East Lyme - The East Lyme High School football stadium erupted with applause on Monday, not because the Vikings had won the game by a field goal, but because the Class of 2011 had made their debut as graduates.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Lombardo stood at the podium, under the bright blue sky, and stressed to the students that although their high school graduation will forever be a milestone to remember, what they will remember most will be the feelings they experienced as they became graduates. Those, he said, will last a lifetime.
Principal Michael Susi urged the students to make sure they "stop and smell the roses" while traveling on their paths toward the future.
"Life goes by so fast that you want to make sure that you stop and appreciate the good things that happen along the way," he said. "You will see, the weeks turn into month and the months turn into years in a blink of an eye. You don't want to look back and regret missed opportunities."
Valedictorian Max Tan performed two classical pieces on the violin, to which the audience responded with a standing ovation. He then addressed the graduating seniors with his advice for the future.
"I am a classical violinist," he said. "If you talk to someone about future careers and you bring up something related to classical music, chances are they'll comment on the limited job opportunities in this field. I've heard many people say that you need to be really lucky in order to have a successful career as a classical musician."
Tan urged his classmates that when it comes to pursuing a career, they should do what they love and not let anyone tell them they will not succeed.
"Being lucky is very much being in the right place at the right time," he said. "But I think you can be in the right place at the wrong time, or in the wrong place at the right time and still be lucky. [Our teachers] have given us the tools to being prepared for any situation, so that, regardless of the time and place, we will be as lucky as we can possibly be."
Lombardo said that the world is lucky to have the students of the Class of 2011: a class of brilliant scholars, leaders, athletes, and musicians. He specifically named students who have stood out during their high school careers, not only in the school but in the community as well, and the list was not short.
Class President Karen Hays said that what has astounded her most is not the successes of the individuals, but what her class has done as a whole.
Hays said she has given numerous speeches in front of her classmates, but her thoughts about her peers left her speechless.
"My wish for you all is the greatest success and the realization that such dreams must be created before they may become a reality," she said. "Continue on in the way that you are, this spirited and eager group, and I'm sure that you'll continue to leave those around you speechless."
East Lyme High School Class of 2011
Kayla Avery Aamoth, Kaitrin Rae Acuña,Matthew Dray Adams, Luca Francis Addabbo, Divakar Ahuja, Kristi Lee Albright, Dominic James Aleo, Whitney Page Allen, William Julian Anderson, Ryan Sean Antley, Mariah Starr Anton, Lily Kate Appleton, Chelsea Taylor Aquino, Erika Lizeth Armas, Michael Alexander Atamanuk, Summer Suzannah Atkinson, Connor Patrick Balon, Alexandra Danielle Banker, Bailey Eve Barnes, Nellie Olivia Barnett, John Michael Barone, Zachary Robbins Bartlett, Kacie Lee Bayreuther, Emily Ann Becker, Alina Rae Beebe, Amanda Elizabeth Beers, Austin Daley Begin, Kaitlyn Marie Bell, Alexander Robert Bentley,William Norris Benway, Andrew Sheng Bi, Alyssa Anne Birch, Kasey Sean Blais, William Jacob Blodgett, Jessica Jean Boggs, Sara Christine Boike, Cassandra Jeanne Bonin, Katherine Carolyn Boucher, Samuel Blaine Boyer, Sara Elizabeth Boyle, Julia Catherine Bradley, Christopher Allan Branch, Kyle Francis Broderick, Michael Thomas Brousseau, Thomas Patrick Brubaker, Kyle Kees Burke, Bryan Richard Byrnes-Jacobsen.
Also: Zachary Thomas Caldwell, Katelyn Michelle Cannamela, Zoë Rai Capozza, Keith David Caulkins, Theo Joseph Cecchetti. Adam William Chanski, James Maurice Christensen, Ryan Steven Christian, Victoria Beth Christiansen, Katherine Marie Chrunyk, Melissa Rose Ciezynski, Ryan Richard Cirillo, Brenna Marie Closius, Kenneth Andrew Compton, Daniel Robert Connaughty, Katherine Wade Cook, Thomas Allan Cook, Brynna Marie Cooke, Jennifer Lynn Cordero, Amber Leigh Corey, Julia Marie Counter, Daniel John Coxe, Shannon Linae Craddock, James Walker Cranston, Sarah Anne Cunningham, Shanelle Rose D'Alessio, Katherine Emily Dana, Katherine Lee Daneault, Samuel James Daniels, Shane Billy Davies, Michael Franco DeFaria, Eric Allen DeLea, Rebecca Eileen Denning, Shyam Ishvar Desai, Steven Lyle Deveaux, Megan Winter Disch, Craig Denry Domingo, Megan Louise Donahue, William Ciaston Dowd, Patrick Boyd Dunbar, Adam Michael Duong, Christine Marie Durkee.
Also: Kelly Soule Eberle, Laura Marie Edwards, Kaitlin Marie Ensulo, Daniel Dominic Esposito III, Paul Joseph Esposito III, Brenton Richard Estey-Kelley, Michael Scott Evans, Mariah Angeline Fairley, Taylor Kristin Farley, Elena Marie Felitto, Martin Sean Fenelon, Jake Charles Ferguson, Brittany Ann Ferreira, Michael Victor Florie, Lauren Allison Flower, Dean Owen Forcier, Elijah Dylan Fortin, Christopher Pierpont Foster, William Kenneth Fritz, Lily Hannah Fryburg ,Graziella Argia Fulchiero. Joseph Ryan Gada, Molly Megan Giannattasio,Brendan Patrick Gilson, Marisa Katherine Glynn, Sarah Beth Goldblatt, Amy Louise Gonsalves, Camden Kathleen Gould, Tony Edward Grant, Christine Alex Gregor, Karly Viktorija Grillo, Kati Lynn Griswold, Alexis Ashton Hadcock, John Richard Neville Hadcock Jr., Kai Daniel Hansen, Theodore Levi Hansen, Yuriy Harasymiv, Iola Maria Harris, Tasnia Hasan, Karen Elizabeth Hays, Peter Randell Paul Heath, Colin Peter Hecklinger, Deanna Thurner Heller, Andrew Tucker Henderson, Steven Scott Hinkle, Erin Elizabeth Holle, Erin Christine Holt, Teresa Pauline Horan, Lucinda Marie Horspool, Ryan Robert Hughes.
Also: Tyler Joseph Imbriaco, Steven Anthony Jablonski, Chealsea Maria Jenkins, Lisa Danielle Johnson, Carl Allen Kampfer, Lauren Brooke Karanovich, Rebecca Leith Keenan, Fatjon Keli, Paige Elizabeth Kerpen, Kate Kielty, Jennifer Lillian Kimble,Lauren Beth Kirschblum,Hannah Dale Knight, Aric David Knopf, Madeline Nicole Kobar, Christopher Ryan Kohanski, Alexander Robert Kopchik, Rebecca Anne Kosakowski, Elizabeth Anne Kranich, Nicholas Joudrey Kuvalanka, Rachel Jisoon Kwon, Crystal Ann Lack, Carmen Zainab Ladipo, Benjamin Robert Lakeman, Michele Louise Lalonde, Teresa Shiaojia Lan, Aaron James Lattanzi, Alexander Kelly Lattanzi, Cameron Evan Lecce, Sarah Marie Lento, Timothy Austin Lesick,Drew Michael Lewis, Casey Jiaqi Li, Xiao Li, Allison Marie Lillquist, Jessica Jeanne Lillquist, Rebecca Elizabeth Lillquist, Alexander Berry Lloyd, Patrick Robert Loftus, Spencer Allyn Loomis, Hanyue Lu, Victoria Ann Luce, Joseph Paul Lussier, Samantha Renée Lyall, James William Lyons III.
Also: Elizabeth Marie Maloney, Ashley Nicole Manning, Sawyer Wood Marchand, Joseph Lee Marchini, Rachel Susan Markow, Joseph Brendan McCaffery, Sean Henry McCarty, Tucker Jenkins McCrabb, Ian Michael McFarland, Sean Christopher McGirr, Eric James McGlone, Paige Elizabeth Mebus, Rachel Elizabeth Merry, Jordan Joseph Miele, Elizabeth Josephine Miller, Jonathan Todd Miller, Kelsey Margaret Miller, Samuel Andrew Modzelewski, Patrick David Moffat, Erin Marie Mooney, Emily Marie Mooradian, Olivia Mae Moore, Kristin Gene Morgan, Joslynn Felisha Morton, Kevin Thomas Muldoon, Daniel Nicholas Myers, Christopher Michael Neal, Matthew Alexander Neborsky, Devon Michael Nesta, Anh Huynh Nguyen, Ashley May Ninteau, Bradley Joseph Nixon, Chelsea Noelle Norton, Victoria Jane Nortz, Neal Stephen O'Connell Jr., Angel Gabriel Ortiz, Steven Douglas Orton, Emily Erin O'Shaughnessy, Eric Lorenz Ostfeld, Kelly Anne O'Toole.
Also: Garret Alexander Page, Jordyn Alexis Page, Brandon Joseph Palmer, Mark Wesley Palmer, Alexandria Lee Pappas, Patrick Anthony Pero, Evan Thomas Perron, Dennis Ping, Erin Leigh Platz, Kristopher Evan Polaske, Emily Taylor Postoak, Katherine Healey Powers, Evan Charles Punsalan, Brandon Mark Purstell, Justin Francis Quinn, Kevin Vincent Reutenauer, Rebecca Allison Ringer, Andrew Thomas Roes, Michael Karl Roos, Emily Ann Rosa, Joshua Ransom Ross.
Also: Timothy Wayne Salvatore, Joseph Edward Santamaria Jr., Megan Rose Sargent, Daniel Christopher Scheyder, Brandon Tyler Schlaff, Kevin William Seery, Danni Shen, Svitlana Valeriyivna Shevchenko, Lillijane Fumiko Shigematsu, Samantha LaBella Short, Joseph James Silvam, Kiersten Elizabeth Sinko, Natasha Marie Sistare, Rachel Lee Skelton, Zachary Robert Skelton, Matthew James Skowronski, Alexandra Clare Sloss, Brianna Monet Smith, Alexander David Smola, Brittany Sharon Somes, Cameron Dustin Sousa, William Dylan Spang, Heather Marie Steele, Nicole Marie Stevens, Alexandra Lee Stewart, Emily Ann Stracuzzi, Joseph William Strafach, Amy Elizabeth Sullivan, Colleen Alyce Sullivan, Ryan Joseph Sullivan, Bryan Nicholas Swenson, Shayna Diamond Swick, Max Tan, Christopher Andrew Taylor, Joshua Daniel Taylor, Shelby Lynne Taylor, Courtney Beth Tenaglia, Rajesh Thanabal, Ellen Christine Thiede, Amber Marie Thompson, Rebecca Lynne Thompson, Claire Elizabeth Tocheny, Nora Katherine Tocheny, Ryan Michael Tracey, Elizabeth Anne Tripp, Hannah Emily Tripp.
Also: Pratik Ubba, Kimberly Crystal Vaillancourt, Vitaly Jeffrey Van Deusen, William Edward Varady, Nikolas Vidakovic, Jessica Ann Walker, Iris Siao-An Wang, Jennifer Morgan Ward, Sarah Leslie Wawrzynski, Morgan-Elise Laurie Welch, Nicholas Eugene Welch, Justin Douglas Welker, Kristen Rose Whewell, Nathan Richard Whipple, Amy Laurel Whitehouse, Glenn Tyler Wierbicki, Kathryn Rachel Williams, Kaylee Nell Williams, Blake Matthew Winkler, Corydon Ritchie Wisniewski, Sarah Jillian Sheila Woods, Quentin Todd Wysopal, Gregory Thomas Yacovou, Abby Frances Young, Brianna Kareé Young, Kaitlyn Nicole Young, Stacy Lynn Yuhas, Xu Feng Zheng, Samuel Eli Zorn, Nathan Jacob Zwillich