By MIKE CHAIKEN
Bristol Eastern High School’s Class of 2013 officially became graduates last Tuesday.
For the seniors, it was an opportunity to reflect on where they’ve been at BEHS and where they’re headed next.”
Prior to commencement exercises last week, Kelly Vaughan was asked what she was going to miss about Eastern.
“I would like to say the theater department, having us (student performers) all together, and having the entire group together at once. This year, there are 18 seniors… We’re going to try to have a reunion. But we’re never going to be all together at once.”
Alissa Onofrio added, “I’m really going miss the theater and the dance team. And there’s a lot of really great faculty.”
“I’m going to definitely miss the teachers,” Anna Thomas said.
Zach Cote said, “I’m going to miss the whole experience of high school… everything from your teen age years… and especially the music department and the theater department.”
From graduation forward, Thomas said she was looking forward “to being able to reach out and to know other places, not having so much isolation like here. And (I’m looking forward to) spreading my wings and doing whatever I have to do to succeed.”
“I’m looking forward to getting in depth (in college) in the areas I’m really interested in,” said Vaughn. “I’m doing English and theater in college… I’m looking forward to really exploring those areas.”
“The high school experience was great,” said Onofrio, “but I’m really looking forward to the college experience. I’m ready for that point in my life. I’m ready to explore all of these new learning opportunities there.”
Cote said, “I’m going to college in New York City… to further my knowledge and adventures… which will be fun— I feel like I belong there.”
In his address to the graduating class, valedictorian Mitchell Lipka told his classmates that as they head into their separate futures, “Don’t stop reading, keep your hobbies, don’t give up your art,” said Mitch. “The rest of your life doesn’t have to end tonight.”
Student speaker Megan Bossie told the class of 2013, “When you reach your next destination, you will build on to what you have already accomplished. You will keep building until you reach your dream. Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s creating your self.”
“Life is a collection of starts and finishes like a chapter in a book,” said class president Nicholas Cimadon. He told the students that they are closing one chapter of their lives. But they also are moving onto the next.
Several adult speakers addressed the Class of 2013 as well.
“Remember where you came from, remember the people who challenged you… and nurtured you,” said Board of Education Chairman Chris Wilson.
In his comments following a presentation of a proclamation to valedictorian Lipka and salutatorian Bethany Cucka, State Rep. Christopher Wright (D-Bristol) said, “Learning is a life-long experience, one that never ends.”
To the Class of 2013, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ellen Solek said the graduates are now “members of a family forever bonded… Do us proud.”
By MIKE CHAIKEN