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Bad Weather Can't Dampen Spirits Of 2011 Graduates

June 23, 2011 by John Rook

Thunder could be heard in the distance as Cheshire High School Principal Kevin Ryan stood to officially present the Class of 2011 on Wednesday evening. But, despite the ominous weather descending upon the area, the spirits of those in attendance couldn't be dampened.
Cheshire High School's Class of 2011 Graduation Ceremony took place last evening, albeit a very abbreviated event. Gone were the administrator speeches, the musical interludes, and the various other aspects of the ceremony that have become the norm in Cheshire over the years. Instead, the graduation was boiled down to only nuts and bolts: student speeches and the presentation of certificates.
During his speech, Class President Robert J. Anderson told his fellow classmates that the four years at Cheshire High School, and the 18 years he has spent in town, “have been a true pleasure.”
Anderson also spoke of how he and his classmates had made their own “world” during their time in the Cheshire school system, one they would return to for the rest of their life.
“Today is not the end of the world we have created, simply the beginning,” he said.
Normally, the salutatorian and valedictorian of the class give separate speeches, however, as salutatorian Brendan Pier told the audience, he was the first male to earn that distinction in many years. As such, valedictorian Audrey Zhang joined him at the podium so that it didn't seem “that unusual” she joked.
In their shared speech, the two remember several aspects of their life at Cheshire High School, from discovering what was down in the lower levels of the school — “Just stuff,” Zhang informed the crowd — to recounting the many athletic achievements of their class.
Finally, Zhang, taking a more serious note, quoted former college basketball coach Jim Valvano when she told her classmates that, if each day they found time “to laugh, to think, and to cry, that's a full day.”
Zhang encouraged all of her fellow graduates to do that and enjoy whatever life held for them in the future.
To read the full story on graduation, see next week's edition of The Cheshire Herald.
Look for our Graduation Special Section, which will be published on July 7.
Check our website for a slide show of pictures from the graduation ceremony.

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