NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

June 9, 2014

'Our time to teach and give back'

Pentucket Regional High School graduates 189

WEST NEWBURY — French composer Claude Debussy and American poet Maya Angelou were the inspiration for senior Megan Migliozzi as she made her valedictory speech at the Pentucket Regional High School commencement Saturday.

Migliozzi told her 188 classmates that just as Debussy asserts “music is the space between the notes,” so too “the real meat of life” is all the stuff that comes in between big events such as graduation day.

“It may not be breathtaking, but it is what will define us,” she said of day-to-day living.

Migliozzi identified service to “the community, the planet and to one another” as a theme for her generation.

“Maya Angelou said, ‘When you learn, teach; when you get, give,’’’ Migliozzi said. “We have learned. Now it’s our time to teach and give back.”

Confessing that she isn’t much of a public speaker, Migliozzi followed her speech with a mix of contemporary songs meant to inspire her peers to “step up” and tackle the issues that lie ahead.

Fellow graduates Ali Attenasio, Jon Hayes, Phoebe Law, Tayla Racca and Cam Silveria accompanied Migliozzi in the musical mix, which included portions of “I Hope You Will Dance” by Lee Ann Womack, “If Today was Your Last Day” by Nickelback, “Waiting on the World to Change” by John Mayer, “One Day” by Matisyahu, “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield and “Whenever You Remember” by Carrie Underwood.

Seated on the football field in front of the performers, the graduates clapped along, giving them a standing ovation at the end.

The Class of 2014 also heard from Salutatorian Michael Aiduk, who noted that the people at Pentucket Regional High are what make it special.

“The buildings and the facilities are not representative of the student body,” he said.

Encouraging his peers to live life to the fullest, Aiduk concluded by saying, “If you have a passion, follow it. If you have a dream, figure out how to realize it.”

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