Glastonbury High School graduates congratulated, offered words of wisdom

By Annie Gentile - ReminderNews
Glastonbury - posted Tue., Jun. 25, 2013
Radmila Khamzina (left) with her mother Rita Arutjunyan accepted the diploma and yearbooks for Radmila’s cousin, Raesa Grigoryan, a Glastonbury High senior, who passed away in November. Photos by Annie Gentile.
Radmila Khamzina (left) with her mother Rita Arutjunyan accepted the diploma and yearbooks for Radmila’s cousin, Raesa Grigoryan, a Glastonbury High senior, who passed away in November. Photos by Annie Gentile.

“Why should we all hold our breaths and wait ‘til we have our diplomas in hand? Why go through life waiting for anything? Becoming stuck waiting for a moment is no way to live,” said Paige Cantwell, president of the Glastonbury High School Class of 2013, as she congratulated her fellow classmates at the opening of the 2013 Glastonbury High School commencement exercises. “Let us not hold our breaths any longer!”

On Friday, June 21, on the Glastonbury High School athletic fields, nearly 550 graduates received their diplomas, successfully completing their high school education.

Board of Education Chairman Susan Karp noted the numerous charitable contributions the class had made toward disaster relief efforts and feeding the hungry in their community. She reminded students to be thankful for all they have and to be thankful to those who brought them to this day.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Alan B. Bookman recognized three outstanding programs at Glastonbury High School - FFA, the Interact Club and the Key Club - and the many seniors who have been a part of those organizations. As participants in the programs this past year, seniors packaged more than 26,000 meals for the needy, participated in tutoring, a coat drive, participated in a river cleanup day, and did many other activities to benefit both their local and global community.

Principal Dr. Nancy Bean recognized Raesa Grigoryan, a senior who passed away in November, presenting her diploma and yearbooks to the student’s cousin, Radmila Khamzina.

Forgoing the naming of a traditional valedictorian and salutatorian, Bean instead recognized the three top-ranked students of the class, Emily Paruolo, Kaitavjeet Chowdhary and Nicholas Nordlund, noting their accomplishments during their high school careers and their future plans.

Scholar and National Honor Society member Emily Cole was chosen to address the Class of 2013, and while she acknowledged that she spent a good portion of her time at Glastonbury High fantasizing about leaving school and moving on with her life, with the time now upon her, she had some mixed emotions.

“Only recently I’ve become nostalgic. I don’t know quite who I am. I’ve never felt so fragile and raw,” said Cole. She said she has come to realize that there is much to miss about Glastonbury by going away, but that “we must tear ourselves up by the roots and indulge in wanderlust,” she said. Sharing the story of her father’s uncertainty about what path to take after high school and his eventual route to a fulfilling and successful career, she told her fellow classmates that they do not need to yield to the machinery of convention. “There’s always time to stop the carousel and rest,” she said.

“Many of you have inspired me and I want to thank you,” added Cole. “There’s so much of who I am that still belongs here. I wish all of you peace of body and mind.”


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