MERIDEN — The 171 members of Wilcox Technical High School’s Class of 2019 embraced the future while cherishing the past during a graduation ceremony Monday night.
”Do you remember 2015?” Principal Joyce Mowrey asked the students. “I told you the next four years would go fast. I told you to take a breath. I told you you were starting on an exciting journey. It’s been an honor to watch you the past four years. Tonight is a touchstone in your lives, take a moment to reflect as you go off in your next direction.”
The graduates seated in rows wearing royal blue robes and custom-decorated mortar boards clapped and cheered for Mowry and other speakers as proud parents sat in the rows behind them.
Class President Luke Johnston served as master of ceremonies.
“Whether you’re ready or not, we’re ready to walk the stage,” Johnston said. “The experiences we had at Wilcox will remain part of us for the rest of our lives.”
Class Salutatorian Elias Henry, an automotive technology graduate, reminded students of the academic, athletic and community service achievements the class completed in four years.
“Wilcox demands excellence in academics and in each trade,” Henry said. “We have undoubtedly made the most of the valuable opportunities available to us.”
Valedictorian Laura Mendez, a graduate of the health technology department, shared some humorous memories with her classmates before revealing that she “will always be grateful” for her time at Wilcox.
“Live your own life,” Mendez said. “You can’t control anyone else’s but your own. High school has ended, now we must live the rest of our lives.”
The excitement was inescapable in the cafeteria prior to the long march to the stage.
“I’m kind of excited for it to be over,” said Joseph McCormack who was joking with his classmates from the informational systems technology department. “We’re computer geeks.”
McCormack, who was born in South Korea and adopted as a young child, will attend Champlain College in Vermont.. He talked about his reasons for choosing Wilcox.
“I always wanted a second option if college didn’t go my way,” McCormack said. “The beauty of the school is it’s up to you to be an adult in a sense and create your own character.”
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