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Montville - Puffy clouds filled the sky and puffed-out chests of proud supporters parents, relatives and friends of 224 graduates filled the bleachers Thursday at Montville High School during the school's 47th commencement exercises.
Class President Adam Haumer opened the speeches with a show of gratitude and a declaration as to the purpose of the event. He thanked the teachers, coaches, advisers, the school board and the keynote speaker.
"But tonight isn't about them," he said. "Tonight is about us."
He continued on, urging the graduates, which included 17 adult-education students, to go into the world unafraid to take risks and chances.
"Don't be content with or complacent about the way things are," he said. "Don't ever be personally satisfied with second-best. Take every opportunity that presents itself to further yourself and become a better person."
Jing Fan, the valedictorian, reminded the class about the changes both they and the world in which they live have gone through in their lifetimes.
"Even though we have lived fewer than 20 years, we have experienced a great deal, from small things like the renovation of the school to larger issues like the effects of global warming and renewable energy. And all those in-betweens, like iTouch, iPad and yes (school Principal Thomas J.) Mr. Amanti, the increasingly pervasive cell phone technology."
Rebecca Ingoglia implored the Class of 2010 to follow their passion.
"Do what you love. Concentrate on doing the thing you do best. That is where you will have the greatest impact," she said. "Our class has made a difference in the school and in the town. We followed our passion. Our impact is evident."
Thursday's keynote speaker was school board Chairman Dr. David C. Rowley, a 1985 Montville High School graduate and a professor of pharmacy at the University of Rhode Island.
He reached back to his own high school days, when he was a member of the wrestling team.
"It was the final tournament of my senior year," he said. "I was about to go out onto the mat to face my opponent and I remember the coach's eyes locked on mine. He said, 'Leave no regrets.' Those words had a heavy meaning to me. I knew I had to rise to the challenge."
Rowley said he came to understand that the words applied to life as strongly as they applied to that wrestling match.
"You have been given a great foundation," he concluded. "But people don't live in foundations. They build houses on them. So you have a lot of work to do. And if you don't make mistakes, then you're not trying hard enough."
Tyler Douglas Adams, John Prentice Alexander, Molly Elizabeth Alexander, Daniel Alexander Alger, Sarah Louise Arpin, Scott Fox Autencio, Eric William Ball, Nina Elizabeth Balsley, Sarah Elizabeth Barning, Ryan Joseph Baron, Mitchell John Bassett, Robert John Bazinet, Julia Anne Berry, Joseph Patrick Besade, Andrew Michael Biederka, Anthony Michael Black, Morgan Kathryn Blier, Justin Michael Brachas, Alyssa Rose Brochu, Alexandria Blakie Brown, Kayla Marie Brown, Kelly Marie Brown, Jaclyn Marie Brush, Haley Jean Burdick, Kyle Andrew Calash, Taylor Wayne Campbell, Sara Marie Cane, Steven Paul Caouette, Jr., Nicholas Ryan Carson, Catrina Marie Cecchini, Derek Noel Chaney, Jie Xin Chen, Kevin Chen, Mutinta Bettina Chisowa, Blair Renee Church, Kathleen Elizabeth Cicchese, Shawn-Michael James Clang, Jessica Ashley Clark, Ashley Elizabeth Coleman, Brett Thomas Cormier, Kaylyn Lee Costanzo, Joseph Leonard Cottrell, Sarah Ellen Cuff, Nicholas Michael Damato, Nicholas Aarron DeFelice, Tashi Dhondup, Brandon Michael DiRocco, Stephen Matthew Dodson, Tashi Dorjay, Allison Nicole Driscoll, Collin James Dulin, Elaine Mary Edgecomb, Brianna Elise Eichelberg, Arthur Joseph Elliott, Jing Fan, Cassandra Aileen Fish, Matthew Thomas Fitzgerald, Ricky Earl Fort, Jr., Dennis Paul Foster III, Jennifer Laurette Galipeau, Janira Marie Garcia, Santiago Garcia, Audra Ellyce Geary, Mackenzie Nicole George, Marc Eddy Georges, Nina Kaye Giansanti, Lindsay Julianna Giroux, Cassandra Danielle Go, Brittany Lyn Gray, Paul Edward Grohocki, Chelsea Rose Grybauskas, James Stephon Gummoe, Jacqueline Guzman, Jonathan Robert Hagerman, Crystle Lynn Hammom, Alexander Robert Harper, Benjamin Martin Harper, Brianna Rae Harris, Brittany Lynn Hartling, Adam Joseph Haumer, Kyle James Holland, Hillary Marie Hollingsworth, John Joseph Horan V, Katilin Ann Horn, Jordan Mills Hotchkiss, Kaylee Arliene House, Ryan George Houser, Conner Alex Hovenstine, Rebecca Ann Ingoglia, Bonnie Jean Jacques, Brandon Holland Jean, Ashley Virginia Jeffords, Kaitlyn Marie Jennings, Matthew Brian Joiner, Zachary Dane Judy, Zachary Ian Jurczyk, Travis Kalin, Matthew Todd Kaufmann, Brenna Aidan Kelly, Omeed Kennedy, Alexandria Virginia Kinder, Mitchell Robert Kinney, Kathleen Patricia Knowles, Nicholas Robert Kurasz, Elizabeth Kay Lamperelli, Xiao-Deng Li, Jian (Cody) Wu Lin, Kathleen Elizabeth Lowery, Albert Joseph Lyman, Lindsey Amelia Mahn, Chelsea P. Majewski, Alexandria Elizabeth Manavas, Karen Aleix Mann, Sadie Taylor Markovitz, Yabneel Marrero, Jaclyn Marie Martin, Cailin Elizabeth McAdams, Melinda Sue McCarthy, Katie Ann McDermott, Stephanie Elizabeth McKinnon, Matthew David McMahon, Sarah Elizabeth Monroe, JohnPaul Morales Jr., Kenneth Alfonzo Morell Jr., Gayle Elaine Moriarty, Alexander Joseph Muir, Olivia Nicole Muscarella, Elliott Zane Myers, Sima Nasrin, Marie Katherin Navetta, Stevie Michele Nelson, Mitchell William Nesselrode, Samuel I. North, Jordan Scott Ohren, Courtlynn Rae Osborn, Cassandra Mary Palmer, Aakash Parekh, Jessica Jade Patterson, Melissa Leigh Paul, Taylor Christine Pelley, Rachael Anne Perry, Rachel May Pierce, Kassaundra Catherine Pintal, Michael Edward Pittsinger, Hailey Pond, Christopher Jasen Price, Curtis Michael Radgowski, Alicia Michele Rainville, Matthew Thomas Ramsey, Yvancka Registre, Ariel Evette Rivera, Victoria Louise Rock, Bianca Enid Rodriguez, Jonathon Steven Ryder, Stephen David Salen, Kelvin Omar Santiago, Kevin Mopera Santos, Kimberly Nicole Schuch, Elizabeth Mae Seeley, Tyler Steven Seeley, Krista Nichole Semmelrock, Michael Anthony Shaw, Felicia Anne Sheehan, Amber Aileen Sholes, Brett Lawrence Sinica, Gregory Fred Smith, Siobhan Lauren Smith, Alicia Marie Spakowski, Adam John St.Denis, Michael Tyler Staehle, Amanda Rae Stark, Angela Leigh Stefano, Matthew Dirk Steinmetz II, Katilin Devon Stewart, Cullen Matthew Stockford, Mathew Thomas Stray, Jesse Patrick Sutherland, Amy Lynn Swan, Shane Ryan Sweeney, Joshua James Tassone, Matthew Ryan Thoman, Matthew William Thompson, Chastity Moynelle Tkalcevic, Malachai Jerome Torres, Jennifer Lynn Tourville, Stefanie Lynn Tracey, Ashley Elizabeth Turner, Nicholas Andrew Vaillancourt, Jennifer Brandy Van Winkle, Christain Ashley Velazquez, Christopher Michael Venanzio Jr., Kaitlyn Marie Vincente, Jesse Daryl Ward, Brandon Douglas Watson, Darrell Wattely, III, Kelsey Lynn Weaver, Dustin Richard Wilcox, Rebecca Pauline Wilcox, Camille Monique-Rose Williams, Steven Michael Wilson, Steven Julian Wolff, Kate Wu, Talia Jeanine Wujtewicz, Yang Xu, Yuan (Vivian) Xu, Qiang Zhang, Sally Zhou.
David K. Adams, Angel L. Arce, Joshua H. Bliven, Michelle R. Boudah, Morgan A. Button, Celina Viola Cancelmo, Zack J. Cantillon, Amanda Lynn Carbray, Alexander M. Clark, Justin D. Coyer, Melanie Nichole Ezell, Todd Hamilton, Heather L. Keeney, Krystal Lapinski, Kayla Lyon, Heather Ann McShane, Ashley Lynn Murphy