Vinal Grads Celebrate 'Best Four Years of Lives'

Class rep Rachel Basso's speech gives a retrospect of the education and experiences that prepared students for 'the real world.'

The Vinal Technical High School Class of 2011 received their diplomas in commencement exercises at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cromwell Monday in a short but sweet ceremony.

Bridget L. Heston, acting principle of Vinal Technical High School, opened the graduation ceremony with a few remarks and introduced Mayor Sebastian Giuliano, who provided greetings and congratulations to the graduating seniors, their families, and faculty for another successful year.

Other speakers included: the salutatorian and class president, Colby Landeen, who reflected upon his four years at Vinal and congratulated his fellow classmates; John Anderson, a retiring faculty member who assured students life would continue; and Rachel Basso, the class representative, who shared her favorite memories of Vinal.

"High school is training, training for the best four years of our lives," Basso told the crowd, quoting Heston, as she recalled studies and experiences that "prepare us for the real world."

Basso gave a retrospective of the class of 2011's time at Vinal. "Senior year flew by. The best moments at Vinal happened in our last year here," she said, recalling  "fun times at senior skip day, when many of my classmates came into school the next day red as lobsters."

She took a moment to remember classmate Shayne L. Hart, who died in 2009. "In the summer between our sophomore and junior year, we got the sad news that one of our classmates would not be continuing with us."

Hart, Basso said, "put smiles on faces and the sound of laughter in the air."

Within an hour, the graduating seniors turned their tassels, signifying the end of an important chapter of their life, but as  Anderson said, "the best is yet to come."

Editor's note: See the list of graduates in the pdf document.

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