Tolland High School Class of 2010 completes journey together
Tolland High School Class of 2010 completes journey togetherBy Wally Robinson
The Tolland High School Class of 2010 put the finishing touches on its four-year journey before family and friends in traditional graduation ceremonies in the school gymnasium on Friday, June 18. The girls wore white caps and gowns and the boys wore blue, and the class thought no other extraneous decorations beyond emblems of their achievement were required.
They were greeted by Principal Joseph Bacewicz, who congratulated them on their achievements and urged them to “utilize the life lessons learned here.” Citing “the perilous times we live in,” he asked that those members of the class who planned to join the military stand and be recognized. Five young men did so, and received a long and loud standing ovation.
Valedictorian Wutae Lee was both puckish and poignant is his address, speaking first of personalities the class had witnessed, “from President Obama to Lady Gaga,” to events including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the recent BP oil spill. He then hit a more serious note when he related the personal tragedy of losing his father 17 months ago.
“I promised him I would take care of my mother and be a good son,” the National Honor Society member said. “I promised I would make him proud of me and that I would never forget him.” Lee wryly admitted that trying to do the right thing by his mom was not easy, given the fact that they fought out the usual parent-teen issues every day.
Bacewicz was joined by Board of Education Chair Robert Pagoni and Class Advisors James Wiese and Kathleen Marshall in congratulating each of the graduates and handing out their diplomas. The class then filed out and adjourned to the adjacent cafeteria area to enjoy the hugs of congratulations from friends and loved ones.