The Bedford High School senior class’s roller-coaster ride culminates at a happy place Thursday evening: in-person graduation ceremonies.
Commencement is scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. at the Paul E. Tsongas Center, 300 Arcand Drive, Lowell. There are enough seats to accommodate half of the town.
The class of 2022 – the 65th class in the annals of the high school — comprises 227 candidates for graduation.
Their BHS careers were interrupted with little warning early in March 2020 with the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic. The rest of sophomore year and much of 11th grade were compromised because of the dangers posed by the virus, with virtual classes, curtailed activities, and limits on social contact continuing in varying degrees.
Since mandatory face covering was revoked more than three months ago, the rhythms of high school have been returning to close to pre-pandemic levels. Traditional senior class highlights in recent days have proceeded unabated, and graduation is all that remains.
BHS commencement has taken place at the Tsongas Center for more than a decade. That decision was based on the inadequacy of the BHS gym as a backup in case of bad weather.
Student speakers on Thursday will be Aaron Zhao, delivering the graduation essay, and Bryan Aweh-Kisob, president of the senior class. Zhao will continue his education at Emory University in Atlanta; Aweh-Kisob will matriculate at Villanova University near Philadelphia.
Chosen to speak representing the high school faculty was Jared Lasonde. The Boston College graduate is finishing his fourth year as a BHS English teacher.
Principal Heather Galante will address the seniors just before they receive their diplomas. Superintendent of Schools Philip Conrad will offer welcoming remarks.
The combined BHS orchestra and band will open and close the program, including the familiar “Pomp and Circumstance.”
The musical selection that will follow the graduation essay is teacher Katrina Faulstich’s arrangement of “Long Live,” a 2010 song by the pop artist Taylor Swift. Senior soloists will be Heather Anderson, Benjamin Couvee, Mary Couvee, Keira Doyle, Molly Goldfarb, Madeline McAllister, Eleanor Mitchell, Kaitlyn Noh, and Colin O’Toole.
The selection includes this sentiment:
Long live the walls we crashed through.
I had the time of my life with you.
Mike Rosenberg can be reached at email@example.com, or 781-983-1763