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It was a beautiful day on the green, and for the 2012 graduating class of Branford High School, it was a day they'll never forget.
Principal Lee Panagoulias Jr. announced the honors, including Valedictorian Melissa Kreider, Salutatorian Ziqi Wang and Performance Graduation Requirements Valedictorian Christopher Marsala.
A few choice quotes and words of advice from the graduation ceremony:
"Maybe during your time at BHS you considered yourself different from everyone else. Good. You know how many times in high school I heard heard, 'Um, you're weird'? And my response was the same every time: thank you. Here's something you're all going to learn if you haven't already: everyone is weird in their own way. Some embrace their individuality while others try to hide their ideosyncracies. Never be scared of who you are. Read interviews of your favorite actors or musicians and you'll see most of them were considered the weirdos of the senior class, and now they're adored by millions. And that leads me to my next nugget of inspiration: your high school career isn't a measure of long-term success, and you should never doubt your potential."
- Commencement Address by Matthew Park
"The world out there is really needing some help. We still have issues of poverty and homelessness. We still have social issues that need to be addressed. And we hope that what you've learned in your four years at Branford High School is that you need to take some responsibility for addressing those issues. Because if you don't do it, who will?"
- Board of Education president Frank Carrano
"I think it's an incredible notion that we've all grown so much. We should all just take a minute to reflect and look back at our time here at BHS. Think about all the hard work, the fun times, the friends we've gained and those we've lost. Each and every experience here, whether good or bad, was that of learning."
- Class President Allison Johnson