Bristol Central High School’s 278 members of the class of 2018 received their diplomas during the Wednesday, June 20, graduation ceremony.
The theme, “The past – our heritage; the present – our responsibility; the future – my challenge,” was invoked in speeches made by Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu, assistant superintendent Catherine Carbone, salutatorian John “Nick” Osuch, and valedictorian Michael Kaminski.
Principal Peter Wininger, who handed out diplomas, said the advice he would give the class of 2018 would be, “Come back to Bristol, help us grow, help us get better, and change the world.”
“I’m feeling bittersweet, I’m excited for these guys to start their future, but I’m equally sad because I guess we’re saying goodbye to a lot of great kids tonight, so it’s bittersweet,” said Wininger. “I think their sense of togetherness and the community they’ve created with us is probably the biggest part of it, also, between their academic achievement and their dedication to the community, whether it be through volunteer work or fundraising or anything that they’ve done locally, it’s been a great year.”
Kaminski, who said he felt “pretty normal” about graduation day, said it was “a good four years, but it’s time to move forward.”
“The premise of my speech is you wake up, check your phone, and time flies, and you end up short on time and you have to make the decision whether you show up to school late with a break fast, or you rush to get to school on time and you choose that uncomfortable path,” said Kaminski.
His speech, “Beat the Bell or Take the L[oss]”, asked fellow graduates to consider two paths; remaining inside your comfort zone, or pushing yourself forward, into the unknown and uncomfortable, in order to accomplish your aspirations.
Osuch’s speech, “Individually Unique, Together Complete,” allowed the salutatorian to “talk about the uniqueness of everybody in” the class of 2018, “but also how” they are “all one together, like a big family,” said Osuch.
Chairman of the Bristol Board of Education, Chris Wilson, said graduations are “family events, they’re pathways to the next stage in one’s life, it’s a great benchmark to see all of your achievements for the last four years.”
Wilson also offered a bit of advice to the class of 2018, “experience everything that the next phase of life has to offer you.”
“I’m really excited to go onto college, but mostly upset to leave my friends so it’s sad,” said Madison Cyr.
Cyr plans to pursue an education in early childhood education at Keene State College in New Hampshire.
Chloe Cyr, who felt nervous and excited, and said she would miss her friends the most, will be heading to the University of Hartford to study elementary education.
PHOTOS by JANELLE MORELLI