NORTH HAVEN — Hundreds of North Haven High School seniors crossed the stage Thursday evening during the Class of 2109 graduation ceremony.
“Thank you to our seniors for their combined 20,000 plus hours of community service … and good character you have demonstrated,” Principal Russell Dallai said. “You are a great class.”
Superintendent of Schools Patrick Stirk told the seniors about his own academic journey, including feeling “unoriginal” in his dream to become a teacher until he realized he was the only male in his elementary education teacher group at college.
“What I found is most important, what truly makes a difference, is that you are the one to drive your car,” Stirk said. “Make your own choices and live the life you most want to live.”
Valedictorian Jackson Frank reminded his peers that they need to be ready to fail and embrace the growth that comes from mistakes..
“Without our bold first attempts and our inevitable failures, we would never be able to learn from our mistakes and grow into who we are,” Frank said. “Fellow graduates, as you move forward, I hope you recognize the inevitability of failure as the potential for fast growth and self reality.”
Class President Jobin Valiyaveettil thanked his peers for helping to shape him into the person he is and for their dedication to the North Haven community.
“Whatever you want to pursue in life, pursue it,” he said. “The effort and drive that you have given throughout your time at North Haven High School shows that you can do anything."
Board of Education chairwoman Anita Anderson urged the graduates to continue giving back to their communities and to travel as much as they can, creating their own journey along the way.
“Remember the choices you make will impact who you will be in the future and the influence you will have on society,” Anderson said. “Our world, especially today, needs more kindness, empathy tolerance, and acceptance.”