August 1, 2020 (Speech by Courtney Sherwood, Transcript provided by Hingham High School, photos by Joshua Ross Photography).
Following is a transcript of the speech given by Class President, Courtney Sherwood, at the HHS 2020 Graduation ceremony held on Saturday, August 1.
I wanted to start off by thanking everyone who helped us get to this day. To our families, friends, faculty and administration, thank you so much for everything you have done for our class. Your constant support has been crucial in our time at Hingham High.
It feels like just yesterday we walked through the high schools door, fresh off a summer of Pokémon go ready to take on our last four years of hingham schooling. Freshman year was a blur of meeting new friends, joining clubs and trying out for sports or the school play. It was a year of new beginnings and getting ready to take off the training wheels. Sophomore year came around and mo bamba and sicko mode swept the nation. These songs, along with mr bright side and old town road truly shaped our high school career. With our confidence high and our foundations built, we were ready to take on the dreaded junior year. As now upperclassmen we walked the halls with our heads held high.
The Red Sox won the World Series and the patriots won yet another Super Bowl championship. Living in trophy town, this didn’t totally surprise us, but the two parades were a nice addition to the years. We toured colleges and took the SAT and ACT. We ended the year with our school catching fire and saying goodbye to our senior friends on fire day. It seemed like this must be the craziest way to end a year. We were wrong.
It was now our Senior year. We walked in the doors on the first day just like we had each year before, only this time we matched in our well deserved red senior shirts. I know it gave me a big head. This was our year. The roaring twenties were back and we were ready for them. Life was good when learning a tik tok dance was our biggest worry. Senioritis was hitting hard and we all looked forward to a senior skip day. Little did we know, our class would hold the record number of senior skip days. It was my bad for planning one on March 13. I didn’t expect the world to take it so seriously!
Coronavirus hit and no one knew what it would unleash on our world. A global pandemic had just taken over our senior year. We were quarantined for months and masks became the new norm. As if it couldn’t get any worse, Tom Brady left us and Gronk came out of retirement to follow him. We were forced to put our lives on hold, and wait to celebrate all we had accomplished as students. Our flexibility during such a unique time has been so important. We learned how to adapt and roll with anything that could get in our way. Now of course quarantine was a small price to pay in light of everything going on, but coming from a senior it definitely wasn’t ideal. I will say however, hingham kids know how to wait. Patience is second nature to us, thanks to the classic hingham snow day. We could put a spoon under our pillow and turn our pjs inside out all we wanted, even check the snow day calculator religiously, and we still wouldn’t know if we got the day off until the last possible second. Waiting for this graduation was like waiting for a hingham snow day, unlikely, odds against us, but hopeful till the very end.
Given everything we’ve missed I hope our class has the best reunion attendance there ever was. I can guarantee we have the best reunion budget in the history of Hingham High School, thanks to the cancellation of every single one of our traditional senior events! I fully expect to see each and every one of your shining faces at our reunions. What better way to make up for the time we lost!
We are living through a momentous time in history. We are going to be at the forefront of change across the country and the world. From global health, to climate change to systemic racism and injustice, we have been put in a position to act as leaders. We need to believe we are the face of a better future. It’s time to do our part, and I feel confident saying all we have gone through these past years together has truly prepared us to be the leaders our world needs.
To all my classmates, you are incredible people and will go on to do amazing things. Cheers to the success of our past and the hope for greatness in our futures. Thank you and congratulations!