RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — Ridgefield High School celebrated two milestones on Friday. Not only did it welcome over 400 graduates to the alumni fold, the school also marked its 100th commencement exercise.
The graduation began as the Class of 2016 marched into the O’Neill Center, and opened with a bagpipe processional by Terrence Shay. That was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem performed by the Graduation Choir. A welcome was given by Principal Stacey Gross.
“100 means a lot. This is Ridgefield High’s 100th commencement. 100 also means we’ve given 100 percent and your 100 percent is truly impressive,” said Gross.
She was followed by Class President John Diorio and the class speaker’s address by Emma Hergenrother.
In her speech, Hergenrother shared memories of her high school experiences, saying it twas certainly nothing like Disney’s "High School Musical" and had included some “pesky” English papers along the way. “We are a collection of our shared experiences, good and bad,” she said.
The musical interlude, performed by the graduation choir, was the song “It’s Time,” from Imagine Dragons.
Siqiao Mu gave the valedictorian speech, and Judy Silver gave the faculty speaker’s address. “Today, for those who need one, I brought late passes,” she said holding up one.
“As of today, you’ve survived something scarier – high school,” said Silver.
Ridgefield Superintendent Karen Baldwin gave the class acceptance and in her speech talked about gifts versus choices. “The promise of a great future lies ahead of you,” Baldwin said, offering the students some inspiration for their futures. “It is not too late to be who you might have been."
Fran Walton, along with other staff members of the Ridgefield High community, awarded the students with their diplomas. The students ended their evening with turning of the tassels and becoming Ridgefield High School graduates.