By Lindsay Carey
Over five hundred students graduated as the Class of 2014 from Southington High School, with many sharing their appreciation for their close knit community and their excitement for the future.
Family, friends, administrators and town officials all gathered on the field to celebrate with the Class of 2014. Many of the graduates expressed that they will miss the Southington community and the peers they grew up with in this town as they move on to college, the military and the work force.
“Who we really need to thank is each other, because what makes this school amazingly amazing is the students,” said Class President Peter Masters, at graduation last Thursday. “We’ve all challenged, supported, and entertained each other.”
Masters also highlighted the success the sports teams have had by working together.
Emilee Kemnitz, who played as a center mid in soccer during her time at SHS, expressed her gratitude for the athletics at the school, which have prepared her to play soccer in college. Kemnitz, whose family moved from Lousiana to Southington 16 years ago, said she will miss the culture of the town most.
“Everyone just gets along so well and it’s such a good environment to have grown up in,” said Kemnitz.
Stephen Peccerillo, a Southington native, expressed his concern moving just an hour and a half away from the town. Though he’s glad he’s moving somewhere close enough to come back frequently, Peccerillo said though he’s definitely going to miss the “small town feel” of Southington, a town where you can recognize almost everyone, as he moves on to college in Massachusetts.
For many, Southington High School is place of unforgettable memories. Graduate Jimmy Chen said he’ll cherish every one of them. Living in Southington since he was six, Chen said he’s come to love the close community that is Southington.
“It’s not really about the place or where you are, it’s more about the people you’re surrounded by,” said Chen. “That’s what really makes this place special. It’s not the actual school, because they could remodel the school as many times as they want, but they can’t change the people who go here.”
Class essayist Alexis Dziubek and Salutitorian Dan Connolly reflected on their growth since freshman year as well as their dreams for themselves and their graduating class in the future.
Valedictorian Alexander Queen echoed their hopes for the future as he said that he believes the open-mindedness of the younger generation will allow all kinds of people to come together and make positive change in our country.
“When I look out upon this group of students, I see great potential to change our society,” said Queen. “Maybe a congress occupied and elected by us will finally be able to look past petty differences, and actually lead our nation.”