Windham High School grads receive words of encouragement

Windham High School grads receive words of encouragement

By Wally Robinson

The 136th annual Windham High School Commencement Exercises, honoring the graduating Class of 2010, were held at the Geissler Gymnasium on the campus of Eastern Connecticut State University on Monday, June 21.

Led by Class President Katelyn Werner, Valedictorian Hayley Dunnack and Salutatorian Jeremy Sharp, the seniors filed into the gym to the familiar strains of “Pomp and Circumstance,” as well as the cheers and applause of their families and friends.

Following the playing of the national anthem and introduction of the honored guests, Sharpe regaled the assemblage with a reading of “Oh, the Places You’ll Go,” by Dr. Seuss.

The Commencement Address was delivered by Wayne Norman, a WILI radio morning show host – a post he has held since 1971. He said it wasn’t a career he envisioned for himself when he was graduating from high school, and that there was a lesson to be learned in that. “Be prepared for unexpected opportunities up the road, and keep your options open,” Norman said. “I’m often asked how one goes about getting into radio, and I stress the importance of education. While a high school diploma or a college degree are not required to work in the profession, the more knowledge you have, the better.”

The occasion was also marked by the retirement of Windham High School Principal Gene Blain after nine years at the job and 35 years as an educator and coach in the school system. He was honored with gifts from the class and a tribute from Windham Mayor Ernie Eldridge. Blain is moving on to a new position in the school system.

Assistant Principal Stephen Merlino presented the message to the class. As the man responsible for dealing with disciplinary matters, his message was predictable: “The time has come for all of you to become your own disciplinarians.”

Dunnack was the last to speak, as is customary for the valedictorian, and she chose to quote these words to live by, attributed to the late Walt Disney: “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”

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