With hundreds of family members and friends looking on, 323 students in the Medford High School and Medford Vocational-Technical High School class of 2012 received diplomas Wednesday.
At a boisterous ceremony held at Tufts University's Gantcher Center, school and city officials lauded the class and urged them to do good in their lives, help others, and remain true to their Medford roots.
"This year you were tossed together by some extremely painful reminders: that life can be as short as it is beautiful, and that our health and the health of our friends and our family is fragile, much too fragile," said Headmaster Dr. Paul H. Krueger, who is retiring this year. "And so you learned to cherish one another as if emblazoned on each of your brows was the phrase 'Fragile. Handle with Care.'"
Roger Zurawicki, the 2012 valedictorian, emphasized the value of working together.
"Throughout high school, I hope that you have experienced the power of collaboration," Zurawicki said. "It is so important because this is a skill that we will use in college, in service, at work, and for the rest of our lives. No one is good at everything, but when we work with others, we compensate for each other's weaknesses."