Class of 2011 leaves WLHS prepared for future challenges
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Windsor Locks - posted Wed., Jun. 22, 2011
Most of the members of the Windsor Locks High School Class of 2011 had bedazzled, painted, or otherwise decorated their mortarboards to signify their friendships, families, or interests, as they prepared to march out of their school for the last time on June 21. It was their way of taking the past into the future.
Valedictorian Kristina Pomeroy said the chapter that was closing for the graduates was also what has prepared them for the next chapter of their lives.
“As each of our voyages unfolds, many changes and challenges will surface,” she said in her address during the commencement ceremony. “To overcome these obstacles, we must hold onto what we have learned.”
Pomeroy’s speech referred to the WLHS teachers, administration and staff, who have not only provided classroom instruction, tests, and grades, but helped make the graduates well-rounded young adults.
“Many of us have learned that, throughout all aspects of life, there are many people responsible for our overall education,” she said. “I am honored to extend the gratitude, as well as the appreciation, of many of my classmates.”
Pomeroy also acknowledged the role of parents and families in students’ education.
“Without the help and education of all these people, we never would have had the knowledge and experiences that have prepared us for the life that lies ahead,” she said.
Pomeroy also said the class had left its mark on the school, having excelled in academics, athletics, and music, among other avenues, and will continue to do the same out in the world.
“We have a good number of people pursuing school and future careers in the medical and engineering fields,” she said. “A number of students in our class also plan on making the ultimate sacrifice by going to serve in our nation’s military. Each student in this class has talents, qualities and knowledge that they will expand upon as life goes on.”
Salutatorian Emily Hoynoski said graduation serves as a point in time to stop and think about the moment.
“Through all of our lives, we have been pushing ahead,” she said. “We never have the time to think about now. There has always been another task or activity on our minds. Yet now, here we sit in our caps and gowns. Sit for a minute, and allow time to catch up.”
Hoynoski said the grads should take stock of the wisdom they have attained before going forth into the unknown, and learn from the past in order to make the future easier.
“Graduation may be leading us down different paths, but for all of us, it is leading us forward,” she said, likening the ability to overcome obstacles with learning to ride a bicycle, and having faith that lessons learned will make future lessons easier to learn.
“I cannot guarantee that any of us will have a smooth ride,” she said. “Do not lose faith in yourself. When we got back on our bike, we overpowered disappointment. Once we have learned to ride a bike, we know how to ride a bike for life.”
Hoynoski said graduation is the day that “the training wheels are gone,” and wished her classmates the best of luck.
“We did it,” she said.