Hingham High School Class of 2023: ‘Classmates celebrated each other every single day’

HHS Class of 2023 class officers

May 30, 2023 By Carol Britton Meyer

The 319 members of the Hingham High School Class of 2023 are looking forward to the June 3 graduation ceremony — the culmination of four years spent together through all the joys and challenges they shared and faced.

Starting at 10 a.m., the impressive long line of graduates-to-be will make its  way across the turf field to their seats — weather permitting — before accepting their well-deserved diplomas with big smiles.

“All over the country, this year’s graduating seniors can say they had a unique high school experience,” Principal Rick Swanson told the Hingham Anchor. “Their ninth-grade year was cut short by the pandemic, and their 10th-grade year was highly unorthodox, due to hybrid learning and masking that continued through more than half of their junior year, too. Here at HHS, though, our seniors made up for lost time and will leave our school with many great memories. The Class of 2023 made a very positive impact on HHS, especially in terms of revitalizing our school spirit. They will not be forgotten!”

Class President Cal Larson, Vice President Eric Gu, Treasurer Johnny Heffernan, and Secretary Riley Frank shared their reflections of the past four years with the Hingham Anchor:

Calvin “Cal” Larson – Hingham High School Class President Class of 2023

Cal — As I think back on my last four years at Hingham High School, I am struck by all our class has experienced. Three of our four years of high school were directly impacted by the pandemic. This was an unprecedented time in history, and we as Harbormen and women have weathered this storm with strength and unity. I treasure these last several months of walking the hallways of Hingham High. Among my favorite times of day were those four minutes between classes — the times you got a glimpse of all the greatness that makes up the Hingham High School Class of 2023.

In those few minutes, we witnessed the myriad of talents between the four walls of our building. Artists, athletes, musicians, activists, scholars, actors, and budding philanthropists were moving to and from classes. There were high fives to be had, along with fist pumps and clusters of friends catching up on their way to the next class. “Are you going to the game tonight?”  or “Hey, are you going to Chipotle?” were common parting words in the hallways as the final bell rang.

Our class also introduced the “Red Army,” which started out as our student section Instagram account and quickly grew to something bigger. In September, everything started to feel normal again. COVID restrictions were gone, and everyone was fully back at the high school and ready to partake in schoolwide events again. The creation of this account led to colossal crowds supporting our classmates and a major culture shift uniting students of not just the senior class, but all grades.

The Red Army has stayed consistent and uplifting throughout all of the seasons so far at Hingham High School, and I was excited to finish strong with all of my peers. I am very thankful for all of the students who have shown school spirit,  whether at a football game or during open mic night.

The efforts everyone made this year ultimately contributed to an unbelievable school culture, and I will forever be thankful for everyone who helped make it possible. It has been an honor to represent the Class of 2023 these past four years.

Eric Gu – Hingham High School VP Class of 2023

 Eric — For me personally, the best times of the year involved key moments of bonding with peers, such as the homecoming games and dance. Spending my final year of high school surrounded by classmates and friends I’ve known for so long, I’ve realized just how incredible it has been to see everyone’s growth as individuals. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us all.

Johnny Heffernan—HHS Class of 2023 treasurer. Photo credit: Maryellen Jones Photography

Johnny — I was fortunate enough to begin my time as treasurer during my sophomore year. Though it was a very challenging time, coming out of the pandemic, I feel that Cal, Eric, Riley, and I were able to take advantage of this time and plan for our future. I am happy to say that our progress during even the most difficult of times led to much of our success as a class this year. For example — our senior prom at Granite Links (on June 1), for which we were able to sell tickets for a mere $10,  and also our large donation of $5,000 as a class gift. I am very proud of all that we have accomplished together as a team.

One thing I really appreciate about our class is the level of closeness we all have with each other. My favorite part of high school this year has been watching my classmates celebrate each other every single day. Whether it was biking to school on a warm morning or rallying together at a football game, I think our class was one of the most active to come through high school. Personally, I believe we have all grown closer to each other this year.

It is very bittersweet to be leaving this school. Growing up in Hingham is something we should all appreciate. Fortunately, I know that the HPS system has prepared us all to move forward, whatever path we take.

Riley Frank – Hingham High Class of 2023 secretary

Riley — Probably the most memorable legacy that the Class of 2023 will leave is our outrageous school spirit, but what I will take away as our greatest achievement is our camaraderie.

I think what makes this class so special is our ability to develop relationships and connect with one another outside of our friend groups. We are all very compatible and comfortable working and communicating with each other. In my time at HHS, I made so many friendships that I never anticipated and that I will likely have for a long time.

One of the things that our class struggled with was bringing back school spirit during the fallout of COVID. We lost a lot of school participation and spirit during that time, and some of the younger classes coming in were hesitant to participate in events such as Spirit Week. I hope that we set a precedent for the younger classes that supporting your fellow classmates is so important and very fun.

There are so many subtle things that make the Class of 2023 so special. Our ability to show up and support one another, our care for our teachers and staff, and our friendship will leave a legacy on the school and follow all of us wherever we go.

Graduation will be held on Saturday, June 3, rain or shine. If the weather is inclement, graduation will be postponed until later in the day or relocated to the high school gymnasium.

Notification of this decision will be made as early as possible and posted on the HHS website. Because of limited seating in the gymnasium, graduates will be restricted to two guests if the ceremony is moved indoors; however, outside seating is unlimited.

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