WALLINGFORD — Friends and family gathered at Lyman Hall High School Friday evening to celebrate the graduation of almost 300 seniors.
Light clouds covered the crowd of supporters as graduates reminisced about their high school days in speeches, thanking those that helped along the way.
“We can all be proud of what each and every one of us brought to Lyman Hall, however today I would like to think upon what we have been given,” Class President Daniella Chasse said.
Chasse recalled fond memories of her time in high school, making sure to mention the powder puff team’s win twice. She thanked her teachers for instilling confidence, giving valuable advice, and showing the importance of being kind.
“We are blessed to have had the best of the best in our teachers,” Chasse said.
Class representative Hollianne Lao spoke about the construct of time.
"We are always changing, our perception of time is always changing, and so is the world around us," Lao said. "In our changing world, it's our responsibility to take the time to acknowledge the changes that are happening and to inform ourselves."
She asked the crowd to make time for things that are important, like thanking people and accomplishing goals.
"Your time is your own, and it is precious," Lao said. "Your time is now and your time is what you make of it."
Erin McKeehan, selected speaker on behalf of the Varsity Scholars, told the graduates they will never be alone.
“One of the most essential lessons I think that we can learn from our primary education... is a knowledge that we never have to go through anything alone,” McKeehan said. “(That) is particularly important to remember over the next few months, as all of us grow beyond every comfort we are used to…”
McKeehan pulled from her own father’s graduation speech, reiterating that although it was given 33 years ago, two things remained the same: Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr.’s “unwavering mayoral run” and her father’s sage advice.
"What we do need is love, the love that must come from our parents. So thank you to all the parents and guardians here tonight,” she said.
Class Vice President Samuel Morgenstern spoke of being known for the broken “Google Maps” app on his phone, and connected the app to the resources the graduates have been given thus far to succeed.
“The GPS is about to break... our lives are about to become our own,” he said. “I'm here today to tell you as we enter the next phase of our lives, it's okay to be lost. I encourage all of you to embrace the coming uncertainty and just roll with it, because the best roads are the ones we don't realize we're walking.”
Dickinson congratulated the class of 2018 by singing “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons, swapping a few words to personalize it to Lyman Hall.
“Imagine.. Could you imagine dragons? I wonder what they would say,” Dickinson said before breaking into song.
“Just a young girl here at Lyman Hall... you were dreaming of bigger things and making moves to embrace the dawn… It’s so exciting, you’re the lightning before the thunder.”