SOUTHINGTON - The Southington High School Class of 2022 celebrated all their accomplishments and looked back on good memories Friday during their graduation ceremony.
Families packed the bleachers on the athletic field, many holding bouquets of flowers for their graduates and cameras to capture the moment. On the way there, many stopped to take pictures in their caps and gowns, sitting on school benches or standing in front of the school entrance.
As the graduates marched onto the field, the school band played “Pomp & Circumstance” and Essayist Daniel Semmel led the group as flagbearer.
Following the singing of The National Anthem by Eva Bilodeau, Ethan Solury, president of the Class of 2022, took the podium.
Solury looked back on some of his favorite high school memories and spoke about their shared journey together.
"Together, we have all created memories that we will cherish for the rest of our lives," he said. "As our journey together comes to an end, but yours continues on, grab hold of your dreams and make them come true - for you are the key to unlocking your magic. Now go, let your dreams guide you, reach out and find your happily ever after."
Valedictorian Amber Kohll congratulated her fellow graduates and reflected back on memories their time together at Southington High School.
"When it comes down to it, the experiences we have and the people we share them with are the most impactful aspects of our lives," she said. "So, as we look toward the future, which holds many unknown challenges, as each one of us takes our own unique path, I remind us all to embrace our gifts. Have confidence in yourselves and celebrate progress and perseverance. And, most importantly, enjoy the journey and each other along the way."
Salutatorian Matthew Morgan urged his peers to find a balance in life in their future journeys.
"As we all progress into the real world, make the fullest use of your time," he said. "Accomplish your goals. But, just as importantly, spend time doing things with the people you cherish."
The graduation ceremony also saw the Southington High School band playing the school song, “Olympic Spirit Rugged Mountains.”
Southington High School Teacher of the Year Tina Riccio then greeted the graduates and offered them words of guidance.
Superintendent of Schools Steve Madancy also encouraged the Class of 2022 in their future endeavors.
Steve Pintarich and Steve McCarty from the local Veterans Committee honored those graduates going into the military. They also encouraged veterans in the audience to stand and be honored.
Southington High School Principal Michael Crocco then addressed the graduates, praising them for their hard work.
Board of Education Chair Colleen Clark also gave the Class of 2022 parting advice.
Then, at last, the long awaited moment had come. The students rose to receive their diplomas. Their time at Southington High School was over. The next part of their lives had only just begun.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.