Class President Kasey Olsen and Vice President Alyssa Martino, along with the Class of 2010 officers, led the graduates as they entered, serving as flag holders.
Salutatorian Rebecca Reeve delivered a powerful speech on the importance of finding happiness in life, and looking beyond material possessions and money to find it.
“Some people spend their entire lives searching for happiness and never find it,” she said. “But, if they slow down, they might just realize that true happiness is usually sitting right in front of them. It doesn’t come from money, but in the presence of loved ones.”
Reeve referenced the class picnic at Camp Chase she spent with a close friend as a good example of this philosophy. Jeffrey Wanner, a teacher, hid rubber ducks around the camp, offering a monetary reward for whoever could find them. Reeve took this situation and applied it to on much deeper context.
“I remember commenting that it was indicative of the type of society that we live in,” she said. “Those who find the figurative ducks in life are happy at first, but as soon as the money is spent, the happiness quickly fades away and there is nothing to show for a day’s work.”
In response to this, Reeve concluded by saying that now, more than ever, is the time to be happy, to laugh and to smile.
Patrick Haggerty, valedictorian, offered similar words of wisdom to his fellow graduates. He stressed the importance of the friendships formed throughout high school. He called friends the “generators of life,” because they can always be relied upon.
Life after graduation will bring many changes for the recent graduates. Haggerty said that finding consistency within change is important, and that friends represent that consistency, offering reliability and stability when nothing else will suffice.
Principal Gregory Ziogas spoke to the crowd of students, urging them to take the foundation they had created the last four years and to apply it to their future endeavors. He stressed keeping an open heart and mind when faced with new challenges that may arise.
Ziogas used the analogy of relating life to a puzzle. He said that in life, one should never force a fit, that perseverance and variety are key elements in life, and that successes should always be celebrated, no matter their size.
For many of the students, they will take their principal’s words to heart as they leave Plainville and move on to continue their studies. Stephanie Nimro is among one of those students, and will be attending Lincoln Technical Institute to study massage therapy. She looks forward to post-graduation as a time for personal growth.
“I hope to become more independent,” she said. “I want to do more on my own and be able to rely on myself more.”
Many graduates are looking forward to the new responsibilities and endeavors that they will run into, but will miss the many positive aspects of their high school days.
“I’m really scared, but excited at the same time,” said Emily Carlson. “I had a huge support system here — we are like a family.”
Board of Education Chairwoman Becky Tyrrell wrapped up her speech with encouraging words to the graduates. She said to always remember that your roots are here in Plainville and to use the tools it has given you to work hard, dream big, and make the world a better place.
“You are both the future of this city and of the world,” she said.