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Editor's note: Stratford Patch was also at Bunnell High's graduation. to read that story.
A warm solstice eve greeted the Class of 2012 Tuesday as they assembled on Penders Field to become high school graduates.
The Board of Education's Chief Operating Officer Michael Feeney presented the graduating class while Board of Education Vice Chairman Charles Lindberg led the awarding of the diplomas. Principal Margaret Lasek and Vice Principal Charles Senft shook hands with the graduates after receiving their diplomas.
Valedictorian Pratibha Dhakshinamurthy, salutatorian Matthew DeCapua, and Class President Delanie Burgess addressed their peers on this final night as Stratford High students. Mayor John A. Harkins, Feeney, and Lindberg each addressed the commencing class as well.
A few choice quotes and words of advice from the graduation ceremony:
"In case you didn't know, let me give you a few examples of what makes you such an outstanding class. Thirteen of you participated in a band competition in Washington, D.C. ... 99 of you were active in the sports program. Thirty-two of your classmates were involved in theatrical productions. Thirty percent of you participated in at least one ECE course. Twenty-four of you are graduating with highest praise, 41 with high praise, and 55 with praise -- the highest percentage in Stratford High School. A hundred and four of you received scholarships. For the first time in Stratford High School history, a senior was the recipient of the Excellence in Citizenship Award, which was presented by the Connecticut Secretary of State."
- Charles Lindberg
"Graduates, if I can give you one piece of unsolicited advice -- and I'm sure none of you are lacking it for today -- it is just to be responsible. I'm not talking just about responsibility for your studies or your finances or your work or your family, those are important for sure. Resolve to take charge. Get involved. Change the things you cannot accept, and never stop working for what you want to achieve... there's always something for you to do, some way for you to take charge of the situation, to make an impact on the world."
- Mayor John A. Harkins
"You all are the future doctors, CEOs, artists, and celebrities of our future. And whether you'll be preparing for college in fall, or searching for a job in the real world, it is important to never lose sight in your dreams. These dreams can vary from those of super hero, I believe I can fly, fairytale endings you wished as a child, to finding a breakthrough cure of cancer. Please believe that nothing in life is impossible if you only allow yourself to follow your imagination to where your dreams come true."
- Michael Feeney