WALLINGFORD — Spreading out like ripples into uncertain waters, cast by a thrown stone, the 237 graduates of Lyman Hall High School will be finding their own way across Wallingford and the open seas of the wider world.
“And yet those waves, now miles apart, share one thing in common: the stone. And so, I would like to invite you to take a moment and look around at the faces who were here alongside you on the first day of the rest of your life,” said Valedictorian Jessica Morrill.
Class President Macy Buccheri said many of her classmates spent over half their time in high school just wanting the experience to go by because they were sequestered to their rooms, learning apart rather than in classrooms. But looking back at their final year together, she’s come to understand the meaning of the phrase “time flies.”
“We persevered through virtual learning, a pandemic, complete isolation, and made the best of what we had, finding ways to maximize the remainder of our time. What we were missing was the connections and the community that is Lyman Hall,” she said.
They found that community over the past year through prom, competitions and shows friends were participating in, studying for finals together or selling out at the Lyman Hall Food Truck during the culinary program’s Good Taste event.
Principal Joseph Corso said this year’s graduation had one of the most powerful moments of any he’s participated in as a principal. One of the graduating seniors, Yahya Kardad, was sent to study at Lyman Hall by his father, who has been living in Morocco and was unable to see his son since he left four years ago. While Kardad was on the stage, they surprised him by having his father walk onto the stage with him.
“It’s such an amazing moment we were lucky enough to witness,” Corso said.
Despite spending over half their high school experience learning from home, Corso said the Class of 2022 stepped up as they returned to their classrooms and helped provide structure for their younger classmates.
“This period of time has challenged our ability to connect to each other,” he said, “and yet through these struggles you have been given opportunities to persevere, to be creative, and to rediscover some of the little things that actually matter the most.”
Reporter Devin Leith-Yessian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.