NEW FAIRFIELD, Conn. — New Fairfield High School bid farewell to the Class of 2016 on Saturday morning at the O'Neill Center as it also said goodbye to its longtime principal.
The graduation ceremony began on the warm and sunny morning as over 200 Rebel graduates clad in blue caps and gowns lined up on the Westside campus of Western Connecticut State University. They marched in to the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” and cheers of families and friends.
The presentation of colors was conducted by the school’s Civil Air Patrol. The National Anthem was presented by the seniors in the choir, directed by Andrew Gadwah.
Principal Mariana Coelho gave a warm welcome to the graduates and their guests. “I feel like we are connected as we are leaving New Fairfield High School,” said Coelho, who announced her retirement in December.
“May you take every opportunity to grow, and let’s make sure to take care of ourselves and keep healthy,” Coelho added.
The Salutatorian address was given by Brianna Mancuso. “Today is an unforgettable day. We are surrounded by people who helped us make this possible,” Mancuso said.
Kai Kindred gave the Valedictorian speech, saying, “Legacy is what you leave behind and what you have done. It also consists of accomplishments. Be proud of your accomplishments thus far."
Superintendent Alicia M. Roy told the graduates how happiness plays a big role in life and how attitude can affect your life. “The world needs a bit more, and I hope you’re willing to do your part,” Roy said, encouraging the graduates to give back. “I wish you nothing but success and happiness in everything that you do.”
Jay Voss gave the Board of Education address, and then board members handed out the diplomas. The senior class officers presented Coelho with a bouquet of roses to thank her for a good job well done at New Fairfield High School.
After the graduates received their diplomas and said their good-byes to their principal, they turned their tassels and threw up their mortarboards.
“Thank you for letting me walk this crossroad with you. It’s been an honor,” Coelho said in her final words to the graduating class.
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