PLAINVILLE - Plainville High Schoolâ€™s Class of 2018 celebrated their achievements as they looked toward a bright future Wednesday at their graduation ceremony.
Although the weather was grey, graduates were filled with hope and optimism as they marched onto the athletic field as the school band filled the air with the sounds of â€śPomp and Circumstance.â€ť
Friends and family members carrying congratulatory balloons and umbrellas watched from the bleachers, cheering, applauding and snapping photos of the graduates to cherish the celebratory moment.
Class President Alyssa Fontaine welcomed her peers and the guests, including town leaders and local legislators.
Nicholas Costantini sang the national anthem, after which Town Council Chairwoman Kathy Pugliese read a proclamation in the studentsâ€™ honor.
â€śCongratulations and best wishes for a happy and rewarding life,â€ť she said.
State Sen. Henri Martin and state Rep. William Petit also wished the graduates well.
â€śAlways keep hope,â€ť said Petit. â€śBe kind to everyone you see and, finally, persevere. Life is going to have ups and downs and bumps along the way.â€ť
Andrea Saunders, chairwoman of the Board of Education, Maureen Brummett, superintendent of schools and Plainville High School Principal Roberto Medic then left the graduates with final words of wisdom.
â€śYou should all be proud for accomplishing this goal,â€ť said Saunders, who urged graduates to never give up as they go forward.
Brummett noted the Class of 2018 had completed 1,100 college credits and 4,400 community service hours, received $200,000 in scholarships and 84 percent will be going on to college. She encouraged graduates to take care of the environment, treat others as they wish to be treated, make time for family, work together to make the world a better place and have a sense of humor.
Valedictorian Nathan Michalek and Salutatorian Abigail Leander reminisced about their school memories and encouraging and congratulating the graduates.
â€śMy advice to you is this,â€ť said Michalek. â€śEmbrace change, challenge society and make the most out of your life. But, most importantly donâ€™t forget to enjoy the people that are by your side day after day. Donâ€™t forget to enjoy the countless experiences that come together to create your life.â€ť
â€śThere are so many more experiences that are awaiting us after graduation that will further shape our beliefs and even inspire new ones,â€ť said Leander. â€śI encourage you all to find your beliefs and reflect on what has rooted those ideas in you and, as you develop your convictions, donâ€™t be afraid of those who will disagree with you.â€ť
Then, at last, the moment which the students had long awaited arrived. As they stepped up one by one to receive their diplomas they took the final steps on their journey through the Plainville Public School system and their first on the next leg of their journey into their adult lives.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.