When senior Limilson Tavares walked out the doors of Chelsea High School in March, he never thought it would be his final day of classes inside the school.
“I really thought we were going to be back to school in two weeks,” said Tavares, looking back on the day that the school year was suspended due to COVID-10. “I was talking with my class officers thinking we weren’t going to be able to have time planning the prom and other events.”
Tavares said the year started off well last September and the momentum was building toward all the traditional senior class events. Several students had begun to receive their college acceptances in March.
“It started off as a great year,” said Tavares, who is the Class of 2020 historian. “It started as a very progressive and moving year and COVID-19 ended up derailing that,” said Tavares. “Fortunately, my class got through it and did what we needed to do.
As the class historian, Tavares had the important role of recording all class events and putting together a class video. Tavares will include in the video such elements baby photos of the graduates and a recap of class activities and sports over the past four years, including Senior Spirit Week and the commencement ceremonies.
“The video is basically together. I just have to make some final edits,” said Tavares. “It’s been fun. I just like taking photos as a hobby.”
He will submit his class video to Principal Mark Martineau and it will then be available for viewing.
Tavares said the graduation ceremony was top-notch.
“As you can see, we went from having an online only video for graduation to having this big ceremony where everyone can take pictures and everyone can enjoy this moment with their family,” said Tavares.
The historian had that summation just right. The two-day graduation ceremony at Chelsea Stadium last Thursday and Friday was well-organized, professional, and upbeat. The graduates were given their well-deserved moment on the stage as they received their diplomas. The stadium was artfully decorated, with a spacious area set aside for family photographs.
Supt. of Schools Dr. Almy Abeyta, participating in her first CHS commencement ceremony as the leader of the Chelsea school district, had to be pleased with the execution of the event and the enthusiastic response from students and their families.
Tavares thanked Class Co-Advisors Brittany Fitzgibbon and Ilana Ascher for their guidance during the class’ years at the high school.
Tavares was a popular student and a school leader, having been elected twice to the position of class historian. He was an All-Star performer for the CHS boys track team.
Asked how his excellent four-year career compared to that of classmate Stephanie Simon – arguably the greatest track athlete in school history – he said, “She was a really, really good.”
Tavares will be attending Millsaps College in Mississippi. He will be a double-major in Music and Government and Politics and also study in the pre-law and vocal performance certificate programs. He will compete for the Millsaps College men’s track program.
As Limilson posed for his family photo with his parents, Lino and Djamica, after being presented his high school diploma by Principal Mark Martineau, he smiled proudly. His four-year journey from high school freshman to 18-year-old, college-bound student-athlete was complete. And now he’ll put it all on the class video for posterity.