Despite his condition, Parker is expected to be at graduation, de Kelley said, and will be able to speak and accept his award. “He’s working really hard to do this,” she said.
Families attending the graduation ceremony are encouraged to arrive well in advance of the start time to avoid the traffic issues that surround the ceremony every year, according to Hutchins.
The commencement ceremony will follow a senior week marked by trips to the region’s beaches, Six Flags in Agawam, a dance and more.
SENIOR WEEK ACTIVITIES FRIDAY Seniors' Last Dance, 7 to 10:30 p.m., Andover Country Club SUNDAY Interdenominational Baccalaureate Service, 7 to 8 p.m., St. Augustine Church, Essex Street. A more than 30-year tradition coordinated by the local faith communities and put on for and by the graduating seniors, it offers a chance for students to express themselves and their gifts in meaningful ways. The program will include poems, readings, scriptures, songs, instrumental pieces, personal reflections and more. All seniors and their family and friends encouraged to attend. Senior slide show, 8 p.m., Collins Center, Andover High MONDAY Senior Awards Breakfast, 9 a.m. to noon, Wyndham Hotel, Old River Road Graduation, 5 p.m., Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell Senior Safari, 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., Andover High School field house Safari seeking volunteers The class of 2013 will have one final hurrah with its Senior Safari held in a jungle-transformed field house at Andover High School following Monday's graduation. Safari, a drug- and alcohol-free celebration, serves as a final chance for the class to come together "in the same place," parent Chris Vecchi of the event's decorating and setup committee said. The event typically starts late in the evening and runs until the early morning hours Tuesday. "It's a night of fun, food, memories, and kids have a great time," she said. Next year, however, the event faces a challenge. Several longtime members of the parent community that organizes Senior Safari annually are leaving as their youngest children graduate and depart from Andover. That includes Vecchi, who said she has helped run the event for the last eight years. "It's 100 or so parents, plus members of the community, who come together to offer what has traditionally been a 95 percent attendance graduation party," she said. "We're really hoping to pass the torch to more interested parents."