By John Anderson

When my son graduated from Auburn High one year ago, I sweated on an uncomfortable seat under a fan that wasn’t working. I did it for Robbie and figured I’d never have to do it again, or at least until a college graduation came along. Less than three months later, Jeff LaBonte and I started Auburn Mass Daily, and now I’m at everything, even another graduation. This time, though, it was different. I wasn’t tied down to a chair; I could seek (and sometimes attain) the best vantage point for my story and photographs; and I didn’t have to make sure I observed every detail about one student.

Aside from blue gowns for boys and white for girls, there was another commonality – the smile as each student crossed the stage and received his diploma. Some graduates have worked very hard for four years, and all who got the sheepskin passed the dreaded MCAS tests. More students graduated with Honors or High Honors than did not.

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Back to my main thought: The graduating class of 2014 is special, and not only the students. Kyle Quitadamo is a great young man to be around, and his mom has worked tirelessly as President of the Booster Club. His dad, Stephen, has answered questions for me all year long, and he responds quickly, sometimes with amazing speed.

I never pass DJ Scavone that I don’t get a “How are you Mr. Anderson?” I had the pleasure of being one of his early basketball coaches, but I take absolutely no credit for his success. I was just a parent helping out in the old St. Josephs’ League. Lauren Bolduc is another respectful young person who always has a friendly smile and kind words.

Over this last year, the managers of all the sports teams have been invaluable, but seniors Brenda Dluznieski in girls soccer and Lillian McPherson in boys soccer stand out. They each knew I would be seeking some stats at the end of a game and had the book ready. Sometimes they even forgot to give it to the coach until I had my peek.

As I was learning about field hockey last fall, Jamie McNamara’s mother, aunt, and friend gave me education and feedback that I could never get out of a journalism program. Many other parents have given me a hand as I blaze this new trail. I wish space permitted me to list the many additional people who have helped.

At every event, I communicate with students, parents, coaches, and faculty. Most offer words of encouragement for our newspaper, and the class of 2014 will be the first to bring Auburn Mass Daily to college with them. As they pack up their pillows, laptops, and teddy bears, don’t forget the free subscription. Never forget the great town you came from and the great high school that helped make you the person you are.

So, a shout out to Matt, Cassidy, Mary Grace, Mike, Ture, Erin, Amber, Liam, Lyndsey, Jackie, Jack, Jake, Nathalie, Alekxis, Rene, Nicole, Samantha, Connor, Will, Adam, Paige, Andrew, Mike and Mike, and the rest of this fine class.