Norwich Tech grants diplomas to 105 new tradespeople

By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Writer
Norwich - posted Mon., Jun. 20, 2011
Norwich Tech graduate Joe Cocchiarella lets his 4-year-old godson, Andrew, try on his mortarboard for size. Photos by Janice Steinhagen.
Norwich Tech graduate Joe Cocchiarella lets his 4-year-old godson, Andrew, try on his mortarboard for size. Photos by Janice Steinhagen.

A total of 105 seniors, skilled in trades ranging from plumbing to automotive to health to marketing, left Norwich Technical High School - diplomas in hand - on June 17.

Valedictorian Henry Hoffacker, of the hairdressing and barbering shop, recalled the class’s freshman year at the old school building, and its first day at the new structure on Mahan Drive. And he recalled the institution of uniforms – a change that was met with far less enthusiasm.

“We are ending an interesting chapter of our lives,” he told his classmates. “Our resilience will carry us through change.”

He urged the Class of 2011 to “take life by the horns and seize everything [you] can from it.”

At one point in his talk, Hoffacker asked members of the graduating class who were entering the military, along with military veterans or current service personnel in the audience, to stand. The past, present and future service members were recognized with a round of applause.

Salutatorian Amanda Smith also recognized her classmates’ resilience, comparing her class to a rubber band – able to stretch, but never breaking.

“This is the biggest group of individualists I’ve ever been in,” she said.

Students received diplomas in automotive technology, carpentry, computer-aided drafting and design, electrical, graphics technology, marketing management and entrepreneurship, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, plumbing and heating, pre-electrical engineering and applied electronics, hairdressing and barbering and health technology.


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