Principal Robert Duncan told the capacity crowd at graduation that he finally knows what a graduation feels like for parents — his son was wearing a cap and gown along with the other graduates at Norwalk High School today.
“I’ve watched you go from children to young adults,” Duncan told the 167 graduates this afternoon. “I’ve watched you go from kindergarten through graduation.” He then recited the lyrics to Time in a Bottle, a popular song in the '70s by Jim Croce, and asked the graduates to remember how valuable their time and their memories are.
Superintendent Wayne Babcanec told the graduates that they join over 12,000 other NHS alumni beginning with a single graduate in 1861. He highlighted some statistics on the class: 45 students with a grade point average of 3.4 or better, over $2 million in college scholarships with at least five full-tuition awards and nine students who didn’t miss a day of school this year — and two who didn't miss a day all four years of high school.
Babcanec also advised the graduates to become life-long learners in whatever paths they take after high school.
The graduates and their friends and families also heard from three students at the ceremony. Jordan Sam Maddocks, class president, said the NHS class of 2007 “is a class that will go the extra mile. I know, I see and I feel the inferno in each and every one of you.”
Salutatorian Stephanie Anne Rickel advised her peers to embrace the opportunities they will face. “We have so many dreams and goals in front of us,” she said. “It may take a long time to get there, but if we hold our dreams close to our heart we can get there.
“Let us be the ones that blaze new trails,” Rickel added, referring to the class motto – a quote from George Bernard Shaw, “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Valedictorian Alex R. Howe talked to the crowd about the labels and categories people use. He said while each of the graduating seniors have earned the label of Norwalk High graduate, “after that, the future is wide open.”
Howe advised his fellow graduates to take charge of their lives and earn the labels most important to them.
Class advisor Amie Swope gave the students a white rose with the class colors and turquoise and silver ribbons.
Joining the NHS students in earning degrees were two men who left high school early for military careers. Babcanec said he awarded a Veteran’s Diploma to Kenneth Miller, who lives at the veteran’s home in Sandusky, earlier in the week.
Veteran Loren Harold Schultz, who now lives in New London, attended the graduation ceremony to receive his diploma.
Maddocks led the class in changing their tassels and the crowd then watched a lengthy slide show created by the multimedia production class of the memories of the class of 2007.
The Norwalk High band and orchestra provided music and the select and concert choirs performed "Maybe We’ll Meet again."