MERIDEN — The Orville H. Platt High School Class of 2022 were commended for their strength, hope and resilience through the challenges they faced during four years of high school.
As 241 new graduates threw their caps in the air Wednesday night, they were reminded of the obstacles they overcame and the promise of their futures. With relatives and supporters cheering them on, Principal Daniel Corsetti congratulated the class one last time as they all moved their tassels to the left, making them the newest alumni of the school. Corsetti said he hopes this class embraces each new opportunity and challenge they will face.
“They went through difficult times,” Corsetti said, noting how the class persevered through it all.
As sophomores when the pandemic struck, this graduating class was faced with challenges in the middle of their high school experience. While waiting to see her son Samuel Quinn walk across the stage, Gina Quinn said she was glad the students were able to come back and have a normal senior year. Dorothy Johnson’s youngest son, Malik, graduated. She hopes all of the students never give up and shoot for the stars.
“I feel so relieved and a lot of emotions at the same time,” Dorothy Johnson said before the ceremony.
Valedictorian Mathew Merrigan said he and his peers just came through the “scariest four years,” and they all deserved to be there. Merrigan said while they all faced different challenges, they found the resiliency to make it. Salutatorian Quinn McEnerney said he hopes his classmates look back in the decades to come and are truly proud of themselves.
“This was unprecedented,” Merrigan said. “We served as the crash test dummies for a new form of schooling.”
The graduating class included 21 National Honor Society members. A total of 71 percent will go on to further education with 150 going to two or four year schools and 21 going to trades or technical programs. A total of 10 members enlisted in the armed forces, Corsetti said.
Success isn’t achieved alone and the students should be thankful to those who supported them along their journeys, Assistant Superintendent Louis Bronk said during the ceremony. The students came back stronger for everything they have faced and are an “exceptional class,” Bronk said.
“If you carry only one thing,” Corsetti said, “let it be hope.”
Reporter Lauren Sellew can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.