NHS class of 2010 graduates

NAUGATUCK — The commencement ceremony for the Naugatuck High School Class of 2010 was held Thursday evening. 324 graduates received their diplomas and began the next chapters of their lives in front of a large gathering of proud family members and friends.

The speakers used the forum not only to reflect on their past achievements, but also to look ahead to the future. The graduates acknowledged that they are entering into a tumultuous world, one filled with uncertainty and doubt, although they chose not to focus on the negatives. Instead, the class glanced into the future and spoke of the wonderful accomplishments they hope to attain.

“Next fall we face the unknown, new faces and new experiences,” Salutatorian Emily Raymond said. “We have left our mark upon the school, and soon we will leave our mark upon the world.”

The Class of 2010 is 324 graduates strong.

The graduates heaped praise upon all who had supported them and propelled them toward academic success. Families, friends, teachers, and administrators all were commended for their efforts over the past four years.

The class, which achieved many accomplishments, including the highest scores in school history on the eighth-grade mastery tests and sophomore CAPT tests, preferred to look at their experience at NHS as a stepping stone to the rest of their lives.

“Today is only the first of many roads we will have to cross to advance ourselves in the world, as we go off to achieve better and greater things,” Valedictorian Marissa Sounanthanam said.

Mayor Robert Mezzo echoed the graduate’s speeches, encouraging them to go forth into the world with optimism and confidence.

“This is a day to look forward to all the excitement and all the possibilities of the future,” he said. “You will have many good days and many milestones throughout your life; savor them all and share them with others.”

While most graduates are headed to colleges or universities, others will soon join the armed forces or begin working in their trades. Wherever they go, it is Mezzo’s hope that they explore all the world has to offer.

“Go off and see this great world,” Mezzo said. “Enjoy all the wonders this world has to offer, and meet people from all corners of the globe. One day, you’ll have a decision to make — where to live, where to settle down, and where to raise a family. I say to you this: Naugatuck will always be your hometown.”