Class President Jane Sconzo spoke for her classmates when she asked, “Now what?” She urged her peers not to be fearful. Life is about taking chances, she said, and while fear isn't all bad, she urged her classmates not to let fear overpower them. “Fear is also an opportunity,” she said.
“Cheat on your fears,” she told her classmates. “Break up with your doubts. Marry your dreams.”
Andrew Bodinger earned the chance to address graduates when he won the Kathryn Robertson Essay Award. In his essay, he spoke about the paradoxical challenges that technology has brought to daily life. While we have an increased awareness of local and global information because of technological advances, those same advances have put roadblocks in the way of our personal communications, he said. You can't hear the emotion or tone of voice in a text, he said. Neither can you read the clues in a speaker's facial expressions. But texting has come to be a major means of communicating with one another.
“We can't accept excuses,” Bodinger said. He urged his classmates to use technology to share their happiness and sincerity, even at a distance.
“I tell everybody to dream big,” said salutatorian Jeremy Geragotelis. “I know it's overused and overrated, but I think it holds a lot of truth, especially for me.” Geragotelis is heading to Bennington College in the fall to study English literature and theater. He wants to write screenplays. “It's definitely not an orthodox thing to do,” he said.
Geragotelis has already had two original works produced by Eastern Connecticut State University's Drama Society. He has two plays scheduled for production at the Complex for Performing Art in Putnam. “Untitled Number 4” and “The Bell Maker” will be presented to the community on Aug. 9.
Valedictorian Ian Sorensen offered this advice: Don't forget where you came from. “I would tell everyone to remember their roots and remember where they came from,” he said. “That's important to me because I could be one of those people who forgets where I came from. My parents always tell me to keep my head small.”
Sorensen plans to attend the University of Connecticut to study biology. He eventually hopes to do research on cancer and stem cells. “It's my way of giving back to people and society in general,” he said.