NEW BRITAIN - School Superintendent Nancy Sarra greeted 500 fourth-graders Tuesday morning at New Britain High School, challenging them to do their best in school this year on their path to graduation.
The Class of 2026 was at NBHS for a convocation ceremony kicking off the new school year. The school district’s third- and fifth-graders also visited the school for ceremonies of their own.
After showing a video of NBHS graduates, Sarra told students what they need to do to graduate and succeed as working professionals in society.
“Everything you do when you walk through those fourth-grade doors this year is getting you ready to get here so that you can graduate,” Sarra said.
The superintendent explained what she looks for in people when making hiring decisions: Respect yourself, respect your friends and respect New Britain.
“We respect ourselves enough to walk proud and not make excuses. We respect our friends by giving them a classroom where they can learn too,” Sarra said. “We are proud New Britain residents. We have so much going on in this city.”
Sarra also emphasized the importance of living with an attitude of gratitude, no matter what negative things may be going on in one’s life.
“Having an attitude of gratitude is waking up and saying, ‘I know I have this story going on in my life, but I have someone in my school who cares about me, and that makes me thankful,” Sarra said.
Elizabeth Lewicki, a tenth-grader at NBHS, encouraged the children to use positive thoughts to improve their well-being.
“Research tells us that being positive, being grateful and thinking about positive memories helps us change our brain chemistry. These positive emotions help us open like a flower in sunlight,” Lewicki said.
Lewicki told students that their brain is a powerful tool and is always developing and changing.
“You can always become smarter,” Lewicki said. “You can make your brain grow through experiences such as learning new things, struggling to understand, taking on challenges, persevering, learning from mistakes, trying new strategies and putting forth effort. If you are not making mistakes, you are not trying.”
On Friday, the school district will host convocation ceremonies for middle school students at NBHS.
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.