The Bristol Eastern Lancers rode forth into the world on Friday evening, as friends and families came together to celebrate the Class of 2019 on graduation night.
Class of 2019 president, Paige McLaughlin said all who were graduating “have not made this challenging yet worthwhile journey alone,” thanking all of the family and friends seated throughout the athletic fields for playing a role in a graduate’s life.
“For our class gift, we as a group, have decided to put money towards the auditorium in hopes of restoring the timeworn seats,” said McLaughlin. “We hope future classes here at Bristol Eastern are able to enjoy concerts, plays, musicals, and various other ceremonies just as thoroughly as we have these past four years.”
“What makes your class special is that not only have you made those connections, you have taken those relationships one-step further and make our world a better place,” said Bristol Eastern principal Marisa Calvi-Rogers.
Assistant Super-intendent of Schools Dr. Catherine Carbone asked graduates to go forth into the world and “be epic,” and to always have “insane confidence in yourself,” as the class of 2019 will become the changemakers that the world needs.
Graduate Brithanie Liddy said that while many people think that “high school sucks,” she didn’t have the same feeling as she prepared to accept her diploma. In her opinion, she met “a lot of good people, a few bad people (as always),” but most importantly, she met teachers who supported her and her career choice.
Liddy explained that in the fall she will be headed to the University of Hartford to pursue a double major in illustration and education, with the hopes of becoming an art teacher. In a moment of reflection, she said that she will miss her teachers the most, including Sharon Williams and Kevin Toomey.
Graduate Timothy Sturges also spoke highly of his teachers, especially Gregory Diaz, a woodshop teacher that taught Sturges’ class to build a scale model house, right down to the foundations, rafters, and simple electrical work. If the fall, Sturges will head to Tunxis Community College to study sales and manufacturing, before heading to another college for his last two years.
“Whatever changes we encounter from here on out, simply not knowing what will happen can be the scariest part of life. But fear of the future should never stop us from taking chances and going after new opportunities,” said valedictorian Taylor Domingue. “Take each new day as an opportunity to improve your life. Ultimately, always regard every day as a gift – that’s why it is called the present.”
Domingue, reminded her classmates that they shouldn’t let “fear get in the way of what you want to pursue in life,” and that “if what you want turns out to be disappointing, don’t be afraid to change your life for the better.”
“As we move ahead into uncharted territory, as we step out of the grounds of our hometown and move onto bigger and better things, don’t be afraid to look back on what we have learned in our time here,” said senior class speaker Sean Sullivan. “Take what you’ve gained throughout high school and build upon it. Don’t leave everything behind just because you think that’s what’s supposed to happen after high school.”
“Over your four years, the student council saved approximately 1,200 lives with your blood drives, and Friends of Rachel raised over $20,000 for Relay for Life to hopefully eradicate cancer,” said Calvi-Rogers. “Taylor’s [Domingue] rain garden supported by so many of the environmental science students found a sustainable way to purify the water from our parking lot before it returns back to the environment. Our environment is better because of Ashlynn’s [Jefferson] composting and with others working on our vegetable gardens.”