SALEM — “Commencement,” class president Nick Angeramo said, is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as “the beginning of something.”

A solid 225 seniors defined their first steps toward adulthood while exiting Salem High School to the cheers of a packed field house Friday night.

Angeramo highlighted the ceremony as “only the beginning” with his lean on Cambridge. Then dissecting the definition, he told his peers to “dive head-first on whatever path you have chosen to embark on. Set goals for yourself, stay driven and motivated, and strive to make a difference in the community around you.”

Community was another major point Angeramo drove home as he highlighted the “people of various ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, and sexual orientations” filling out the Witch City.

“This provides us with the opportunity to interact with people from all different backgrounds and learn from each other’s differences,” he said. “It’s because of these differences that we are better equipped to see the nuances of multiple perspectives when solving problems and can come together as one and thrive in this ever-changing world.”

Not skipping a beat, salutatorian Billy Beauregard went on to define community — borrowing his words from Merriam-Webster — as “a unified body of individuals.”

“Sitting in front of me today, I see a group of individuals that has grown together and supported each other through the years,” Beauregard said. “I see a group of individuals that has matured from when we first walked into this building, a group that is ready for the next step in life. I see a group of individuals that has made the Salem High community a better place.”

And though the graduating body isn’t much more than a collective of individuals — “we are sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, dreamers and doers” — Beauregard told the graduates to not lose sight of the collective.

“We are all of these amazing things, but somehow, when we come together as a community, we become something even more incredible,” he said. “We become an agent of change, a support system for both ourselves and others, a body that enhances the lives of everyone around us.”

Senior orator Maggi Smart also touched on the community and vibrancy of color at Salem High in her remarks.

“Perhaps the greatest part of Salem High School is the breadth of nationalities, languages and cultures present,” Smart said. “The magnitude of the diversity of this school can be seen here today, and it can be shown even by the number of different paths the class of 2019 will endeavor on once we step out of these doors tonight.”

Contact Salem reporter Dustin Luca at 978-338-2523 or DLuca@salemnews.com. Follow him on Facebook at facebook.com/dustinluca or on Twitter @DustinLucaSN.