North Stonington — Graduations can be an emotional experience for a small community like Wheeler High School, especially when, as class President Rebecca D'Angelo put it, many of the students have been together since before preschool.
But there was no sadness in the air on Friday evening as friends and family gathered on the lawn behind the school to watch the 49 members of the Class of 2010 mark the end of their time together.
As the setting sun filtered through the trees, throwing patches of light across the grass, Superintendent Dr. Natalie Pukas recalled their eighth-grade promotion ceremony, where she instructed the class to fill a box of memories during their time at Wheeler High. The challenge now, she said, is to do so without the guidelines and structure of high school.
"I challenge you to make us proud, to make the world a better place," she said. "Carpe diem!"