Ledyard High School graduates urged to embrace their 'I don't knows'
School: Ledyard High School
Number of graduates: 194
Ceremony location: The school's William P. Mignault Field
When: Friday, June 17, 6 p.m.
Student speakers: scholars Amanda Cooper, Tessa Tillman, Matthew Bourguignon, Christopher Houdeshell; Class President Alexandra Martinez-Garcia.
Cooper: "My advice to you all, any current or future high school students, you don't need to be perfect. The best thing you can do is accept and learn from your mistakes. Life is for making mistakes, that is how we become better humans, but in order to learn from those errors, you have to be paying attention to yourself, and your mental well-being. Someone who can't listen to themselves first is certainly going to face challenges, so I urge each and every one of you to tune in to yourself and your feelings in the coming weeks or months before you begin whatever journey lies ahead."
Martinez-Garcia: "'I don't know's' come tethered to your high school experience and to the diploma every one of you will soon be holding in your hands. They can seem scary, but I encourage all of you to see each 'I don't know' as what it truly is: an opportunity for happiness and a better understanding of yourself. 'I don't know's' leave your future open for anything. If you have an open mind, you can turn an 'I don't know' into whatever you want. You don't have to have your entire future planned out ahead of you right now — we're just teenagers! If you've decided what you want to do with the rest of your life — that's amazing, and congrats! But if you haven't, that' s equally as amazing — Your current 'I don't know' will allow you the opportunity to better understand yourself and turn that 'I don't know' into something more concrete in the future."
In Memoriam: Student Alexia Geronimo delivered a speech remembering Guy Burns and Jenna Foltz, who would have graduated in the Class of 2022. Burns died while battling depression Jan. 13, 2018, just shy of his 14th birthday, a year after his dad died. He was remembered as outgoing and always smiling, and for being especially close to his father, helping around the farm and raising chickens. Foltz died Jan. 23, 2020, shortly before her 16th birthday, due to a heart condition. She was remembered for dancing, singing in the Ledyard Choirs, loving and caring for animals and exploring the outdoors, as well as her love of drawing and art.