Grads thank GHS for instilling high self-expectations

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Thu., Jun. 23, 2011
GHS Principal Matthew Dunbar congratulates the Class of 2011's top scholar, Robert Hogan, at the commencement exercises on June 22. Photos by Steve Smith.
GHS Principal Matthew Dunbar congratulates the Class of 2011's top scholar, Robert Hogan, at the commencement exercises on June 22. Photos by Steve Smith.

For the third time in four years, the Glastonbury High School commencement exercises were held in the gymnasium due to inclement weather, but that didn't dampen the spirits of the 531 graduates.

Class President Jeffrey Ryan said that while preparing his speech, he thought of great historical figures such as Helen Keller and Andrew Carnegie.

“They lived their lives to their fullest potential, and now they're gone,” he said, at the June 22 graduation ceremony. “Now, the world belongs to us, as do the times. What will we do with that? I say we become heroes.”

Ryan said that he wondered what the call to greatness would be for his class.

“When the time comes, will we rise to that challenge?” he said. “I believe that Glastonbury High School has produced heroes that will help the world. A hero does not demand the spotlight. A hero does not mean a paycheck or the power over other people. The simple act of living with hope, or striving to live each day making a positive impact on the world – that's what makes a hero.”

Ryan also thanked the other class officers, especially Class Secretary Leonard Slutsky, who he said “has run GHS for the last four years.”

A special recognition was given to Board of Education Chairman Richard Brown, for his service on the board since 1993.

“In return for the hard work in running for office, the meetings he attended, the events to which he goes to represent the school system, Mr. Brown has received no compensation, no medals, no plaques, and only a small amount of recognition,” said Superintendent Alan Bookman. “He does it because it is his service to the town, to the schools, and to the thousands of students who have attended the Glastonbury school system since 1993.”

Top scholars Natasha Bluth, Alexander Cave and Robert Hogan were recognized by GHS Principal Matthew Dunbar.

"We honor these students because their achievements for the last four years have been so outstanding,” Dunbar said.

Emily Gauthier, during her special address to the class, tried to sum up the definition of a “high school experience.”

While thanking faculty and family, Gauthier said, “Ultimately, it is the Class of 2011 who made us who we will be.”

“The friends we've made, the lessons we've learned from them and the fun we've had together for the past four years have changed us for good,” she said. “In my opinion, it's changed us for the better.”

Gauthier added that the Class of 2011 will leave GHS with as much uncertainty as when they entered the school as freshmen.

“Some may argue we're most lost right now,” she said. “[But] think about how much we'll accomplish in a lifetime. Together, we'll be leaving here to tackle futures, in fields that will change the world, and even us. We'll always strive for the high expectations that Glastonbury High School has taught us to set for ourselves.”

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