BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – The crowds cheered loud and proud as the graduating class of Warren Harding High School marched into the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport on Tuesday evening.
Over 200 students graduated, all of them excited to be there and to start the next chapter of their lives.
The master of ceremonies was Michael Brosnan, with the Pledge of Allegiance led by Brian Diaz. The National Anthem was performed by Shaquille Epps and Vickye Alicea.
Principal Dane Brown made a few remarks for the students to remember. “What you choose to do next will make a difference in your life. Tomorrow you will be Harding alumni,” Brown said.
That was followed by a greeting from Frances M. Rabinowitz, interim superintendent of schools, and some words from Mayor Joseph Ganim.
“It is my honor and joy to celebrate with you. Thank you for your hard work. You will look back at the challenges and know that you were the individual that persevered,” Gamin said. “You have shown you have succeeded. Think about today’s success and use it as your foundation.”
Teacher Christina Whittaker was chosen by the graduating class to give the keynote address. She told the crowd about her first year of teaching, back when she was just 22 and the graduating students were in their freshman year. She explained that not only did the students learn something from school, but she also learned from them.
Whittaker, with a laugh, recalled one day when a student told her she was having a bad hair day and that “it was distracting him and she needed to fix it.”
Walkenia Rosales gave the salutatory address, and Brian Diaz gave the valedictory address.
“It’s the people around you that define you,” Diaz said, adding to laughter, “Remember those nights when we studied the night before. It’s how we got through …”
The ceremony ended after the students each had received a diploma, turned their tassels and thrown their hats in the air. It was the 90th commencement exercise for Warren Harding High School in Bridgeport.
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