BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – The members of the Class of 2016 of Fairchild Wheeler made history at their commencement exercises Tuesday as they became the first-ever graduates of the interdistrict magnet high school in Bridgeport.
The 203 graduates marched into the Webster Bank Arena, representing their hometowns of Bridgeport, Trumbull, Fairfield, Shelton, Stratford, Easton, Redding, Monroe and Milford.
Once the students had marched into the arena, they said the Pledge of Allegiance led by salutatorians John Brindisi, Josephine Evan and Aeon Chavez. The National Anthem was performed by Angelique Campo. The introduction of the school was also given by the salutatorians.
Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim made a few remarks to the crowd, saying how proud he was of the graduates and that they should be proud of themselves as well.
A greeting was given by Interim Superintendent Frances Rabinowitz, who asked the students to think about the people who have inspired them — friends and teachers — and to remember the times they shared together at Fairchild Wheeler.
The commencement address was given by Claire Gold, the founder of the interdistrict magnet high school in Bridgeport. Gold began her career as a school psychologist for special needs children in Westport in 1965. From 1980 to 1988, she was the district’s superintendent. She received numerous awards throughout her career for her leadership skills.
She was the driving force behind three interdistrict magnet schools in Bridgeport: The Six to Six Magnet School and The Discovery Magnet School, as well as Fairchild Wheeler Interdistrict Magnet School.
After Gold told her story of the founding of Fairchild Wheeler, the diplomas were handed out to the students from the different areas of study that make up Fairchild Wheeler: the Information Technology and Software Engineering High School, the Biotechnology Research and Zoological Science High School and the Aerospace & Hydrospace Engineering Science High School.
Then, the members of the Class of 2016 were certified as graduates and they turned their tassels from right to left indicating they were now officially high school graduates.
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