WALLINGFORD — On Wednesday evening, 194 seniors participated in Sheehan High School’s commencement ceremony attended by close to 1,000 family, friends and well-wishers.
That number, 194, struck a chord with graduating senior Sydney Carim, president of the school’s National Honor Society chapter and master of ceremonies.
“That’s 194 journeys, 194 futures, 194 missions and 194 dreams,” Carim said during her varsity scholar speech.
She reflected on a humanities class assignment on the meaning of life, saying that she hopes the class of 2019 never forgets the meaning of Sheehan.
“Throughout the last four years,” she said, “Sheehan has taught us to be confident and follow our dreams. Sheehan has taught us to stand up for ourselves and the importance of advocating for others. Sheehan has provided us with some of the greatest mentors and our closest friends.”
The Record-Journal’s graduate list tallied a total of 201 students.Mayor’s song of choice
Wednesday’s ceremony was held on the John J. Riccitelli football field and track, after the upper grass field where graduation usually is held was determined to be too wet.
Continuing his tradition of belting out a pop hit from the podium, Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. sang a parody of “7 Rings” by Ariana Grande, the tune of which samples “My Favorite Things” from “The Sound of Music.”
“A night of sweet promise, the air is electric, hearts and minds spinning, their orbits galactic,” he sang, changing the lyrics to fit a graduation ceremony. “You see it, you like it, you want it, you got it!” Speakers aim to inspire
Caden Cloutier, senior class president, gave the class appreciation speech. He said he recently looked up 100 things to do before you die. He was inspired to include this in his speech, and ask the class to make a list of things they want to do.
“Don’t throw it away like we do with homework,” he said. “Do everything on it, and you know what? Make another list, and then make another one, and accomplish anything you want in this lifetime while you’re here.”
Valedictorian Rayna Esch talked about a knee injury she sustained five games into the soccer season. Doctors said it would require surgery and would keep her from sports for the rest of the year.
“My injury required me to search within myself, accept guidance from my family and friends, find other ways to help my teams and work even harder to get back to where I wanted to be,” she said.
Sheehan Principal Enzo Zocco concluded his first year on the job Wednesday.
He said that the graduation ceremony “marks a milestone as you transition from the end of one phase of your life to the uncertain and exciting beginning of another.”
New beginnings will have their ups and downs, he said.
“It’s the attitude you have when you face these challenges and the feeling you get when you succeed that make new beginnings special.”