Diplomas are the ‘keys to success’

Diplomas are the ‘keys to success’

By Al Hemingway - Staff Writer

On June 23, as Sir Edward Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance” was played, more than 400 East Hartford High School seniors made the long walk from the Belding Theater to the plush Mortensen Hall at the Bushnell in Hartford for the school’s 123rd commencement exercises. The lengthy procession was led by Bonnie Fineman, the EHHS 2010 Teacher of the Year.

The students and staff were greeted by Principal Matt Ryan, Mayor Melody Currey, Superintendent of Schools Mark Zito, Chairperson of the Board of Education Mary Alice Dwyer Hughes, and other town officials.

Hughes urged the graduates to register to vote and become involved in the world around them. She stressed to them that the country needed their energy, intelligence, and passion.

“For every ending; there is a beginning,” she told the Class of 2010, “and for every memory, there is a dream ahead.” Class President Megan Allende“found herself throughout her four year” at EHHS. She became involved in numerous school activities, and was extremely appreciative of the positive impact her fellow classmates and teachers had upon her. She plans to attend Florida International University in the fall.

“Whether you are the valedictorian, or number 200 in the class, we are all on the same page,” she told the audience. “But, I would like to thank my greatest teacher of all, my mother. Even though it wasn’t an easy journey for her, she made mine much more manageable. She is the reason for all my success.”

Class of 2010 salutatorian Kelly Macri will pursue a career in biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. In addition to being inducted into the National Honor Society, she was also a member of the varsity cheerleading team for four years, winning the state championship each year.

“We’ve all had to overcome obstacles,” Macri said to her classmates. “But, I truly believe we will overcome every one in the future.” Sarah Forte, the Class of 2010 valedictorian, balanced her activities at school with those she pursued on her own time. A member of the National Honor Society, varsity badminton, the marching band, the wind ensemble, the Connecticut Science Fair, and the Chemistry Olympiad, she also was a youth soccer coach, active member of the Girl Scouts, and church volunteer, after school.

Forte developed a keen interest in English and literature under the tutelage of English teacher Kim Shaker. She will take what she has learned and go to UConn to further her studies.

In her speech, Forte thanked everyone for their support during the past four years, which gave all the graduates the chance to discover who they were, and where life would take them.

“Who we are determines the things we want to strive for,” she said. “My father, Leo Forte, always said, ‘The person, who creates a dream will have the pleasure and satisfaction to live them.’ So, be true to your thoughts, and your dreams will come true.”

Prior to the distribution of the diplomas, Superintendent Mark Zito spoke to the class and wished them well in their future endeavors. “Each of you will now leave East Hartford with a high school diploma,” he told the students., “which, in many ways, serves as a key that will allow you to open the door to even greater opportunities in the future. Whether you plan to enter the world of work, join the armed forces, attend a community college, or attend a four-year university, you leave EHHS accomplishing something that is very important – you achieved the task that was set before you when you entered ninth grade – you deserve to be recognized for your success.”

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