Sachems say goodbye at Middleboro class of 2023 graduation

Jun 3, 2023

MIDDLEBORO — Wind, rain, and unseasonably cold temperatures did not put a damper on the pomp, circumstance, and Taylor Swift references at the Middleboro High School class of 2023’s graduation ceremony.

The graduates walked across part of the football field to receive their diplomas after speeches from members of the Middleboro Sachems community on Saturday, June 3.

Superintendent Carolyn Lyons made the first speech of the evening and her first graduation speech as superintendent of the district. Her one piece of advice to graduates: When a loved one calls, call them back.

At the end of her remarks, Lyons said she incorporated over 20 Taylor Swift song references in the speech. She said she made a playlist containing each of the songs and would post it online.

Valedictorian Allison Crowley’s speech focused on how each of the graduates should make their own happiness a priority in life. She also quoted Swift, saying “Happiness can be reached by choice and how you look at life.”

Salutatorian Braden Borromeo gave a shout out to Crowley after her speech. During his remarks, he told his classmates to “never let fear stop you from being unabashedly yourself.”

Borromeo’s Swift quote of choice: “One day we will be remembered.”

Principal Paul Branagan, who said he graduated from Brockton High School exactly 30 years before the Middleboro class of 2023, encouraged the graduates to try new things and get involved wherever they end up next. He also read the story ‘What The Road Said’ by Cleo Wade.

He said that as an underachieving high school student, he never envisioned becoming a high school principal.

“Life will take you in strange directions, but your road is only for you,” Branagan said.

Kevin MacDonald, who gave the student address, sort of joined in on the Swift act. He jokingly began his speech by saying, “Taylor Swift once said.”

MacDonald did, however, make at least four Olive Garden references which made the crowd laugh. He joked that he volunteered to make the speech under the assumption he would receive a $100 gift card to the restaurant.

“There’s a beginning, end, and a whole lot of middle,” MacDonald said on a more serious note. “So enjoy the little middle moments.”

Branagan summed the day’s sentiment up at the end of his speech.

“Your school could not be more proud to call you a Sachem,” he said.