Grasso Tech: Once 'nervous freshmen' now Class of 2015 graduates

Groton — A bagpipe processional marked the start of the graduation ceremony Friday night for the 100 members of the Ella T. Grasso Technical High School Class of 2015.

The graduates will go on to become cosmetologists, computer technicians, environmentalists and hospitality professionals, to name a few.

Phones could be seen waving in the air as those in the audience tried to snap a photo or video of their loved one walking in.

Family, friends and others filled metal chairs that spanned the school's gymnasium, and positioned themselves on the wooden bleachers that lined the walls.

The scoreboard read 20 Eagles and 15 Visitor, and the time read 20:15 in honor of the graduating class.

Sueymi McNeil of New London, sat gripping her camera in anticipation of watching her son Curtis, 18, a member of the Information Systems Technology shop, graduate.

Curtis McNeil's family turned out in big numbers to support him. Along with his mom, his dad, younger sister and brother, aunt and grandparents were all there to see him graduate and were throwing a surprise party for him afterward.

Grasso Tech Principal Patricia Feeney told the graduates that they were leaving Friday night with something only other graduates of the state's technical high schools have, "skills in your trade area that will open doors to employability and career advancement."

William MacKenzie Foster, a member of the Computer-Aided Drafting & Design shop, who gave the salutatory address, explained how "four years ago we were just nervous freshmen" who spent months trying to figure out which shop to go into.

Students at Grasso Tech, part of the Connecticut Technical High School System, choose to specialize in one of 11 different shops.

Paola Adelina Cruz, a member of the  Hospitality, Tourism and Guest Service Management shop, in giving the valedictory address said that "the lessons learned within these walls will always remain with us.

"It doesn't matter how much you complained about Grasso. You came and you stayed," she said in closing.

j.bergman@theday.com

Twitter: @JuliaSBergman

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