The rain may have dampened their caps and gowns, but it didn't dampen the 235 Joel Barlow High School graduates' spirits Tuesday night, nor the spirit of the event.
"Allow yourself the freedom to grow and expand," Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Cicchetti said. "There will always be plenty of people around to tell you when you can't." He emphasized the importance of forgiving yourself and getting back on course when you take a wrong turn.
Quoting the song "For Good" from the musical "Wicked," he thanked the students for being so welcoming to him in the last six months since he became superintendent. "So let me say before we part, so much of me is made of what I learned from you. You'll be with me like a handprint on my heart.'"
Eilise Brennan and Zachary Frank were senior class speakers for the ceremony, held at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury. Brennan encouraged her classmates with "a quiet call to action."
"Our voice will define our lives. Our voice is a source of power and control for the rest of our lives. The smallest act can change the world and it has," she said, noting such figures as Martin Luther King Jr.
Class President Patrick Murphy said he had mixed feelings about graduation. "I waited for this moment a very, very long time, but at the same time, I don't want to leave."
The JBHS Select Choir and the JBHS Orchestra provided entertainment, and orchestra director Christ Breault said, "We're really excited about this class because we had a lot of really talented musicians."
School security guard Pearl Richards said, "What I'm going to miss most [about the graduating class] is all the laughter. They were silly."
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