Randolph High School Graduates 364

The 364 members of the RHS Class of 2023 toss their caps at the close of graduation. The ceremony was held at Bauer Field on June 15, 2023.

Rampage Staff

The 364 members of the RHS Class of 2023 graduated under sunny skies before loving family and friends who filled the stands. The ceremony was held at Bauer Field, beginning at 5:30 p.m. on June 15, 2023.

RHS Principal Jessica Baxter gave the opening remarks. “Many can’t wait for school to be over, but there’s also a bittersweet sadness to those of us in schools who each June must say goodbye to you all as you begin what’s next, and I do hope that what’s next for you is wonderful,” she said.

Teacher of the Year Will Nahan, the head football coach and a health and physical education teacher at RHS, advised graduates about the importance of forming meaningful relationships in life. “Grads, I mentioned relationships. Let me fill you in on why building them will be essential for you as you move forward,” he said. “It’s the difference maker in being effective and creating an environment where you know you are cared for and can succeed.”

In keeping with RHS tradition, several students also had the honor of speaking at graduation.

Class President Michael Cioci spoke about the lessons he’d learned from being “the king of making mistakes” during his life. “I thought it was unacceptable to make mistakes, but over time, I learned that making mistakes is acceptable,” he said. “As long as you learn from them to grow, that’s all that matters. Don’t ever be afraid to make mistakes; they are part of successes.”

“I want to give all the graduates an opportunity to take a second and look around you,” Student Council President Julia Malino said. “Look around at the people you consistently spent many years with, the people you’ve laughed with, fought with, cried on shoulders of. Soak up this last moment; take one moment to see everyone before we rush out of this place because we all know in that moment that everything can change.

“As I look deeper into the crowd, I see teachers, teachers that will never be able to understand how much of an impact they’ve had on our lives,” Malina continued, “and in the stands, parents who have cheered on their children every step of the way, loved them, smiled with them. On behalf of all of us, thank you.”

Co-Valedictorian Katrina Lanese also thanked teachers, administrators and family. “I owe a debt of gratitude, first to my teachers who endured my endless questions in class but whose doors were always open when I needed help or simply needed to talk,” she said. “Thank you for teaching me so many invaluable lessons over the years.

“We all share this existential experience as a graduating class,” Co-Valedictorian Kole Luckett said, when it was his turn at the podium. “Thirteen years of blood, sweat, tears, and let’s not forget about the masks, all for this one moment. We have all lived the Randolph High School experience. We have all worked incredibly hard toward this celebratory event, and have no reason to regret the path that has led us to this moment, whether it’s college, trade school, the military, a job, or a GAP year. We will also share the many memories; silly, proud, genius, spontaneous moments that remind us of why we choose to keep pushing forward.”

Prior to the ceremony, some grads expressed the bittersweet feeling of moving on. “Graduating feels really good, but it’s also sad that we are all growing up and going to college,” Kiersten Tinio said.

Caroline Kovacs had advice for incoming high school students. “I would recommend to the upcoming freshmen to not procrastinate and work hard,” she said.

Rampage staff said good-bye to some of their own, including Emily Gibb and Jonah Perelman, who shared Editor-in-Chief duties for the publication’s online launch and in the fall, plan to matriculate at Virginia Tech and University of Pennsylvania respectively.

At the end of the ceremony, the graduates moved their tassels from right to left, tossed their caps into the air, and left the field for the bright future that lay beyond.

The complete graduation ceremony can be viewed at this link.