By Olivia Marble
PLYMOUTH - The Terryville High School Class of 2021 graduated Tuesday under a clear blue sky after the ceremony was postponed due to rain.
The graduation ceremony took place at the Gary Krueger Field rather than in the Borkowski Family Auditorium for the first time, according to Terryville High School employee and alum Chris Perkins. The ceremony was moved outside so that more guests could attend safely and socially distanced.
Valedictorian Arianna Lance spoke about the pandemic and remote learning in her speech. She said she was proud of her classmates for persevering and learning how to make the best of the situation.
“Having to deal with the pandemic during our high school years will help prepare us to deal with unexpected situations that will certainly arise in our futures,” Lance said. “This experience has revealed the incredible resilience and adaptability we all have. I truly believe that the ability to be resilient and adapt are two very important traits that will help us make decisions and navigate whatever life presents.”
Salutatorian Adam Audibert shared anecdotes from his time at Terryville High School, including the “porcelain poultry prank,” in which a student put a rotisserie chicken into a toilet at the high school during Audibert’s sophomore year. He then reflected on how his youth is coming to an end.
“I'll admit, I'm nearly 18 years old, and I still get absolutely petrified when I call up Terryville Pizza for the second time during the week with my classic order of an extra large meatball [grinder],” Audibert said. “This is certainly something I need to work on because when 18 comes around the corner, my free trial to life is over.”
Audibert then went on to say that even though becoming an adult is frightening, it is also exciting.
“Even if it is frightening, I think it’s arguably more exciting. If everything was easy straight out of high school, life would be pretty boring. It’s the hardships in life that make your life worth living,” Audibert said.
Essayist Jade Ockensels reminded her fellow students to take a moment to reflect on how far they have come.
“It seems impossible to remember every minute you’ve dedicated to this pivotal moment in time, but take the opportunity to remind yourself. Today, while you take hold of your diploma, take a second to feel truly just how accomplished you all are,” Ockensels said.
Principal Michael Hults, Board of Eduation Chairman Walter Seaman and Mayor David Merchant also addressed the graduates. Merchant acknowledged that the covid-19 pandemic caused the graduates to miss out on many activities.
“As difficult as all this seems right now, there’s going to be a point in time where you look back and this is going to be nothing more than a small speed bump,” Merchant said. “Never let the adversity in your life control your destiny. You alone control your future.”