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    Thursday, May 30, 2024

    Lyme-Old Lyme High School sends off graduating class for 50th time

    Friends Tova Toriello, left, and Gesami Vazquez hold hands and skip as they leave commencement exercises for Lyme-Old Lyme High School on Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Graduates throw their caps into the air during commencement exercises for Lyme-Old Lyme High School on Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Ricky Frascarelli hugs a fellow graduate following commencement exercises for Lyme-Old Lyme High School on Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Owen Ingersoll-Bonsack reacts to walking across the stage to receive his diploma during commencement exercises for Lyme-Old Lyme High School on Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Mary Supersano waves to family members as she waits to receive her diploma during commencement exercises for Lyme-Old Lyme High School on Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Teacher Juan Vazquez-Caballero reacts to receiving the Outstanding Educator award during commencement exercises for Lyme-Old Lyme High School on Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    School: Lyme-Old Lyme High School

    Number of graduates: 108

    Ceremony location: Lyme-Old Lyme High School

    Date: June 8

    Principal ― James Wygonik on the school’s 50th commencement ceremony: “If my knees, joints and fading memory are any indication, anything over 50 years old is past its prime. But it turns out that some things get better with age. Allergies tend to dissipate as you age. Flannel sheets get softer. Maple syrup gets sweeter. George Clooney. That was my wife’s contribution. And may I add, she offered it without hesitation. “What about me?” I asked. “Well,” she replied, “you still have hair.” But do you know what is better now than ever after 50 years? Lyme-Old Lyme High School.”

    Valedictorian ― Marielle Mather on entering a new phase in life: “Turning our gaze forward is not a new concept for our class. We’ve all, at times under threat of a large, impactful grade, been forced to look into the future. From the letters to ourselves that we wrote in seventh grade health to our four-year planner from High School 101, we’ve looked forward at least a few times.

    Now, all of us will be forced to live looking forward, as the future is out of the hands of our parents and under our control. So, take this foundation you have been given, all the life you’ve lived up to this point, and build yourself up into who you’re meant to be.”

    Salutatorian ― Anna Davis, who is deaf in one ear with significant hearing loss in the other, said she had to teach herself how to listen: “So my advice to you is to take the AirPods out and just be in the moment. We need to put in the effort to really listen to the world around us, and I guarantee that you will learn better in school; be a better employee in your job; and become a much better friend if you just take the AirPods out.”

    Essayist ― Harry Whitten on procrastination: “Sometimes we doubt ourselves so much that we’re afraid to start. We’re afraid to fail. But failure is the first step to success. I pity those who succeed on the first try, for they lack the determination that comes with the journey to success that takes a thousand tries. So I encourage you not to let procrastination or fear or doubt get in the way of your dreams and success. Do what you told yourself you were going to do and don’t push it off another day.”

    Notable: Wygonik said the class is the highest-ranking class for academic achievement in school history, coming in fifth statewide for SAT scores in both math and English.

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