all the seniors who speak another language, you are committed to learning English and all of your content in English. For all the seniors who work at a job outside of school, you are dedicated to helping your family and earning a high school diploma. For all of the seniors who had their senior year changed with coronavirus, you are building strength to overcome adversity in your future. You CAN and you WILL be successful after you leave Memorial High School. You MUST pursue your dreams and never give up. Always remember that we will still be here for you, to encourage you, to guide you, and to congratulate you when great things happen in your future. Now go make your dreams real!

Cherie Frid

To my Lunch Bunch – Emily, Nick, Andrea, James, Julie, Jacqueline, Hannah, and Suzana:

You have no idea how much you’ll be missed. Emily, Nick, and Jackie, I knew when I went to your confirmation this was the beginning of a lifetime of laughs. Emily, your drawings will always be better than the rest (the debate is now over) and will hang on my wall. Jackie, although you and your brother hit my car sophomore year, I forgive you. Thank you for introducing me to Crocs. Hannah and Suzana, you kept me sane and helped me laugh during volleyball this year. James and Julie, I wish you all the luck and expect an invite to the wedding one day. Last but not least, Andrea, I hope you’re able to drive on the highway to a restaurant and order yourself food one day. I love you all! Keep in touch. 

“Through every hello is the beginning of a goodbye, do not lose heart; for every goodbye may also be the beginning of another hello.” – Leo F. Buscaglia 

 “…all the golden lands ahead of you and all the kinds of unforeseen events wait lurking to surprise you and make you glad you’re alive to see.” – Jack Kerouac

Tara Michaud

I am so glad we had this time together, just to have a class or sing a song. Even though we will not send you off in the traditional way, you are carved into our hearts and minds forever. Fare thee well and so long.

Troye Anne Fennell

I just want to say I TRULY, TRULY, TRULY, missed you!!! I mean like, I TRULY, TRULY, TRULY missed you!!!! ELE!!!! Good luck in all you do, seniors!!!!!!

David Bailey

You are INCREDIBLE young adults who will make a difference! I BELIEVE IN YOU!!!!

Jill Bradley

Congratulations!!! You will be the class that will always be remembered as the pioneers of remote learning. This experience has given you the ability to always persevere, remain strong, and work together. I wish you all the best and will never forget the Class of 2020.

Stephanie Dakoulas

To the Class of 2020,

You will come out of this better people. The comeback is always stronger than the setback. You will go down in history and last but not least, in fact possibly most importantly, you will get your letters from freshman year (if you wrote one and had me as your teacher)!

Now go on to do great things! 

Mrs. Wujcik

Go confidently 
in the direction
of your
dream.
Live the life
you’ve imagined

Love always, 

Ms. McMillan

To all of my psychology students,

I know this is not how you envisioned finishing your senior year and that all of you had to face unprecedented challenges. These events can bring you down and can feel overwhelming and somewhat depressing. My suggestion is to try to find your small victories and focus on how they have helped you to grow. Maybe you found a newfound sense of empathy for the people struggling with the challenges of the pandemic, or maybe you were the one who was struggling and you discovered how strong your resiliency was. Heck, maybe you are now an expert on Zoom!!! The point is for you to realize that you rose to the challenge and you didn’t let it define you. Each generation has moments, snapshots in time that help to shape how history remembers them. I think that when people look back to your graduating class they will see a group of young adults who managed to shine even though sunlight was in short supply. I feel privileged to have been a small part of your educational journey and I look forward to seeing how these past few months will drive you all to greatness.
 
With appreciation,

Mr. Lessieur

Class of 2020,

You are some of the most wonderful young people I have had the chance to meet. You have wonderful things ahead of you and I am so proud! Keep on following your dreams, your goals, and your own good sense! Fortuna favet fortibus!!!

Christina Clements

Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forwards. I hope the year 2020 makes sense to you someday.

Michelle Lincoln

Well, here we are. The end of an era. The end of the craziest school year. Ever. I am happy that you have made it through the year, but also sad. Sad that you have been denied a proper ending to your school career. You all didn’t deserve this, but you’ve handled it like the champions you are! It has been a pleasure teaching each and every one of you who were lucky enough to spend some time in 509. I will remember you fondly. Keep in touch. Stay out of trouble. Good luck to you all. 
 
“‘I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo. ‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”’ – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings 

Mr. Normandin

Fellow Crusaders, 

This has been the weirdest school year I have ever experienced. I think there is a good chance that this is the weirdest year Memorial High School has experienced since its opening in 1960, but you’d have to ask someone who was around then to confirm that. Feel free to email Mr. Lynch. He should be able to tell you. And surely he could tell you that we have never had a year where a man with a beard like Mr. Lessieur’s was given the responsibility of preparing young adults for the future. Oh, and there was that whole pandemic thing. But all kidding aside, beyond the feeling of uncertainty, beyond feelings of fear, or anger, or isolation, or any other number of feelings you may have experienced during this time, the whole thing can be summed up as the epitome of a paradox.
 
Before COVID-19, so many of us might have said that all we need is a phone and we will always feel connected to people. Now, in a time tailor-made for these “smart” phones, we find ourselves wishing for the ability to see one another in person. Heck, I thought I hated my phone before this…
 
Before COVID-19, we couldn’t wait for summer vacation. Now, we keep wishing we were back in school.
 
As a man who seems to be aging a year each day, I’ve been pushing myself to incorporate more technology into my classes for years. Now, I don’t care if I never use a computer again. I still want my TV. It will take ten pandemics before I give that up.
 
And while I could go on and on, I will throw one last example out there. One that I hope you’ll hold onto and carry with you into the “Post COVID-19 World:” 
 
Before March 16, 2020, I felt like I spent so much time trying to encourage people to look out for each other, to help each other with small things, to just be generally and genuinely kind to one another. Now, I feel like these things have become the new norm because we, as a people, have been reminded – daily – of just how much we need each other and this reminder has resulted in us appreciating each other on a grander scale. 
 
So, I guess for you, the Class of 2020 – aka The COVID Crusaders – I ask and hope that you will keep the new norm going. Do not let us slip back into a state of looking down at a screen instead of up into the eyes of the real person we’re talking to. Do not let us return to a world where hateful comments are sent under cover of the internet instead of offering a simple, pleasant, “hello,” to the person passing by. Frankly, I’m asking you to make sure we hold on to the biggest positive that could have come out of something so horrible: a kinder world.
 
Best of luck to you. You made it through this, I suspect you can make it through quite a lot. And I suspect that it will be much easier for all of us to be a part of the reinvigorated, kinder populace because it will be led by you and your fellow Crusaders. 

Ben Dick

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Your class is one of the strongest ever. You were born during tragedy and graduated during a pandemic. Both are times that affected the world and show the best and worst of humanity. 

ALWAYS BE THE BEST THAT HUMANITY HAS TO OFFER. 

BE BRAVE – BE STRONG – and ALWAYS BE KIND 🙂

Remember, you are the class of perfect sight. Use it to look forward, not behind.

Mrs. Edgar

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The year 2020 is the year that proves you have what it takes to push forward through adversity. Keep pushing because it will bring you success.

Jodie Chabot

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Congratulations to our graduating student-athletes, and to the entire Class of 2020, on all of your accomplishments. 

Corri Wilson, Athletic Coordinator

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It has been a challenging year for all of you in so many ways. Moving from having you in class teaching you, coaching you out on the field, and attending and being part of your events to remote learning has been a fulfilling and unprecedented experience. We certainly don’t realize how much we miss something until it’s taken away. I will certainly miss all of you as your spirit has been infectious and has added so much to the school. You’re like the US Constitution, a document that will be cherished forever. Had to get that in. Nevertheless, I think the following anonymous quote sums it up, “ Never regret a day in your life: good days give happiness, bad days give experience, worst days give lessons, and best days give memories.“ You are truly Crusaders! I wish you all the best! 

DGocks

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Best of luck to the Class of 2020! It has been a pleasure getting to know you – first in the lunch room, and now in the front office. I wish you nothing but the best in your future endeavors. Once a Crusader, always a Crusader!

Tricia Bilodeau

One thought on “Faculty Farewells: edited by Eve Brown-Ryder

  1. As a retired Memorial High School teacher, I really enjoyed reading the comments to the graduating class of 2020. I wish the graduates the best in all their future endeavors. Diane Proulx, retired Social Studies teacher.

    Like

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