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‘I thought it was going to be on Zoom.’ Fenway to host Boston public high school graduation ceremonies

A view of the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles in the second inning on Opening Day at Fenway Park on April 2.
A view of the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles in the second inning on Opening Day at Fenway Park on April 2.Maddie Meyer/Getty

Fenway Park will host 16 high school graduation ceremonies for the Boston Public Schools in June, Red Sox and school officials announced this week.

The Red Sox offered the storied ballpark as a venue to all of the city’s public high schools, and 16 of them decided to take advantage of the opportunity. The ceremonies are scheduled from June 7 through June 21, officials said in a statement Wednesday.

Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy described Fenway as a “perfect outdoor space in the heart of the city,” one that’s large enough to host a graduation celebration safely.

“When we learned that so many of the Boston Public Schools were looking to find adequate outdoor spaces to hold their commencement ceremonies, we knew we could help,” Kennedy said in the statement. “After such a challenging year, this important milestone is one that should be celebrated, and we are pleased to be able to offer our venue to help these seniors celebrate their achievements.”

Tommy Lam, 18, of Dorchester, said he was prepared to not have an in-person graduation ceremony because of the pandemic.

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“I was kinda bummed, but it is what it is,” Lam said in a telephone interview. “Our health matters. Our health comes first.”

But when he received an e-mail stating that his graduation from TechBoston Academy would be held at Fenway Park, he was ecstatic.

“Oh, snap, that was amazing,” he said. “I’m actually shocked.”

Nelissa Timothee, of Dorchester, an 18-year-old who attends TechBoston Academy, also said she assumed that her graduation would be a virtual event.

“I thought it was going to be on Zoom,” she said in a telephone interview.

When she heard it would be happening at Fenway Park, she said, “I was happy.”

Timothee said she’s never been to Fenway, so her graduation will be her first time at the ballpark. She plans to bring her father and sister to attend the June 9 ceremony.

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Rebekkah Punoo, 17, of Dorchester, said her sister and mother will be there when she graduates at the ballpark.

“I’m happy it’s going to be in person, and it’s even better that it’s going to be at Fenway Park,” she said in a telephone interview. “I was actually very surprised.”

In addition to TechBoston Academy, Boston Public Schools officials said the following schools will have their graduation ceremonies at Fenway Park: Charlestown High; Henderson Inclusion; Boston Latin Academy; Quincy Upper; Excel High; Another Course to College; Snowden International; Dearborn STEM Academy; English High; Boston Green Academy; Fenway High; O’Bryant; Boston Latin School; Brighton High; and Boston Arts Academy.

Red Sox officials said the high school ceremonies will be held on game and non-game days, with as many as four taking place on any given day. The ceremonies that are scheduled on Red Sox home game days will be held in the morning, officials said.

The Sox have night games at Fenway June 8-11 and 14, a 4:10 p.m. game on Saturday, June 12, and a 1:10 p.m. game Sunday, June 13, according to the team schedule.

Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius said she was excited about the prospect of celebrating this year’s graduating classes at in-person events.

“I am so excited to celebrate our graduates in person this year, at ceremonies across the city, alongside BPS families and staff. Our students have had an incredibly challenging junior and senior year, and yet they continue to persevere toward this important milestone in their life — earning a high school diploma,” said Cassellius.

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“We are so fortunate to have the continued support and partnership of the Boston Red Sox, and I am so thankful for their offer to provide many of our young Bostonians with this truly unique hometown experience.”



Emily Sweeney can be reached at emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.