Class of 2009 Secretary Shayna Marmon, left, and class Vice President Lillian Nelson, right, sing ‘Eye of the Tiger at E.O. Smith High School’s Class of 2009 graduation ceremonies held at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts on the University of Connecticut campus on June 19, 2009. Roxanne Pandolfi photo. ----------
The 255 graduating seniors from the E.O. Smith High School Class of 2009 were not told Friday night to follow their dreams. They were told to rise to any challenges they may face once they begin the next phase of life.
“We’re in challenging times right now,” said commencement speaker Nelson Walker, a graduate of E.O. Smith’s Class of 1996. “But there’s still hope.”
Walker said he was certain the graduates would have difficulties ahead of them, but opportunities would come from those challenges, and “with those challenges come great opportunities.”
Walker also recalled his days at E.O. Smith and how anxious he’d been to graduate. “It was a totally crazy time,” he said. “But also equally wonderful.”
Teachers, students, families and friends who gathered in Jorgensen Auditorium at the University of Connecticut were on-hand for the craziness that ensued during Friday’s raucous commencement exercise.
Graduating students – coming from Ashford, Willington and Mansfield – let the overflowing auditorium know they had completed four years of high school. Among the celebratory activities were six beach balls, an inflated palm tree and a blow-up shark – all of which were passed around during the speeches.
The ceremony even came to a halt when class Treasurer Christine Butler asked her peers to stop throwing around the shark – clearly meant to be used in a pool.
“Guys, can you put the dolphin down?” asked Butler.
Butler’s fellow students were quick to shout back the correction – the toy was definitely a shark.
Later in the ceremony, Butler was announced as the recipient of the Edwin Oscar Smith Award that is given to a member of the graduating class selected by teachers for exemplary leadership, academic excellence and community service.
Once the ceremony was underway again, E.O. Smith Principal Louis DeLoreto recalled various special moments he shared with the graduating class.
He also said the amount of support that former Smith students have received is very similar to what the graduates experienced on Friday. “Look around you,” said DeLoreto. “Look at the community surrounding you with support.”
After receiving their diplomas, the graduates were addressed by Class President Andrew Callahan, who candidly confessed he did not have any wisdom to bestow. The only advice he could share, he said, was how to cut in the lunch line or how to clear a plate of salad without actually eating it.
That was not to say he did not learn anything from his time at E.O. Smith. “In fact, nothing can be further from the truth,” he said. And he told classmates he hoped they would use the knowledge they had gained.
“We are now asked to go forth into the world,” he said. “A world that is moving at a fierce pace into the great unknown.”
E.O. Smith High School Class of 2009
Megan Abbott, Abdikadir Abdi, Ajamu Abdulla, Emma Accorsi, Eleanor Ames, Emily Angeloff, Spencer Anthony, Carolyn Asadoorian, John Atkinson, Taylor Backhaus, William Ball, Nicole Banks, Jennifer Banning, Rebecca Banning, Jake Baxter, Nathan Bergman, Lyndsay Binette, Kevin Black, Victor Blancet, Cathleen Borgman, Andrew Bowe, Rachael Busuulwa, Christine Butler, Andrew Callahan, Maxwell Calverley, Ian Campbell, Christopher Campion, Jordan Chatey, Braden Cherner, Richard Cho, Charles Colwell, Courtney Combs, Sarahann Cooper, Francisco Correa, Alexander Costa, Seanna Cottle, Jared Cramer, Amber Crisp, Janella Cuyler, Samir Dahmani, Lance David, Alan D’Elia, Brooke DeSimone, Kate Dirrigl, Daniel Dobbyn, Joseph Dombrowski, Corey Donahue, Joshia Dougenik, Alesia Doughty, Nicholas Doyon, Emma Dudley.
Charles Eaton, Nicholi Eidson, Erin Enderle, Clarissa Enes, Amanda Enes, Jonathan Ennis, Megan Enright, Brian Epling, Ainslee Erhard, Leila Eslin, Zhou Kai Estes, Hyero Eun, Caroline Evans Abbott, Monica Fabis, Viyath Fernando, Marisia Fikiet, Christina Fisher, Scott Fisher, Kevin Fletcher, Brittany Forand, Melissa Foster, Rudi Fregin, Gavin Furlong, Grace Gabree, Logan Gagne, Jessica Gagnon, Mark Galgowski, Puya Gerami, Kyle Gingras, Joshua Glaude, Cortney Goodale, Samantha Goodale, Anna Green, Nicholas Green, Laura Grosjean, Tabitha Grous, Anne Grunwald, Alex Guarco, Rebecca Gunn, Aubrey Haboush, Douglas Hackner, Stacy Haddad, Lauren Halle, Spencer Hamlin, Christina Harrison, Arun Hegde, Sarah Higley, Abraham Hilding, Emmanuel Hilding, Paul Hills, Melissa Hodgins, Lindsay Holinko, Zachary Hovanec, Sarah Hoyle, Benjamin Hyde, Matthew Ignatowicz, Paige Iverson.
Daniel Jacobsen, Darius Jahandarie, Taylor Johnson, Brian Joyce, Katie Jubrey, Christina Kalogeris, Maya Kalonia, David Kaminsky, Elizabeth Kelly, Matthew Kilgannon, Michael King, Maggie Kinsella-Shaw, Morgan Kleckner, Justin Knapp, Adrian Kort, Alexander Kozachek, Adam Krasicki, Justin Kriedeman, Trine Kroll, Adam LaBrec, Hillary Lackman, Kristen Lackman, Jane Lataille, Melani Law, Courtney Lawlor, Natasha Lawrence, Jeffrey LeBaron, Megan LeBlond, Elizabeth Lee, Beth Lewis, Eric Lewis, Shelby Little, Yunchu Liu, Grant Losapio, Emily LoTurco, Stephanie Mallory, Shayna Marmon, Brittani Marschat, Christiana McCall, Sean Melichar, Melanie Mencarelli, Crystal Miller, Daniel Mindek, Alexis Mitchell, Patrick Mitchell, Sarah Mitchell, Courtney Mitterling, David Mitterling, James Mora, Sharis Morrill, Katherine Morrow, Nicholas Moskwa, Michael Mostowy, Katherine Moynihan, Helen Mueller, Rachel Murad, Colin Murphy.
Nathan Nadeau, Kevin Narowski, Khrystyna Nechyporenko, Lillian Nelson, Victoria Nishball, Zachary Nollet, Hayden O’Day, Storm Parker, Joshua Paul, Jacob Pelletier, Nicholas Perracchio, Sean Peters, Nolan Pierce, Ayaka Pincombe, Lazarus Pittman, Simon Pizunski, Meghan Powers, Ryan Proulx, Allison Rabe, Callah Racine, Jacob Reilly, Cassandra Reiser, Alexandra Remy, Lindsay Rettenmeier, Melinda Reviczky, Christopher Richard, Nicholas Ritchings, Adriana Rivera, James Rogers, Lauren Rosa, Kyle Rosebush, Rachel Rosen, Sarah Rosman, Chelsea Roston, Katherine Rychling, Tabetha Saffin, Matthew Samuels, Gabrielle Scafidi, Britta Schletter, Ceara Scott, Leanne Secondo, Erianthe Semerzakis, Jessica Sewell, Daniel Shaiken, Erika Shaw, Agne Sierkeviciute, Parker Sikand, Max Silbart, Rebecca Simmons, Morgan Siniscalco, Kellyn Siracusa, Ashley Slater, Laura Slowik, Emily Small, Aidan Smith, Mackenzie Smith, Catherine Stanford, Carl Stensland, Kate Stetson, Devin Stillman, Mateusz Stopa, Joshua Strickland, Shane Swanson, Mary Swetzes.
Alex Tai, Amelia Thacher, Jacqueline Therriault, Erika Thompson, Robert Thompson, Willie Tollman, Brian Tortora, Laura Totzeck, Connor Tracy, Becca Trietch, Lindsay Trudeau, Megan Twiss, Emily Udal, Jasmine Vanover, David Varle, Nikolaj Volgushev, Patrick Walker Ayala, Tyler Walters, Stephen Weber, Grete Weishaar, Corey Welden, Bowen Weyel, Gordon Whitehouse, Christopher Wicklund, Christopher Wing, Shawn Winters, Kristen Wolf, Monica Woods, Kyle Woykovsky, Samuel Young, Alexander Zacharie, Gregory Zlotnick.
Posted June 22, 2009
Originally published in The Chronicle