Special to the Herald Press
BRISTOL - The 263 members of the Bristol Central High School Class of 2021 celebrated the end of their high school years at their graduation on Monday.
The graduation was held in the Charles C. Marsh Gymnasium at Bristol Central. It was supposed to be at Muzzy Field after Bristol Eastern High School’s graduation, but both graduations had to be moved indoors due to the rain.
Because the graduation occurred inside, students were only allowed two guests instead of four and everyone had to wear a mask due to COVID-19 protocols.
Valedictorian Christopher Osuch spoke about the move indoors in his speech.
“This is the part of the speech where I was going to say something nice about how we had the opportunity to graduate at Muzzy Field, but, like everything else in this pandemic, this speech too had to be changed at the last minute,” Osuch said.
Osuch then went on to speak about the other sacrifices that the pandemic required and how they made him appreciate the little things.
Student Damani Hough read a poem titled “The Year Things Didn’t Go as Planned” about the hardships and surprise benefits of having her senior year during the pandemic.
“I didn’t plan to learn motivation without accountability, I didn’t plan to have time to become more self aware. I didn’t plan to value the things I observe of people, I didn’t plan to learn resilience and independence. I certainly couldn’t plan for the mental toughness this year gifted me. This year didn’t go as planned, but that isn’t all bad,” the poem read.
Other community members including Bristol Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu, Superintendent Catherine Carbone and Board of Education Chair Jennifer Dube also shared their wisdom with the graduating class. Carbone commented on how this class’s experience changed the future of education.
“Your class has transformed education - the way we think about teaching and learning, where teaching and learning take place, and how teaching and learning is delivered,” Carbone said.
The senior class officials then presented the school with their gift, which was a framed puzzle with pictures of the class with a face mask over it.
The students then stepped up one by one and received their diplomas. As they drove away, many of the graduates honked their horns and cheered in celebration of their accomplishment.