She’s the only kid on the island. And she’s graduating.

Recently, Gwen Lynch became the subject of national interest because comedian Jenny Slate will be her commencement speaker.

Gwen Lynch is the last student graduating from a one-room schoolhouse on Cuttyhunk Island. For the past seven months she has been the only child in the schoolhouse with teacher Michelle Carvalho. Above: Gwen worked on a time capsule with her teacher. –Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff

CUTTYHUNK — Gwen Lynch, age 13, has chipped white nail polish, tiny silver star earrings, and a black backpack printed with white daisies hanging off one shoulder. She constructed a shrine to “Hamilton’’ in her pink bedroom and is trying to determine where to hang her “Endgame: Avengers’’ poster. After school, she kills time on her iPhone, scrolling through Instagram and laughing at jokes from her friends on Snapchat.

In other words, she’s a typical kid. The main difference is that she is the only kid here — in her class, in her school and, in fact, on her whole island. When she graduates from eighth grade on Monday, she will be the last kid to finish elementary school on Cuttyhunk, an island about 12 miles south of New Bedford that boasts a year-round population of approximately 10.


Perhaps in an effort not to dwell on her singularity, she often speaks in the plural, as in, “We go to school at nine.’’ When she found out last fall that a 7-year-old from a neighboring island would not be coming back to school after October, she explained, “I was really upset. I was like, oh, that means we’re going to be the only one.’’


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