Class of 2016 says goodbye to DHS


Courtesy of Michael Obre

Members of the Class of 2016 listen to speakers at the 51st commencement exercise at DHS.

Staff Report

The Class of 2016 graduated Thursday, June 9, at commencement exercises held at the football stadium. It was estimated that 5,000 people packed around the stadium to cheer on the graduates, which numbered just below 700. (See slideshow here).
Rahul Malayappan gave the valedictorian speech, which was well received for its insights and humor. The ceremony was opened by Mayor Mark Boughton, who told of a World War II veteran he had met over Memorial Day weekend. The veteran had passed on some sage advice for the youth of the country, and Boughton passed the wise words onto the seniors.
Principal Gary Bocaccio, who is retiring this year, spoke for the faculty; Superintendent Sal Pascarella Jr. spoke for the district.
After all the speeches, advisers Amanda Johnson and Danny Martins conferred the diplomas. Each graduate then either shook hands with Bocaccio or gave him a hug. The conferring of diplomas took 28 minutes.
Many of the faculty were present and were dressed in their college colors. They formed the “gaunlet” on the ramp behind the gyms and applauded and hugged the grads as they exited the stadium.
The grads were directed into the old gym, where they picked up their real diploma and a copy of the Hatters’ Herald graduation issue, which included the top 20 graduates and a listing of every graduate’s plans for next year, whether higher education, military or work.
When they exited the gym, they were met by a sea of relatives and friends who then posed for pictures. African drums pounded in celebration.
The next day, Bocaccio at a faculty meeting thanked all those who were involved in the massive undertaking, including Pat Schulze, Nancy Golden, Billie Anderson and his custodial crew, Kim Russell and the Madrigals, the AFJROTC cadets, DPD Explorers, and Level 1 Principal Mike Clarke.
Photo coverage from the News-Times can be found here.