NEW BRITAIN - Friends, family and educators converged on Central Connecticut State University’s Welte Hall Friday night to celebrate E.C. Goodwin Technical High School’s 2017 graduating class.
The crowd cheered while Robert Dolan and Brian Catuccio performed “Pomp and Circumstance” as the graduates marched past their families to their seats.
After a few a quick introductions, Valedictorian Adrian Charubin addressed his peers. Charubin was born in Poland and moved to the U.S. when he was 3 years old. Fifteen years later, Charubin has learned English and is a high school graduate.
“I learned that no matter how hard and frustrating the situation may seem, just get up and try again, and if you don’t succeed the first time, do it a second time, and a third time, until you finally nail it,” Charubin said. “For those of you going to college, or the military or straight into your trade, it’s going to be the same thing next year. Next time you’re faced with a difficult situation, remember that you’ve already faced it many times before, so remember that you can get through it again.”
State Sen. Terry Gerratana, D-New Britain, presented the Class of 2017 with a certificate of congratulations from the General Assembly.
“I know you’re all going to have great success as you enter the workforce,” Gerratana said.
Keonna Yearwood, from the Goodwin Class of 2014, gave this year’s commencement address. Since graduating three years ago, Yearwood has begun a successful career as a chef and business owner.
“I’m here to tell you nothing is impossible or too far out of reach. Most important, have courage to say ‘I’m going to follow my heart,’” Yearwood said. “You must remember that you don’t know everything. Every mistake will only teach you to grow as a person, and you’ll become someone you’ve wished to be.”
Then it was Principal Daniel Mello’s chance to congratulate the students and offer words of wisdom.
“Your graduation from E.C. Goodwin is unique, compared to most of the high schools across the nation. You have an advantage that traditional high schools cannot offer,” Mello said. “You have a four-year start in a trade area. At a time when the nation is screaming for more technical education, you have it now.”
Class President Andrew Dutkiewicz was the night’s final speaker. He encouraged his peers to take risks in whatever they set out to do.
“If you do not risk failure, you cannot make it anywhere,” Dutkiewicz said.
After Dutkiewicz addressed his classmates, Victoria Berube performed the class song: “A Moment Like This,” by Kelly Clarkson. Following the performance, the graduates received their diplomas.
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.