Superintendent Michael Polizzi ended his commencement speech to the as he began it:
"Who we love transforms us; how we create reshapes us; what we do remakes us."
Using the story of Seabiscuit as his touchstone, Polizzi told the soon-to-be alumni that if you believe in your unscripted potential, and that of others, you can be transformed. He told them that like Seabiscuit, his jockey and his owner-- if you begin with a belief, the rest is history.
Polizzi used that story to illustrate to the graduates that when all seems to be going wrong, or the chosen path is not the one you expected to be on, know that inside you exists all the elements that you can pull together to rediscover your potential and find meaning.
"I wish you all godspeed in shaping your lives, as you contribute to the makings of your own histories, and the rich legacies you will leave for others," Polizzi said.
He added, "Think before you act and when you come back to visit, surprise us with the many new experiences and accomplishments that will continue to define each of your lives."
Class President Matthew Bachmann celebrated the diversity of New Milford and told his classmates, "There is no doubt in my mind that as a class we are ready to go out into the world, for within our borders we have already experienced it."
In delivering the salutatory address, Takakuni Takezawa emphasized the importance of resolve in achieving goals and Valedictorian Jennilyn Robles acknowledged the role of family and teachers in laying the foundation for making good decisions that now enables them to begin the journey into their future.
But Robles stressed, "Remember, the road trip is never as meaningful as the passengers who take it with you, and everyone who helps get us to our destination."
Board of Education President Dan Conner sent the graduates off with these words from T.S. Eliot, "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."
"Go far, achieve those risks and come back and share your successes with us in the future," Conner said.
Pricipal Eric Sheninger told the graduates that it is now time for them to take one of the biggest steps of their life--leaving New Milford High School to pursue adult responsibilities and careers.
Sheninger sent the graduates off with this advice, "Live for the moment, but look ahead. Now is the time to start making your future happen. Take your place in the world."
"It's up to you to work around your setbacks and challenges. The future you focus on and the choices you make now are important because they are the basis of your future."