By KAITLYN NAPLES
One more school year has come and gone, and last Tuesday evening, 282 students at Bristol Central High School were standing at the beginning of their next journey.
“You begin a new journey tonight,” Central High School Principal Pete Wininger said to his group of graduating seniors, who he described as a class that demonstrated good character, “pride, and dedication” to the school and the community.
Alexandra Peabody wrote this year’s essay, which revolved around the realization that she didn’t need a “step-by-step” agenda but you can create her future herself along the way, and can “adjust plans and goals as I grow as a person.”
She told her fellow classmates that it is easy to get “stuck in a rut” but it is difficult to dig yourself out of it.
“The American dream is your dream,” she said.
Salutatorian Sean Heiser recalled four years ago when this group of students entered Bristol Central High School for the first time. He reflected on where they were now and reminded his classmates not to forget “those who have mentored us” in the past to help them be ready for the next chapter in their lives.
Heiser also reminded his fellow seniors the journey is more important than the destination, and “you are the director” of your future and the goals you work towards.
Valedictorian Eric Aldieri, who is going to college to study astrophysics, started out his speech by explaining to his classmates he looks at life like an equation he learned in science class involving light, particles and waves, and deciding if light was a particle or a wave.
Aldieri said it is comparable to how people view life, and that every event or obstacle you go through “can be viewed either positively or negatively; it depends on what lens you look through.”
When looking back at high school, he said it is common to remember the negative things that happened. Moving forward, he said, “all of those inconveniences should be viewed as positives” or invaluable memories. “The most ruling and trying times should be viewed in a positive lens.”
Years from now, these students will look back on high school and remember them as “the good old days.”
“We were, in fact, living the good old days,” he said. “We just didn’t realize it.”
Deputy Superintendent Sue Moreau said speaking at this particular graduation was bittersweet for her since there were students in this year’s graduating class who were in kindergarten when she was principal at Bingham School.
“Our lives are a series of journeys with many stops along the way,” Moreau said, adding that family was the first stop, and then came school.
“I hope you learned how to be creative, conscientious, collaborative, and committed,” she added, which are the four characteristics of Bristol Central. “Each of you has left your mark in some way, and are part of the recipe that makes Bristol Central High School what it is.”
The senior class was able to raise money to purchase an overhang at the front entrance of the high school as its class gift to the school.
By KAITLYN NAPLES