Last night was Iona’s graduation from Wolcott High School. Having not grown up here this was my first inside experience of an American High School graduation (as far as I can remember, we were just told not to let the door hit us on the way out).
Here’s how our local paper The Waterbury Republican-American described it:
Wolcott graduates told to keep pride in its place
BY ANDREW LARSON
WOLCOTT — Calling it the best class to graduate from Wolcott High School in years, Iona Brockie warned her fellow graduates not to let themselves become vain.
The salutatorian, who will attend Cornell University in the fall, congratulated her classmates on their triumphs and well-earned class pride, with a caveat on the pitfalls of arrogance.
She urged her peers to embrace pride in their high school alma mater and in their town. But pride is both a blessing and a sin, she said, and they ought to maintain a sense of community, because their hometown “is something we all share in common.”
“With pride in yourself and in your abilities, you have the power not only to live a great life, but to make others’ lives great as well,” Brockie said.
She was one of 208 students to graduate from Wolcott High School on Friday, more than 80 percent of whom are furthering their education.
The class has its share of bragging rights. For instance, Christopher Bendtsen, the valedictorian, who will attend Princeton University, is also a nationally ranked runner.
In his speech, he quoted Steve Prefontaine, the recordholding long distance runner. But the chair of the Board of Education, Patricia Najarian, congratulated him for his own efforts, earning the No. 8 ranking in the nation and skipping a race in North Carolina to attend graduation Friday.
“We have our own famous runner,” Najarian said.
Even Principal Robert Eberle took the opportunity to thank the class for being “the best,” the first class he ever addressed as principal.
He said he was apprehensive before his first meeting with the students — a feeling he said he shared with the students on their first day of high school.
But for the newcomer principal and his first freshmen class, the benefits were mutual.
“You truly are the best class because you helped me to grow as a principal, and to teach me the Wolcott way,” Eberle said.
The names of graduates from area high schools and colleges will appear in a special section of The Sunday Republican on July 4.
Check out graduation photo galleries and upload your own shots at www.rep-am.com/graduations
It was a tremendous evening and ceremony, enhanced by having Calum in the band, my parents across from Scotland and my father-in-law all there to cheer Iona on.
Of course I did my usual and took 500 photos, here’s just a few.
Needless to say, we are all very, very proud (in the right way of course!)
:: Justin ::