Windsor High graduates overcome challenges, embrace cultural diversity

By Gregory A. Scibelli - Staff Writer
Windsor - posted Fri., Jun. 17, 2011
Valedictorian Abriana Tasillo doesn’t wish her class 'luck' at Windsor High School's June 16 graduation. Photos by Gregory A. Scibelli.
Valedictorian Abriana Tasillo doesn’t wish her class 'luck' at Windsor High School's June 16 graduation. Photos by Gregory A. Scibelli.

The Windsor High School Class of 2011 has overcome cultural diversity challenges and image issues to enhance the image of the school and the town, according to valedictorian Abriana Tasillo.

At the school’s June 16 commencement ceremony held at The Bushnell in Hartford, 299 graduates were encouraged to continue to not allow racism or discrimination to come between them and their dreams.

Tasillo also said a class that has already accomplished so much inside the walls of the high school does not need luck. Luck would imply what they have is not good enough.

“I have heard so many people wish me luck and tell me, ‘Good luck,’” Tasillo said. “Wishing luck is like casting doubt. That’s like saying I need supernatural help to achieve what I want to. I know I don’t need that. I know I’m good enough. I know we all are good enough to achieve greatness.”

Tasillo instead said she wishes her classmates other positive things.

“I wish you determination,” she said. “I wish you drive. I wish you challenges that I know you can achieve. I wish you integrity, and health, and security.”

Prior to the graduation ceremony, Tasillo said her class has shown a great ability to achieve success in so many areas.

“Our school has gone through a bad reputation,” said Tasillo. “I think we have done a lot to make that better. We have had a lot of kids achieve a lot of different things and we have done great things in our classes, including achievement on Advanced Placement classes.”

She said her group has set some records and they will be able to take that with them on to college.

Salutatorian Spencer Keilich agreed, and said Windsor should also now be known for much more than their academic achievements, and the Class of 2011 exemplifies that.

“We have some great classes and have some great electives to offer,” said Keilich. “We have cooking classes, and auto shop, and woodworking. We also have great music and art classes. And our class has a lot of people that have excelled in one of these areas.  We have also achieved success on the sports fields and won championships.”

Keilich said Windsor High School is a place where anyone can go and find something they can be good at.

“If you live in Windsor, you don’t need to go to a vocational school or a trade school,” said Keilich. “You can get that right here. Windsor is a great town to live in and a great place to go to school.”

Jamie Wakefield, who captured Third Honors for the class, echoed her fellow scholars, and said everyone in their class has something special to offer.

“I can’t pick just one person out of the crowd,” she said. “The variety our class has makes it so special.” Many students at the ceremony were sporting honor cords for achieving honors in many different disciplines.

The Class of 2011 donated an LCD message screen to be put up in the cafeteria as its class gift.

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