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    Sunday, July 21, 2024

    East Lyme graduates remember one of their classmates

    An empty seat was reserved for Maddie Guarraia, who died of cancer, during the graduation ceremony Thursday, June 13, 2024, at East Lyme High School. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    Graduate react as they listen to Matt Guarraia talk about his daughter Maddie, who died of cancer, during the graduation ceremony Thursday, June 13, 2024, at East Lyme High School. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    Olivia Granatek and other graduates wore tiger print ribbons in memory of Maddie Guarraia, who died of cancer, during the graduation ceremony Thursday, June 13, 2024, at East Lyme High School. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    Mia Cuzak receives her diploma from Principal Deb Kelly during the graduation ceremony Thursday, June 13, 2024, at East Lyme High School. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    Graduates pass by the crowd of family and friends during the processional of their graduation ceremony Thursday, June 13, 2024 at East Lyme High School. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    Liam Cochrane, right, watches Sidhaarth Bulusu while he tries to show him how to put on his mortarboard before their graduation ceremony Thursday, June 13, 2024 at East Lyme High School. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    Second from left to right, Skylar Bell, Noah Edwards and Ava Kelly pose for a photo for Chris Blazer, left, before their graduation ceremony Thursday, June 13, 2024 at East Lyme High School. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    From left, Bo Davidson, Jacob Wells and Cassandra Giguere spend time on their cellphones before their graduation ceremony Thursday, June 13, 2024 at East Lyme High School. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    Gabriel Delgado, right, and Tyler Dickie reach out to shake hands while Delgado heads to the stage to receive his diploma during the graduation ceremony Thursday, June 13, 2024, at East Lyme High School. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    Family and friends take photos of the graduates during the processional during the graduation ceremony Thursday, June 13, 2024 at East Lyme High School. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    Class President Sidhaarth Bulusu, left, Vice President Georgia Anglin speak during the graduation ceremony Thursday, June 13, 2024, at East Lyme High School. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    Caleb Haylon receives his diploma from Principal Deb Kelly during the graduation ceremony Thursday, June 13, 2024, at East Lyme High School. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    Matthew Guarraia, father of the late Madeline Guarraia, addresses graduates during the East Lyme High School graduation ceremony at the school Thursday, June 13, 2024. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    An empty seat for Maddie Guarraia, who died of cancer, during the graduation ceremony Thursday, June 13, 2024, at East Lyme High School. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    Graduation 2024 logo

    School: East Lyme High School

    Number of graduates: 246

    Ceremony location: East Lyme High School

    Date: June 12

    Matthew Guarraia, father of the late Madeline Guarraia of the Class of 2024: “The chair you kindly set out for Madeline tonight may be empty, but our hearts are full, as we know she is watching over this momentous occasion with gratitude and pride.

    “When I look across the podium I can see your excitement. Still, I bet many of you considered high school graduation to be a foregone conclusion ― simply the next step that everyone experiences in their life’s journey. But of course, as my family knows all too well, not everyone does get to be here to walk across this stage tonight. And it is from this perspective that I remind you to cherish today. Appreciate what you have earned and be proud of your accomplishments. Look forward to the future endeavors this graduation has afforded you. As Madeline taught us, take nothing for granted and remember that today is a gift. Every day is a gift.”

    Neva Flickinger, academic speaker: “From my transition to high school and through my personal growth over the past four years, the biggest thing I have learned is the importance of keeping your mind blank. This doesn’t mean blank in the sense that there's not much going on upstairs, but rather the idea that your mind is never closed off and never too full.

    “Now more than ever it is so important to remember to keep your mind blank. Leave space to form new relationships with others and grow these relationships for years to come. Leave space to fall in love with a new place or hobby, to form new goals that will guide you, and to fail over and over again until you succeed.”

    Nathaniel Kai Bakilana-Ritz, academic speaker: “The glue that has been holding us together ― or in other words, high school ― is dissolving as I speak to you. I’ll miss you, and I’ll miss this, and I’m sure many of you will as well. However, the opportunities ahead of us will change the world in both big and small ways.”

    East Lyme High School graduates

    Mea Marie Adanti, Layla Marie Aldana, Salah Eddin Almanaa, Georgia Gayle Anglin, Mark Anthony James Anselmo, Lily Claire Antonino, Summer Elizabeth Antonino, Daniel J. Aram, Manahil Asmat, Eren Aydin, Allison Elizabeth Baker, Nathaniel Kai Bakilana-Ritz, Christopher John Balzer, Anthony James Bartolotta, Kelsey Patrick Beaumont, Skylar Sienna Bell, Nathan Andrew Bergman, Nathan David Blankenship, Luke George Bonner, Sarah Brooke Bonura, Ana Lily Bradley, Lillian Emily Brush, Catherine Murphy Budds, Sidhaarth Krishna Bulusu, Avery Ashton Cabaniss, Allison Kathryn Cabral, William Hayden Calkins, Jack Porter Campbell, Zane Thomas Cappon, Alexandra Sage Carlson, Martin Castaneda, Gurpreet Kaur Chaddha, William Patrick Chekal, Michael Hao Chen, Emma Rose Clausen, Liam Michael Cochrane, Sarah Emily Cohan, Anthony Louis Como, Elizabeth Alione Cone, Cameron Reese Cote, Ethan Jon Cummings, Nicholas Ryan Danis, Owen Joseph Danis, Bo Faye Davidson, Gabriel Rodrigo Delgado, Eliza Adelaide Derry, Jenalisse Naja Diaz, Tyler Joseph Dickie, Aiden Jacob Dietz, Alexander Michael Dreyfus, Mingwen Wayne Duan, Morgan Patricia Dube, Annabelle Kennedy Dueker, William Harrison Dumond, Emmett Patrick Dunne, Quinn Farrell Dwyer, Caidyn Jeffrey Easterling, David Lewis Edwards III, Noah Edwards, Ainsley Linna Ellis, Giovanni Raymano Facchini, Daisy Jade Fantasia, MacKenzie Rose Farley, Maryam Atif Faruqui, Alysa Maria Felici, Annaliese Olivia Ferguson-Metfooney, Kaylie Ann Filosi, Elise Cecilia Fiore, Neva Kathleen Flickinger, Dakota Killian Fox, David Jaheim Frazer, Jonathan Fuhrmann, Jake Nesta Gada, Kaleb Christopher Gagnon-Mlynarski, Henry James Gannoe, Mauro Alessandro Garcia Carcamo, Finian Streich Gates, Cassandra Moon Giguere, Meghana Sachin Gogate, Sara Kate Goldsmith, Sebastian Gates Graceson, Olivia Gayle Granatek, Niall Martin Green, Kayla Najja Greene, Lauren Paige Asuncion Griffin, Maddox Alexander Grillo-Smith, Tara Elizabeth Guttman, Aidan James Hadley, Nathaniel Lewis Hadley, Jazmin Symone Hall, Maya Marie Hall, Ella Grace Hamre, Jaylen Tájon Hannans, Dilshani Madonna Hansa, Makenna Elle Harms, Malachi Emanuel Harris, Shylah Lucille Harris, Maheera Sahar Hassan, Victoria Megan Hatt, Caleb Charles Haylon, Alicia Lynn Haynes, Natalia Hernandez, Mason Christopher Hintze, Lola Katie Hoffer, Cecile Jiayi Horst, Timothy William Illinger, Bettina Irakiza, Jonathan Raven Jack, Torsten Delano Jacobitz, Jeremiah Etinosa Hayford Jean, Jayson Chery Jeanpaul, Ava Marie Joelson, Kayli Lachelle Johns, Benjamin Robert Johnson, Aubrey Sandra Jorgensen, Avni Kabra, Cooper Davin Kalajainen, Justin Richard Keefe, Elise Victoria Kelley, Ava Grace Kelly, Spencer Shaw Kennedy, Julianna Birdella-Rose Kenyon, Lacey-Lee Ann Keramidas, Hassaan Abdusabooh Khan, Mashood Ahmad Khan, Liam Benjamin Kilmer, Darius Benediktas Kirvelevicius, Aiden Pavel Koch, Dea Korance, Ava Marie Korineck, Haley Jade Krajewski, Mia Lauren Kuzak, Hyun Seo Jonathan Kwak, Madelyn Michelle Landry, Lilly Claire Laporte, Penelope Elizabeth Lawlor, Ayden Matthew Lawrence, Ariana Elizabeth Lee, Jacqueline Michelle Lefurge, Mathew Ryan Leone, Joseph Thomas Levine, William Raymond Leyko, Jacky Wen Xuan Lin, Brantford Robert Lionetti, Isabella Liu, Ava Rose Lombardo, Ethan Robert Mackey, Matthew Thomas MacLean, Max Blake Bidwell Mahlke, Bryce Daniel Manwaring, Brooke Faith Markovitz, Dylan Edward Massores, Zofia Mary Maziarz, Kaleb Roderick McDougal, Ronin Mezzomo McNamara, Justin Alexander McNamee, Haleigh Anne Miller, Joshua August Miller, Samuel Xavier Monette, Apolonio James Montejano IV, Juan Oscar Morales Jr., Natalie Elizabeth Muscarelli, Anthony Kyrollos Nematalla, Megha Sri Nissankararao, Ryan Hunter Novick, Soren Wesley Olesen, Jerry O’Loughlin, Brendan Nicholas Osso, Isabelle Rose Paggioli, Donna Park, Aidan James Patterson, Jiarui Peng, Brenden David Pennington, Lauren Grace Perry, Bryanna Isabella Pesantez, Natalie Renee’ Petrini, Nicolas Isaac Petrini, Lillian Marie Poletto, Campbell Pier Posgay, John Thomas Pyatt, Noah James Quinn, Sophie Marie Quinn, Benjamin Richard Racicot, Christopher Jacob Refsnider, Emily Cadence Reith, Andrew Dennis Renzi, Nikolas Aidan Renzi, Linnaya Elizabeth Rheaume, Avery Elizabeth Rindell, Abigail Grace Robinson, Evan Taylor Robinson, Mara Jade Rochette, Abigail Anne Rodes, Dylan Aeron Rodgers, Drew A. Sager, Luke Samuel Salan, Alexander Howard Salerno, Gianna Hailey Salpietro, Fiona Anne Samuelson, Angela Michelle Saporito, Antonio Gabriel Schiano, Beck Matthew Schultz, Lotus Schwartz IV, Isabella Maria Scism, Tristan John Seguin, Dominic Mario Sisk, Joshua Sol Sitkovetskiy, Hannah Elizabeth Smith, Oliver James Monteiro Smith, Olivia Peata Flocenda Smith, Hannah Lynn Socha, Addison Rose Soleau, Christian Vladimir Solis Aguilar, Karly Ann Sorrentino, Christopher Joseph Sotiropoulos, Dylan Thomas Sotiropoulos, Ariana Grazia Spera, Christopher Gerald Stefanelli, Dominik Jack Stefanski, Robert Warren Stoddard, Carter James Summers, Vincent Michael Swan, Jacob Patrick Syman, Andrea Kate Tanksley, Anna Martha Thomson, Kristin Nicole Timpano, Lindsay Michelle Todd, Aranza Torres Encinas, Hayden Scott Torrisi, Connor Wells Tukey, Amadeus Greenwood Tulli, Kate Ellen Van Czak, Maxwell Lawrence Van Dusen, Riddhi Venkatesh, Elianna Marie Wallace, Jayla Elizabeth Washington, Isiah Blake Weber, Jacob David Wells, Maximilian Anthony Weston, John Kenneth Whittaker, Mia Danielle Williamson, Gavin Thomas Winchester, Saralee Marie Wysoczynski, Grace Mengchen Xu, Amelia Rose Yousuf, Ryan Jia Heng Zhuang.

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