‘The cream of the American crop’ graduates from Cheshire High

‘The cream of the American crop’ graduates from Cheshire High


CHESHIRE — Cheshire High School’s graduation ceremony Wednesday night was like the ending credits to a movie, according to Hanna Velcofsky, a senior who plans to study cinema.

“Although our Cheshire High School movie is over, I’m looking forward to the sequel,” she said during the commencement address.

Three hundred and eighty-eight seniors graduated during a ceremony on the school’s football field. Students and education officials talked about the class of 2017’s bright future and reminisced about experiences over the past four years.

Velcofsky said a movie of the class’s high school experience would begin with them as bewildered freshman.

“At this point, it was easy to feel like we were extras in someone else’s movie,” she said.

Another scene in the move would be students bombarded with the question, “Where are you going to college?” Velcofsky said.

Mary Gadd, high school principal, urged students to live in the moment.

“You don’t have to decide right this minute what your life is going to look like tomorrow,” she said.

Students in Cheshire achieve a lot, and Gadd said they might be worrying how they’ll continue to excel. Right decisions will start with right thinking.

“What we think matters,” she said. “We are the sum of small choices.”

Gadd also thanked the 2017 class for making her first year “such a joy.” She was named principal last summer after former principal Jeff Solan was hired as school superintendent.

In his remarks, Solan said he knew many of the students since seventh grade when he was Dodd Middle School principal. He was optimistic about the graduating class, saying they’d shown their dedication to serving other.

“Our world is in desperate need of people who see beyond,‘What’s in it for me?’ and see the value of ‘we,’” Solan said.

Raj Dhage, class president, said he saw “drive and stubborn ambition in each and every one” of his classmates. He thanked parents and the community for instilling responsibility and values into the graduates.

“Never in my life have I been so optimistic about a group of people,” Dhage said. “You have raised the cream of the American crop.”

“The last four years have been extraordinary, but let’s look forward to a lifetime of great work,” he said.

Roger Chen, class salutatorian, said his class will stop climate change and cure cancer. He said he and his fellow students would likely experience failure but shouldn’t let it define them.

“Will you chose to learn from that,” he said. “It’s not your failings that matter, but the strength of your dedication.”

Angela Zhu, class valedictorian, said the group had formed award-winning political groups, won sports championships and excelled academically.

“You all have made me proud to be a ram,” she said.

jbuchanan@recordjournal.com 203-317-2230 Twitter: @JBuchananRJ


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