By SARAH JOHNSON
The Bristol Eastern High School Class of 2015 graduation took place on Thursday, June 18 in the athletic field outside the school.
Over 400 grads lined up outside the front doors of BEHS around 5:45 p.m. Thursday night, eagerly awaiting the signal that they were allowed to go inside the gym and prepare for their grand entrance to the field.
Family and friends waited outside, lining up alongside the tennis courts, hoping to be the first to glimpse the students winding up the back of the field to accept their diplomas for four years of hard work, life lessons and memories.
Once inside the gym, students waited for teachers to guide them to their assigned seats and chatted, shouted and gathered friends for group pictures and “selfies” galore. Announcements were made, the junior class marshals practiced their rise and sit commands and the students listened to a brief pep talk from staff before filing outside.
Kenny Tenan, the class valedictorian, got a few moments away from friends asking him for photos to share his thoughts on graduation. He would be giving one of the several speeches at graduation that evening,
His gown was decorated with a variety of colored ropes and sashes to indicate all his honors and distinctions.
Tenan isn’t sure that any of his many sports honors will translate into a sports career once in college, but he’s eager to join some clubs and extracurricular programs. “I’ll be going to Brown University. I’m excited to have a little free time this summer, not jam packed with things in my schedule. I did just get a part-time job though at a donut shop near my house.”
“I’m planning on majoring in biochemistry and I know I want to do research and lab work.”
In his speech to the Class of 2015, Tenan used the title and phrase “tensile strength.” “I am thinking about how far you can stretch the mind under pressure before it fails,” he said in the opening. He spoke about the stresses of the world young people live in today, including schoolwork, practicing for extracurricular activities and preparing for the world outside high school. “We are the hero of our own story,” he said, quoting Mary McCarthy. He spoke of pushing oneself to learn and strive, to push boundaries and do work for the greater good. “… If we really want to be the heroes of our own story, we need to continue acting like a hero, continue to stand against overwhelming odds, continue to have high tensile strength, continue being who we are and doing what we do.”
Class president Kalie Pasqualicchio, despite holding a ranking position in her class, has some hesitations about graduation at first. “I had expected graduation to be sad and filled with tears as it had been in previous years as I watched my family and older friends graduate. However, while I am sad to be leaving Bristol Eastern, graduation felt more like a celebration than a goodbye. I felt proud of the accomplishments I had made over the past four years and was happy to graduate with all of my best friends.”
Pasqualicchio is looking forward to the fun and memories she’ll create with her friends and family before they all go their own ways for college in the fall. She will be majoring in engineering at the University of Connecticut based on her love of calculus and physics. “I plan to stay busy and make the most of every moment that I have. I am also looking forward to finding out who my roommate is and getting to know her before I move in at the end of August.”
“One great takeaway [I have] from BEHS is to be kind to others whether in a big or small way. Throughout my years there the B.E. Nice Program was started up, which enabled students and staff to recognize someone else when they did something exceptionally kind. It really taught me and allowed me to realize that a small gesture can go a long way and to try and be as nice as possible at all times.
Marissa Padilla, another student who gave a speech at graduation, was excited ahead of the graduation. “I was much more calm than I thought I would feel. I was mostly nervous about giving my speech.”
Padilla is excited to move to Chicago in September to attend Northwestern University and major in theatre.
“I was very active in the drama club and the creative writing club (Project Writeous). Theater and creative writing are activities that are very important to me, and they heavily influenced my decision for my college major. I hope to be a playwright in the future.”
Marissa felt that she really learned to push herself acacdemically at BEHS. “Challenges are just opportunities to better yourself,” she said.
The Class of 2015 at Bristol Eastern High School is:
Yasmina Abdelsami, Sakinah Abdulsalam, Stephanie Barbara Achilli, Andrew Frank Adam, Jacob George Adam, Sharon Marie Adkins, Abeer Al Hamadani, Jennifer Caroline Aldana, Emily Rose Alderman, Nahndi I. Ali, Michaela Grace Amadio, Anthony Eugene Anderle, Allen Scott Arbuckle, Hannah Carmen Armstrong, Jordan A. Artibani, Kiersten L. Aston, Jose Luis Aviles, Alex K. Baranowski, Anthony Joseph Barresi, Joseph F. Bear, Tyler M. Beaudet, Tifani Grace Beauregard, Aleksandra Monika Bednarczyk, Jenna Marie Beecher, Justin Anthony Belli, Jacob Tyler Bernier, Darcy Ana Berube, Mitchell Blaise Berube, Samantha Lynn Blais, Mikaela Rae Boutot, Ivana Marie Boyd, Marissa Jean Brevetti, Khadaijia Sheniel Brooks, Brittany Ann Brouker, Bettina Bueno, Austin Jason Bukowski, Delaney F. Caggiano, Adam William Canfield, Paige Canfield, Michael Anthony Capobianco, Matthew William Carboni, Megan Dakota Carlson, Jesse Paul Caron, Kira Michele Carpenter, Quinn Robert Carroll, Tianna Dominique Carter, Ryan Joseph Cassin, Benjamin Charles Castle, Isabella Castrogiovanni, Larry K. Chan, McKenzie Margaret Clark, Yvonne Anni Clark, Brendan Christopher Clement, Jacob Christos Colello, Mashalles Luis Colon, Bailey Rose Connelly, Christopher Dalton Connolly, Matthew William Corbin, Leumas M. Cordero, James S. Corley, Sarah M. Corliss, Matthew Daniel Crisafulli, Chelsea Blaine Crossman, Brianna Elizabeth Cully, Shannon Caitlen Curley, Thomas Michael Curtin, Brooke Lea Cyr, Jonathan David Czertak, Darian Ashlee D’Amato, Michaila Hunter Daddario, David Darragjati, Jozef Darragjati, Luigi Albert Darragjati, Meri Darragjati, Nicole Lynn Davey, Maurice Travelle Davies, Daniel Geovanni Dean, Rachel A. DellaBianca, Emily Nicole Deloge, Jeremy Ellis Del Valle, Chelsey R. Dennis, Leah Michelle Deprey, Matthew Louis Deprey, Robert Joseph Desmarais, Austin J. Dias, Carina Michele DiChello, Austin Anthony DiLeone, Rachel Marie Dixon, Tristan M. Domingue, Teagan Joseph Doran, Joseph Robert Dorsio, Collin R. Doty, Kaitlin Nicole Douglas, Jacob Dubrosky, Gavin James Duperry, Kienen Matthew Dyer, Sophia Louise Dzikas, Teresa A. Eilerman,
Cynthia Fendt, Janessa Floyd, Shelby Folsom, Kahseym Fortune, Ethan R. Friedman, Sean R. Gaffney, Daniel Lucian Gagliardi, Benjamin Jakob Gaughan, Amanda Nicole Gdovin, Spencer Thomas Gilgosky, Keegan Alexander Girardin, Maximillian Albert Girouard, Matthew Jacob Giustiniani, Richy Antonio Gomez, Stephen B. Goodrich, Taylor Goodwin, Sarafina Jean Goulet, Emily Grabowski, Joseph Patrick Grabowski, Kendall Murphy Graham, Meagan Rose Grivois, Wei J. Guo, Destiny Hanelt, TaShaura Evone Hatcher, Justin Gregory Hebert, Jozef E. Hermann, Deyaneira E. Hernandez, Sarah N. Hillman, Makenna C. Holley, Nicholas Raymond Ibitz, Mallorie Jordan Iozzo, Paige R. Janick, Jared Stephen Jankowski, Jasiah Elijah Jenkins, Lily Renee Johnsky, Adam R. Kachidurian, Nicollette Marie Kalisz, Savannah Jane Kaluzny, Patrick Timothy Keddy, Katherine Amanda Kelly, Phirin Khen, Brenden B. King, Kaili Stacy Kathryn Kountur, Garrett James Kozloski, Cameron Lee Krueger, Jakob Spencer Labbie, Mitchel Kane Laferriere, Chantel Christine Langer, Leah Nicole Laprise, Mikaela Hope Larue, Alexis Nicole Laskowski, David Roland Lavigne, Cameron James Leary, Bryce Maximo Lebron, Katarzyna Aleksandra Leja, Hanna Rae Levesque, Brianna N. Levy, Justin D. Lockhart, Jason Joseph Lombardi, Guillermo Lorenzo, Gabriela Lotkowska, Klaudia Lotkowska, Brittany Lynn Love, Kevin Love, Jordan Christopher Lowrey, Sydney Elizabeth Luponio, Katie Marie MacDonald, Alexander Macias, Megan Marie Madore, Evan John Maguire, Kendall Philip Malenfant,
Spencer Elliott Malley, Melanie Manivong, Mariah Elizabeth Markham, Matthew J. Markham, Kayla Ashley Marquis, Alexander Robert Marsh, Jillian Michelle Martel, Elijah Daniel Martin, Kimberly Marie Martin, Javier JA Martinez, Marcos Antonio Martinez, David Paul Martino, Brooke Marie Maurice, Taylor Marie Mazeika, Hayley Madison McCarron, Austin R. McKearney, Meaghan Camille McLaughlin, Lucas James McMenemy, Jeremy D. Meccariello, Michael Brian Mecteau, Courtney Marie Melanson, Thomas Melanson, Jr., Aaron Jay Melecio, Michael Anthony Mercado, Stephanie Alexandria Michaud, Shannon Ashley Michelson, Anthony Michael Mola, Kayla C. Mordo, Colleen Lyons Morrell, Jessie Lee Morrison, Aaron Joshua Mosieur, Erica Destiny Mota, James T. Moyers, Tyler William Murray, Caleb Wayne Newburry, Jenny Mae Norton, Eric James Otero, Gerard Joseph Ouellette, Marissa Rachael Padilla, Myranda Elissa Pagan, Salvatore Steven Paparello, Abby Rose Paradis, Kalie Marie Pasqualicchio, Joseph Aaron Pastyrnak, Nicole A. Pearlingi, Collin Michael Pearson, Sydney Ellen Pedersen, Jaime Leigh Pelletier, Jillian Rose Pelletier, Zachary Michael Pepin, Amber Nichole Pittman, Justin Joseph Plantamuro, David Poniatowski, Kaysie Rebecca Procko, Samuel Joseph Prokop, Justin Gregory Protinick, Ashleigh Marie Rabis, David Ramos, Derek Rivera, Maddison C. Rivera, Naythan Luis Rivera, Savannah Marie Rivera, Tyler D. Roalf, Peter John Roche, Stephen Daniel Roche, Samantha M. Rodziewicz, Brianna M. Root, Victoria Lucia Rosario, Kayla Andrea Rubio, Saige Juliann Ryan, Natalia Samul, Ramiro Anthony Sanchez, Shelby Allison Sandstrom, Isaiah Santiago, Marcos Roger Saravia, Michaela Rose Sassu, Megan Nicole Savoir, Justin S. Seamour, Shaka King Shakir, Tesha Marie Shank, Justin Michael Shepard, Cody Austin Sidlik, Kanto Sina, Robert Skrzypek, Ryan David Sledzik, Ryan Christopher Sonido, Nicholas A. Spear, Amber Nicole Spinney, Amanda Marie Stone, Taylor Joy Strutz, Nicholas J. Synott, Kyle Johnathon Szymczyk, George G. Taylor, III, Kenneth Thomas Tenan, Taryn A. Tessier, Haley Anne Theriault, Carlee Susan Thomas, Griffin Patrick Tighe, Matthew James Tillbrook, Sara Elizabeth Triplett, Patricia Hyacinth Trotman, Cyrus L. Tyler, Krzysztof Krystian Ufniarz, Halle Paige Varkal, Jocelyne Gabrielle Vasquez, Luis A. Vazquez Soto, Valerie L. Velez, Karlianie M. Viteri, Brittany Marie Waag, Jonathan K. Wadowski, Kylia Mozelle Walker, Crystal Ann Ward, Erika Cheyenne Weaver, Jonathan R. West, Christa Marie White, Savannah Nyanne White, Brandon Ray Wolf, Bryan Gregory Wolff-Cole, Dante Justin Woods, Jordynne K. Wooten, Oskar Filip Wyrwas, Lindsey Mikael Zdun
By SARAH JOHNSON