Graduation Station: The Class of 2017

Southington High School Class of 2017 valedictorian Nickolina Doran addresses her classmates during her commencement address at graduation. Doran will attend Yale University next year to study biomedical engineering and Spanish. On Tuesday, June 20, nearly 500 students received diplomas during commencement exercises. (Photo by Kelly May Del Debbio)

This week, we celebrate the Class of 2017 in our annual graduation edition, and the hardest part was trying to stuff all of the graduation news into just one newspaper. (We couldn’t) That’s because this year has been a banner one for Southington High School students.

The 492 Southington seniors spearheaded a local campaign to succeed in every niche and corner of the world of education. Whether it’s on the sports fields, where the marching band drummed, danced, and played their way into the national spotlight or the two varsity teams (softball and ice hockey) that battled their way into state championship games, Southington students always put their best foot forward.

It didn’t stop there. The CyberKnights had a bullseye on their backs, but it didn’t stop them from returning to the national competition for the second year in a row. And the music department received national acclaim…again.

Everywhere we turned, Southington students were leaving their mark. It’s no surprise to us that the top 3 from the Class of 2017 are such Renaissance men and women. That’s what it seems to take just to survive at Southington High School.

Southington High School officials announced the top three graduates from the Class of 2017. All three will speak at high school graduation on Tuesday, June 20. From left, essayist Laura Furtak, valedictorian Nickolina Doran, and salutatorian Nathan Simard. (Photo by Jen Cardines)

The 2017 valedictorian, Nickolina Doran, is a multi-linqual, future engineeer that turns heads on the lacrosse field and still finds time to serve the community as an Apple Harvest hostess and a church volunteer. It was no surprise that class salutatorian Nathan Simard was so good at volleyball. The ball probably seemed to hover in the air as the future aeronautical engineer was calculating angles, velocity, and outside forces. As the daughter of Polish immigrants, it should be no surprise that essayist Laura Furtack was able to shift seamlessly between cultures in the classroom, at home, and in the community—and even the farm with the Future Farmers—as she prepares for a career as a veterinarian.

These three set the standard for this class, and everyone else seemed to fall into step.

Samantha Steeves and Samantha Martins served with distinction as student representatives on the Southington Board of Education. Carson Stifel and Morgan Maccione raised the bar for student involvement at STEPS.

We were proud to be able to follow the Class of 2017 as they grew into the men and women of tomorrow, and it’s bitter-sweet as we watch them head out into the world. One thing is certain: Southington will be well-represented.

  • For our graduation story, click below:

SHS graduates come together at commencement

  • For a full list of graduates, click below:

The Class of 2017: A list of Southington High School graduates

  • For more graduation photos, click below:

Observations at graduation

  • For Southington’s Top 3, click below:

SHS officials crown the top 3 from the Class of 2017

  • For Southington’s Top 25, click below:

Go to the head of the class: UNICO celebrates Southington High School’s top 25

  • For the graduates that are going on to serve in our military, click below:

Town honors future military members from Class of 2017

  • For Southington’s Teacher of the Year, click below:

Candace Patten is Southington’s Teacher of the Year

  • For the volunteers and school staff standouts that make education possible, click below:

It takes a village: Southington school officials recognize staff and volunteers

  • For the 2017 Observer Female Athlete of the Year, click below:

Everybody loves Raymond: Morgan Raymond is the 2017 Observer Female Athlete of the Year

  • For the 2017 ObserverMale Athlete of the Year, click below:

‘Rivera’ Runs Through It: Richie Rivera is the 2017 Observer Male Athlete of the Year

  • For a short list of Southington’s top athletes, and our selection process, click below:

Commentary: Selecting the Observer Athletes of the Year

  • For the Val Leach Memorial Award and Spirit Award winners, click below:

Blue Knights announce Val Leach and Spirit award winners

  • For scholarship winners, click below:

Scholarship Night: Community heaps scholarships on the Class of 2017


Whew! We wonder what next year will bring.

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