last blue class to hold a Class Day
last class to have Class Day
original Class Day shovel
Member of the class of '68 still his beanie!
Class Day Returns: What Is It?
by Aidan O'Sullivan, 2022
The penultimate celebration of graduating seniors before graduation, Class Day will return to Somerville High on Friday, June 3, always taking place on the Friday before graduation. The event did not take place the previous two years due to the pandemic.
Before 1912, Somerville had two high schools: Somerville English and Somerville Latin. When they eventually combined, they held a graduation ceremony where a spade was presented to the president of the junior class as a symbolic way of passing down traditions and asking the younger classes to “guard them well.” From this point, this tradition began to be called Class Day. There were other schools who held the ceremony as well, but Somerville’s has persisted where nearly all others have fallen away.
To begin the day, seniors gather and are separated into companies. The National Honor Society and the senior class are split into companies, including NHS1 and NHS2 with all other companies lettered from A to J. During graduation, students will be in these same companies, though even non-graduating seniors may participate in Class Day.
The seniors are then led into the auditorium by teacher company leaders and junior volunteers known as the honor guard. Assistant principals read what each student noted as their greatest accomplishment in high school, as well as their post-graduate plans. Students may choose to have nothing read.
In attendance will be two eighth graders from each elementary school in the city, as well as members of the Somerville High graduating class from 50 years prior. Because Class Day was not held the previous two years, this year’s event will include members from Somerville’s classes of 1970, ‘71, and ‘72.
After each student’s accomplishments have been read, the class poem and song are performed. Students are able to submit class poems which will be read blind and voted on by a representative group of seniors. That student reads the poem at both Class Day and graduation. Similarly, the class song is also written by one or more members of the class, often with one person or group writing the lyrics and another person or group writing the music and also to be performed at both events.
The day continues as the band leads the companies from the auditorium to the area in front of the school. Senior class officers then lead the ceremony, which includes the National Anthem and the handing down of the colors and the original 1912 spade to the junior class president. The year of each class is engraved on the handle. The program ends with the singing of J. Everett Bodge’s school song, “Somerville Leads the Way.” He wrote it in 1937, his senior year, and students have been singing it ever since.
The day ends with an outdoor lunch in front of the building for all participants. Seniors will also receive their yearbooks after the ceremony has concluded.
Graduation will be held on Monday, June 6, at Dilboy field.
If you would like to get the flavor of Class Day, here is a video of the indoor portion of the program from 2019, the last year we were able to have one.
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Somerville High School Robotics Team Competes
by Gerran Hullah, 2025 and Rafael Ronen, 2025
Did you know that the Somerville High School has a robotics team?
If you said yes, then you’re right! The Highlanders participated in the FIRST robotics competition (FRC) with robot 6201.
In January, the team started work on a robot to compete in this year’s competition Rapid React. After 2 months of hard work, they took part in their first competition of the year on Saturday, March 19 in Reading, Massachusetts. The robot did well in the qualification matches on Saturday, qualifying as the 18th seed overall out of 39 teams.
One of the game's bigger challenges is its late game monkey-bar-like traversing task. During each match, the robots on the field compete to score as many “cargo” (oversized tennis balls) into one of two hoops. As the clock runs down, the robot makes its way to the base of the monkey bars.
Through a creative feat of engineering, the robot 6201 uses its uniquely designed arms to pull itself up, making it all the way up to the fourth and last bar. The climbing system had some issues but through determination of both the operator and the robot, 6201 ranked 6th in its climbing skills. You can watch it here.
Highlander Team 6201 competes again this weekend. Stay tuned and go Highlanders!
More photos on our Instagram @shs_highlander_news.
Interview With Councilor-at Large Jake Wilson
by Ella Wilczek, 2025
Micro-Pantry Opens at SHS
by Ella Wilczek, 2025
A new micro pantry, run by the Somerville High School Community Service Club, is now open. Everyone at the school is encouraged to take food when in need of it and to leave donations when possible.
Sophomore Donju Felix thought of the idea, inspired by the many small food pantries in Somerville and neighboring towns. “It is meant to take some of the stigma out of using a food pantry and help anyone who is in need,” says club advisor Kara Carpenter.
It aims to make people at the school feel safe and comfortable to take food and/or other items when needed and/or leaving donations when possible. People may take or donate unexpired nonperishable food items and/or unwrapped personal care products.
Medicine, perishable food such as produce or dairy products, and items such as clothes or books are not available.
The club hopes to expand the food pantry in the spring or fall of this year if it proves successful.
You may direct questions to Ms. Carpenter at email@example.com or stop by her room, C420.