Monthly Archives: August 2020

Seniors’ College Plans

August 23, 2020

Class of 2020 graduates are now beginning to head off to college. So here is a list of their destinations.  We wish everyone good luck and hope they have a great freshman year whether they are attending classes in person or remotely.

Jake Adams -Massasoit Community College

Melyssa Almeida – Harvard

Jonathas Amaral-Numeriano- Salem State University

Kirsten Andrews – Massasoit Community College

Taylor Anzivino – Massasoit Community College

Taylor Anzivino at the senior parade back in May.

Crystal Arena – Massasoit Community College

Eric Barber – Bridgewater State University

Stephanie Beatrice – Regis College

Keiland Beckford -Quincy College

Zachary Belcher – Nichols College

Sean Belmonte -U Mass Amherst

Jad Bendarkawi – Princeton University

Jakob Benson – Coastal Carolina University

Makayla Berardi – Bridgewater State University

Molly Boggs – U Mass Boston

Robert Bono – Massasoit Community College

Taina Bruno – Quincy College

Mathew Bruzzese – U Mass Amherst

Kathryn Buckley – Worcester State University

Emily Bugbee – Massasoit Community College

Lauren Buker – Johnson & Wales University

Hannah Murphy at the senior parade in May.

Riley Cadogan – Massasoit Community College

Nicholas Cedrone – Bentley University

Victoria Churchill – Quincy College

Maria Ciano – Regis College

Samuel Coleran – Massasoit Community College

Mia Comeau – Coastal Carolina University

Erin Connors – Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences

Jordan Cunningham – Anna Maria College

Adam Dalton – Bridgewater State University

Kerin Dalton – Saint Joseph’s University

Jordan Delorey – Bridgewater State University

Jessica DeMarco – Saint Anselm College

David derKinderen – Westfield State University

Paige Donnelly – Bridgewater State University

Jillian Dorney – U Mass Amherst

Jonathan Dorney – Massasoit Community College

Jacob Dunham – Bridgewater State University

Neleh Dunn – U Mass Dartmouth

Michael Dutton – Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Caroline Elie – Roger Williams University

Cynthia Elliott Massachusetts – College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences

Arianna Esposito – Champlain College

Hailey Estabrooks – Massasoit Community College

Andrew Evans – U Mass Boston

Chase MacDonald at the parade in May.


Elyse Finerty – Westfield State University

Ava Fiore –  Merrimack College

Liam Flaherty – Bridgewater State College

Ashley Gallagher – University of New England

Tyler Gambon – Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Madeline Gear – U Mass Lowell

Lara Glennon – Emerson College

Matthew Griffin – Clemson University

Nicolle Guidiel Winter – U Mass Amherst

Jaylen Haltiwanger – New England Institute of Technology

Jacob Harris – Ursinus College

Melanie Harris – Roger Williams University

Zachary Harris – Nichols College

Frank Hawe III – Plymouth State University

Natalia Hernandez – Keene State College

Kylie Houde – Southern New Hampshire University

Steven Hoye – Bridgewater State University

Oliva Janis – Salem State University

Tyler Johnson – Northeastern University

Erin Kearns – Massasoit Community College

Rebecca Keefe – Plymouth State University

Brooke Kimball – Curry College

Grace LaPlante – Salem State University

Emma Lauria   – Regis College

Kyle Lenihan – Bridgewater State University

Chase MacDonald – University of New Hampshire

Kayla Mantell – Massasoit Community College

Jameson McCardell – Wheaton College

Elizabeth McGaffigan – U Mass Amherst

Kathryn McGuirk – Westfield State University

Sarah McLellan – Bridgewater State University

Lydia McWilliams – U Mass Boston

Joseph Messier – New England Institute of Technology

Olivia Milso – Massasoit Community College

Hallie Molineaux – Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy

Maryn Monett – Plymouth State University

Sabrina Morgan – Stonehill College

Hannah Murphy – University of Maine

Joseph Murray – Wentworth Institute of Technology

Samantha Nachtman – Salem State University

Keely Naughton – Suffolk University

Haley Nee – Massasoit Community College

Jennifer Nguyen – Massasoit Community College

Steven Nguyen – Massasoit Community College

Dhruvi Patel – U Mass Boston

Alyssa Patten – John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Philip Pattison – Bridgewater State University

Selena Peguero-Martinez – Massasoit Community College

Jordan Pierce – Curry College

Dakota Pike – Coastal Carolina University

Oliver Reera – Wentworth Institute of TechnologyO

Owen Shea – Massachusetts Maritime Academy

Juliana Smith – Massasoit Community College

Lucas Sprague – U Mass Lowell

Michaela Sugrue – Bridgewater State University

Bryce Taylor – Rochester institute of Technology

Megan Uong – U Mass Boston

Dante Vasquez – Framingham State College

Zachary Webb – U Mass Amherst

Jacob Willis – Texas Christian University

Hannah Wyllie – Colby College

Julia Yeadon – U Mass Lowell

Danting Zhu – Assumption University


Let us know if you have any updates or additions to the list by emailing

National Honor Society Induction 2020

President of National Honor Society, Senior Jad Bendarkawi, served as master of ceremonies for the NHS Induction. Five seniors and 10 juniors were inducted on July 30, 2020. Twenty-five seniors in all make up the roll of the NHS.

Dr. Harrison handed out certificates to seniors.

On July 30, 2020 at 7PM, Rockland High School inducted five seniors and ten juniors into the National Honor Society. Twenty five current senior members were also present at the ceremony, along with friends, family, and multiple staff members to support new and old members of the Society.

In order to deliver a safe induction, the number of guests were limited to immediate family only. Families along with students had to remain six feet apart throughout the induction, and all attendees were required to wear a face mask upon their attendance.

To start off the ceremony, previous and new members entered the stadium led by Jad Bendarkawi, the Class of 2020 National Honor Society president. After giving the pledge, Jad delivered an introduction of the National Honor Society, along with a history of the societies background. Following Jad’s speech, the class of 2020 secretary, Madeline Gear announced the senior roll call, to congratulate the members on their college acceptances. Following roll call, Virtues were presented by the following students:

Character: Zach Webb

Scholarship: Katy Buckley

Leadership: Tyler Gambon

Service: Julia Yeadon

Led by Jad, the new inductees recited a pledge in order to become members. Following the pledge, Jad presented the pins to the new inductees, and principal Dr. John Harrison presented certificates to all senior members.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, students, families, and faculty members had the opportunity for photos. Inductees were able to receive gifts from their sponsors, which could have been a faculty member, or an immediate family member that had attended the ceremony.

Senior Members (25)

Melyssa Almedia
Stephanie Beatrice
Jad Bendarkawi, President
Mathew Bruzzese, Treasurer
Katy Buckley
Maria Ciano
Kerin Dalton
Jessica DeMarco
Jillian Dorney
Caroline Elie
Tyler Gambon
Madeline Gear, Secretary
Nicolle Gudiel Winter
Melanie Harris
Tyler Johnson
Sarah McLellan
Sabrina Morgan
Dhruvi Patel
Alyssa Patten
Dakota Pike
Oliver Reera
Zachary Webb
Hannah Wyllie, Vice President
Julia Yeadon
Danting Zhu
Class of 2020
Kerin Dalton
Melanie Harris
Sarah McLellan
Dhruvi Patel
Dakota Pike
Class of 2021 
Jared Allen
Grace Henry
Robert Ivil III
Chloe Jones
Ann Kelley
Althea Olsen
Hannah Rich
Cullen Rogers
Greta Russo
Zachary Soloman


Class of 2020 Graduation

Class of 2020 files into the stadium at the beginning of ceremony. From left, Class President Mathew Bruzzese, Lauren Draicchio, Jordan Cunningham and Stephanie Beatrice.

August 1, 2020

Two months after their originally scheduled ceremony, Rockland High School’s Class of 2020 finally had its Graduation.  On August 1, a beautiful Saturday night, 149 members of the Senior Class paraded into Veterans Memorial Stadium, ready to finally say their goodbyes to this year and to their high school careers.  They were led by Junior Class Marshals Cullen Rogers and Lauren Draicchio, and RPS administrators.   Members of the faculty followed the class into the stadium.

Class President Mathew Bruzzese

Valedictorian Tyler Gambon photos courtesy of Pat Glennon

Senior Class President Mathew Bruzzese conducted the ceremony that had most of the same elements as always.  He addressed his classmates during the program as did Class Valedictorian, Tyler Gambon.

(see WRPS video below)

Robert Murphy, science teacher was invited by the class to speak. photo courtesy of Pat Glennon

Speakers included Robert Murphy, science teacher, who was invited to speak by the class.  He referenced Charles Dickens’ first lines of A Tale of Two Cities in his opening remarks: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….” words appropriate he said to the school year that saw great success for the class but ended abruptly with the pandemic.  He also, as did all the speakers, commended the class for its resilience and good humor in dealing with the events of their senior year.

Also speaking were Superintendent of Schools Dr. Alan Cron, Chair of the Rockland School Committee Jill Maroney, and RHS Principal Dr. John Harrison.  All the speakers wished the class good luck and bright days in their futures.

Class Vice President Katy Buckley presented the class gift to Lauren Draicchio, president of the Class of 2021.

As they came forward to get their diplomas, Dr. Harrison read the names of graduates along with noting their future plans.

With one last roller coaster led by Owen Shea and the traditional tossing of  hats,  Graduation 2020 was over.

Photo courtesy of Pat Glennon

Graduates, parents and teachers will long remember this most accomplished and resilient Class of 2020.   Good luck to all!

Photos below courtesy of Pat Glennon

The WRPS video of the ceremony is below:


Senior Awards Night Held on Friday, July 31


Ms. Kristen Walsh, Senior Class Advisor conducted the introductions of award winners at the Class of 2020 Academic and Athletic Award night held in the Veterans Memorial Stadium on Friday, July 31.  In her opening remarks she commended these students who had their end of year activities turned upside down because of the pandemic. She said they “have shown grace and resilience despite a challenging end of their high school career.”

Mathew Bruzzese, the Senior Class President, led the Pledge of Allegiance and then introduced  special guests including Ms. Jill Maroney, Ms. Jaime Hennessy, Ms.  Emily Davidson, Mr. Dan Biggins, Mr. Richard Phelps, Dr. Alan H. Cron, Superintendent and Ms. Colleen Forlizzi, Assistant Superintendent.

The awards program began with the presentation of the athletic awards by Mr. Gary Graziano, the Athletic Director.

First was a presentation to Maryellen Woodward, long-time administrative assistant in the athletic office who retired this year.  Mrs. Woodward, served in that capacity for over 30 years.  She was a familiar face at athletic events scoring, taking tickets and registering the results back in the office with the MIAA. Mr. Graziano said, “She did all she could for the kids of Rockland and made me look good. Happy well deserved retirement after 34 years!”

Following are the individual athletic awards and the winners:

Hannah Murphy serves up a winner.

The Woman’s Coaches Award is presented to a female student-athlete. This year’s award was presented to Hannah Murphy.

The Vicki Solari Award is awarded to the most inspirational female athlete. This year’s recipient was Stephanie Beatrice.

The John Bell Bulldog Award is presented to the female and male players who play over and above abilities. This year’s recipients were Taylor Anzivino and Zachary Belcher. 

The Louis Cifello Award is presented to the most inspirational male athletes. This year’s recipients were Dante Vasquez and Joseph Murray.

The Warren Najarian Bulldog Pride Awards recognizes the female and male athletes that never give up. This year’s recipients were Jessica DeMarco and Vitor SantosThe John Delorey Awards are presented to the female and male athletes who best exemplify sportsmanship. This year’s recipients were Maria Ciano and Michael Dutton. 

From left: Nick Cedrone, Maria Ciano, Tyler Johnson, Stephanie Beatrice and Melanie Harris after the awards ceremony on Friday night.

The Charles E. Leverone Award is awarded to the top male and top female track or cross country runner. This year’s recipients were Tyler Johnson & Melanie Harris

The Senior Female Athletic Award is presented to the top senior female athlete. This year’s recipient was Caroline Elie

The Peter J. Crowley Award is presented to the top senior male athlete. This year’s recipient was Dante Vasquez. 

Caroline Elie and Hannah Wyllie shared the Marion Mansfield Donovan Award for top scholar-athlete.

The Marion Mansfield Donovan Award is awarded to the top female student-athlete. This year’s recipients were Caroline Elie and Hannah Wyllie

The Joseph Dondero Award was awarded to Tyler Johnson in recognition of being the top male student-athlete.

The Dr. Joseph Dunn Award is awarded to the top student-athlete and football player. This year’s recipient was Owen Shea.

Owen Shea

The Silver Bowl Winner was Owen Shea.

Ms. Walsh then introduced the following students who received cords for graduation to reflect their future military service.

Jahri Francis- United States Air Force, Gabriel Fiorot-United States Air Force, Jamille Araujo Soares- United States Marines, Robert Whitman- United States Army

Next were special academic awards:

The RHS  Journalism Student Newspaper Award is presented to an outstanding senior who has demonstrated a commitment to the RHS Veritas. This year’s recipient was Arianna Esposito. 

The Senior Academic Letters for Excellence in Education are awarded to students who have been on the honor roll for six consecutive terms or a total of ten terms while a student at Rockland High School. This year’s recipients were Taylor Anzivino, Mia Comeau, Pierre Comeau, Haley Cotton, Jillian Dorney, Lara Glennon, Nicolle Gudiel Winter, Erin Kearns, Kyle Lenihan, and Danting Zhu.

Nicole Guidel Winter, Melyssa Almeida and Jessie DeMarco back in November at another award ceremony.

The Community Service Awards are given to students who have demonstrated a diversity of service, completed a minimum of 75 hours of completed service, and completed the majority of their service in Rockland. This year’s recipients were Melyssa Almeida, Maria Ciano, Nicolle Gudiel Winter, and Danting Zhu

This next recognition was to seniors who earned high honors the first three terms. This year’s senior who received High Honors the First Three Terms  were Melyssa Almeida, Jad Bendakarwi, Kathryn Buckley, Tyler Gambon, Tyler Johnson, and Julia Yeadon. 

The Phoenix Award is presented to the senior who has persevered despite many obstacles and challenges.  This year’s recipient was Jordan Delorey.

The Ann E. Phelps Make a Difference Award was presented by Mr. Richard Phelps in honor of his wife, Ann E. Phelps who passed away on July 8, 2017.   Mrs. Phelps worked at RHS as the head nurse from 1986-2003. In addition to being an outstanding nurse, Ms. Phelps was instrumental in  organizing Senior Issues,  the Academic Awards Ceremony, and Retirement Parties. Ann was also the founder of Rockland Holiday Magic back in 2003 and the program continues to this day, helping hundreds of families in need during the holiday season. Ann was regarded as a faculty member who truly made a difference in the lives of our students and families. The recipient of the Ann E. Phelps Make a Difference Award this year is Hannah Wyllie.

Maddie Gear

Ms. Walsh recognized two seniors who have held leadership positions in the Travel Club. President Maddie Gear and vice president Tyler Johnson were honored for their outstanding commitment to providing leadership in preparation for and while traveling to Japan and Central Europe, as well as representing Rockland High School and their community proudly.

The Senior Academic Achievement Awards are presented in each discipline. These students received a plaque to acknowledge their outstanding accomplishments. 

Bryce Taylor received one of the Art Awards.

Ms. Kata Medeiros of the RHS Art Department presented the Senior Art Award to Bryce Taylor and Krystal LaFrance.

 The Outstanding Scholarship in English Language Arts Award is presented to two graduating seniors who have excelled academically in English Language Arts classes, are in good standing in both the school and the community, and demonstrate characteristics and attributes determined by the English Language Arts faculty

Ms. Kendra Donovan presented the English Department Award to Lara Glennon.

The Outstanding Scholarship in History and Social Science Award is presented to two graduating seniors who have excelled academically in History/Social Science classes, are in good standing in both the school and the community, and demonstrate the characteristics and attributes determined by the History/Social Science faculty.

Mr. Rich MacAllister presented the History and Social Studies Department’s Award to  Nick Cedrone.

The Mathematics Department Award goes to the senior who is among the top mathematics students at Rockland High School and is a leader in the classroom.   Mr. Casagrande, Math department chair presented the award to Melyssa Almeida.

The Family and Consumer Science Award is in recognition of students who displayed the highest level of: team-oriented enthusiasm, attention to time management and organization, outstanding leadership, exemplary respect for safety, and excellent skills. Mrs. Brenda Folsom presented the awards to Philip Pattison and Michaela Sugrue.

The Construction Technology Award recognizes students that display a high level of knowledge and safety in Wood Technology. These students have dedication and hard work in order to get the work complete. The Technical Department  award was presented to Pierre Comeau by Mrs. Folsom.  

Kyle Lenihan

The Physical Education Department went to two students who are academic athletes: Kyle Lenihan and Hannah Murphy. These students take pride in everything that they participate in both on and off the playing field.  They are the students who do not think twice about helping and supporting all aspects of health and wellness.

The Senior Music Department Awards are presented to students who have demonstrated outstanding musicianship, a strong personal work ethic, dependability, and dedication to the Rockland music department. Dr. Harrison presented the Music Department’s Awards to Adam Dalton and Kayla Mantell.

The Communication Digital Media/Journalism award is presented to students who have contributed significantly to the RHS in-house media arms, including the Veritas and WRPS.   Awardees possess the ability to communicate to their peers and others through various media platforms and understand the crucial role media play in our culture and lives. The Communication and Digital Media Department presented its award to Stephanie Beatrice. 

Ms. Angela Armstrong, the Science Department Head,  presented the following Science Department Awards.

Environmental Club – (marimo ball) were presented to Jad Bendarkawi, Mathew Bruzzese, Ashley Gallagher, Tyler Gambon, Elizabeth McGaffigan, Dhruvi Patel, Oliver Reera, Zachary Webb and Hannah Wyllie

Also,  Zachary Webb and Hannah Wyllie received the Computer Science Award; Robert Whitman received the Engineering Award and the Science Award was given to Maria Ciano and Dhruvi Patel

Senior Julia Yeadon at the NHS Induction on Thursday.  She was honored on Friday too!!

Ms. Shaughnessy, World Language Department chair presented that department’s award to Julia Yeadon. She explained that one of the main goals in the World Language department is expanding the horizons of our students to new cultures and diversifying their language learning. This award recognizes a senior who has far exceeded obligations and expectations in the Spanish classroom,  making a conscious effort every class to use as much of the target language as possible and welcoming risk-taking in their communication. 

The following multi-award recipients were:  

Joseph Messier

Joseph Messier– Health & Construction Technology

Tyler Johnson– History & Social Science & Mathematics

Jad Bendarkawi

Jad Bendakarwi– English & World Language

The Overall Academic Achievement Award was presented to Tyler Gambon.  

Matthew Bruzzese at the Mr. Rockland contest last fall. Bruzzese received the Principal’s Award at the Senior Awards ceremony.

Dr. Harrison presented the Principal’s Award to Mathew Bruzzese, saying, “It gives me great pride to present this year’s Principal Award to you this evening. Each year the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrator’s Association Student Achievement Award– known as the Principal’s Award is presented to an outstanding senior who has impacted our community significantly. The recipient of this award tonight is someone who I am very proud of. He has led with an open-mind, aspires to include all students, and has a natural kindness that leads us all to gravitate toward this senior. 

Tyler Gambon was recognized as Class Valedictorian.

Dr. Cron then joined Dr. Harrison to present  the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendent’s Academic Excellence Award to the Valedictorian of the Class of 2020, Tyler Gambon. The Valedictorian Award is given to the student with the highest grade point average at the conclusion of senior year and described Gambon, in addition to being a top academic student, as a person who has  an admiration for his classmates and community.  



Dr. Harrison as a new faculty member in 2016.  photo by Maddie Gear

Gambon then presented the yearbook dedication to Principal John Harrison.  Dr. Harrison’s bond with this class runs deep as his first year as principal at RHS in 2016-2017 was also the first year for the Class of 2020 in the high school!   The events of this year and Dr. Harrison’s efforts to provide a fitting and safe closure to the seniors’ high school experience have solidified this bond. Dr. Harrison’s caring nature, good humor,  attention to detail, and attendance at all the school’s academic and athletic events are beyond compare.  


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