Johnston’s Class of 2024 graduates

They entered cubs and emerged as panthers

Johnston Sun Rise ·

The isolation of Covid and initial necessity of remote learning hit four years ago, but the young men and women who would become Johnston High School’s Class of 2024 did not let the pandemic squelch their passion for learning, their school spirit, or their ability to forge lasting friendships.

The very spirited class officially said good-bye to high school at last Wednesday’s commencement ceremony held at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence. Clad in pale blue graduation gowns and matching mortar boards, they received their diplomas to the jubilant applause of family and friends.

“Their slogan has been, ‘Improvise, adapt and overcome,’ ” said Assistant Principal Rachel Salvatore. “And they have. There was a lot they had to adapt to.”

This year’s class of Johnston Panthers numbered about 159 and included students with diverse interests. Many are headed for college while others will start careers right away.

“In a world that is constantly evolving, your generation holds the key to shaping the future,” School Superintendent Bernard DiLullo told them. “You possess the creativity, ingenuity, and passion to effect positive change in our society. Whether you choose to pursue higher education or the military, enter the workforce, or embark on a different path altogether, seize every opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.”

A close-knit group, the class saved some of its loudest applause for Salutatorian Jaylin Loeum and Valedictorian Trinity Blondin.

Salvatore recalled how the school kept its tradition of holding a town-wide Homecoming parade despite early Covid precautions and how the Class of 2024 worked together to create their own float for the parade every year.

“They came into their high school years during Covid and faced isolation and some distance learning, but they kept many traditions going and are a very close class,” Salvatore said. “We are so proud of them.”

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