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‘Conard Pride’ and ‘Beating COVID’: Conard Class of 2021 Graduates

Conard High School Student speaker Toluwanimi Adetola. Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford’s Conard High School held a commencement ceremony on Tuesday, June 15 for 362 members of the Class of 2021.

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

By Kristina Vakhman. Photos by Ronni Newton

Despite a year of distance learning and staying 6 feet apart, the 2021 graduating class of Conard High School is closer than ever, student Tolu Adeltola said.

“As a class, we have set a new precedent for loving one another at Conard,” Adetola, one of two students chosen as commencement speakers told the crowd of graduates and families. “And as our teachers and staff continue to catalyze this sense of community, we have left an example for the classes behind us to follow suit.”

Conard’s 64th graduation ceremony was a far different picture from last year: closer to “normal,” with students relieved to be with their friends and in-person rather than separated in a car parade.

Student speaker Kayla Yousman. Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Student speaker Kayla Yousman said being together was like a breath of fresh air following not only the worst of the coronavirus, but the polarization of issues important to young people – like progress and justice.

“We have been challenged more than ever to advocate for each other in the face of unimaginable injustice and separation,” Yousman said, adding that she was immensely proud to have seen fellow students stand up for what they believe in.

Adetola echoed this sentiment, saying that the class has shown great maturity by navigating high school, the pandemic and various social justice issues like racial inequality all at the same time and sometimes under great pressure.

“We’ve embraced the complexity of life and it’s allowed us to embrace each other. Conard Class of ‘21, each of you as individuals has a level of character developed above that of any class before us, and I cannot wait to see you all show the world who we are,” Adetola said.

Conard faculty could not hide how proud they were of the graduating class either.

Assistant Superintendent Andy Morrow. Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

“You are so much more than the class who spent their senior year during the pandemic. I hope it fades into a footnote in your lives,” said Assistant Superintendent Dr. Andrew Morrow, who was there not only as a speaker representing the administration, but as the father of a member of the Class of 2021.

Principal Julio Duarte. Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard Principal Julio Duarte said in his speech that it was a joy to watch students overcome the pandemic’s hurdles to get here.

“You deserve this special moment probably more than any other class,” Duarte told students. “All of you embraced the challenge, as formidable as it was, and continued to propel forward.”

Faculty speaker Jason Lussier. Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Social studies teacher and football coach Jason Lussier, chosen as the faculty speaker, urged the students to “find the courage to be yourself,” starting with finding their areas of interest and then following their efforts.

“… our journey together towards discovering and developing the best versions of ourselves, and ultimately finding fulfillment in our lives has just begun. Be courageous Class of 2021,” Lussier said.

Class President Chloe Scrimgeour. Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Class President Chloe Scrimgeour said that now that she and her peers beat the tumultuous COVID-19 semesters by graduating, she’s confident they all can achieve anything, whether it be in college or the workplace.

“Instead of focusing on what this year wasn’t, let’s focus on what it was,” Scrimgeour said. “We made the most of the opportunities we were given and learned to adapt to all of the obstacles thrown our way.”

Board of Education Chair Deb Polun. Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Deb Polun, chair of the Board of Education, also addressed the students. She said she hoped their years with West Hartford Public Schools have nurtured and fostered their inspirations to make the world a better place through action.”Now, as you bring forward your activities from throughout your lives, combined with the lessons you’ve learned in school for the past 13 years – and these lessons of persistence, of independence and togetherness, of compassion and empathy – I think I speak for all of the adults here today that we are not just confident in your future, but excited to see what changes you bring to improve your own community of people and the broader communities as well.”

A complete list of graduates follows the photographs below.

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School Class of 2021 graduation. June 15, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard High School — Class of 2021

Christopher Amir Adams

Marisa Rose Adams

Toluwanimi Victor Adetola

Jose M Agosto

Alistair David Alejos

Brianna Yailinn Alexander

Emma Louise Alford

Jaden William Alicea

Madeline Altman

Jasea Thubie Amchok

Richard Aponte

Grace Mary Araya

Elizabeth Susan Arcand

Madeline Elsie Arcand

Joshua Jeremiah Ardon

Charles Thurman Arnold

Molly Elizabeth Aubrey

Marlena Michele Bailey

Isabella Maria Balta

Eden Rose Barnard

Kaustubh Basnet

Dominic Kelly Bavaro

Isiah Gabriel Bell

Mai Benita

Exavier Antonio Benitez

Chase Noah Ben-Kiki

Ajahcee Lynn Ann Bent

Sean James Bernard

Aaron Michael Borla

Alexander Joseph Bottass

Elijah Emiliano Brites

Damon Andrew Broege

Garrett Conway Brown

Peter Kenneth Brown

Shavaughne Brown

Griffin Charles Bruce

Lucy Elizabeth Buccilli

Emre Mert Budak

Matthew Francis Burnett

Sarah Kathleen Burnett

Isabelle Jane Burnett-Herkes

Conner Michael Burns

Rachael Louise Burtness

Purit Butsapak

Gabriel James Cadete

John Josef Calcaterra

Anastasia Lynn Caldwell

Clayton N Campbell

Alexander Thomas Caneiro

Erika Emilia Cangro

Cassidy Elizabeth Cannon

David John Cantarella

Mercedes Hong Cao

Mary Katherine Capone

Sophie Capps-Hawkins

Angela Elena Carabello

Jackson Thomas Carbone

Jacob Michael Thomas Caron

Jonathan S Casiano Jr

Nathaniel Walter Cavo

Mason Douglas Chabot

Courtney J Chamberland

Talitha A Channer

Daniel Chavez Jr

Eileen Chen

Jerry Chen

Yuchien Chen

Jordan David Chery

Mara Anne Cicchetti

Christina Mary Coburn

Emmett Christian Coco

Benjamin Marcel Cohen-Tyler

Devonte Tyler Cole

Terrell Lamarr Collins

Aliza Isabella Colon

Destiny Lizzette Colon

Camille Kate Corrado

Benjamin Zev Covici

Austin Davis Crossley

Ashley Lynn Cugno

Ysadora Da Silva Arcenego

Michael Carl D’Andrea

Malik Khalil Daniels-Montes

Maeve D’Arcy

Kieran Henry Davis

Francisco Xavi De Matto

Alexandra Leigh de’Ath

Aliznelys DeJesus

Natalie Anne DeLaCruz

Elijah Evan DelCastillo

Sybella Elizabeth DeMeo

Akshay Deodat

Nina Elizabeth DeVries

John Do

Michael Van Doan

Trisha Doru

Bridget Ellen Drummey

Ingrid Marie Dynowski

Nicolas Garza Eckett

Ruth Averyl Eddy

Avery Marie Edelman

Alice Jeanne Evelein

Arianna Zena Fandozzi

Jacob Edward Farrell

Azaiyah Monae Felder

Talia A Feliciano

Jonathan Charles Ferrucci

Randy Figueroa-Acevedo

Noah Evan Fill

Colum Patrick Flaherty

Rebeccah Fleischmann

Maura Doyle Fletcher

Baron Marcus Francis

Franseca Lael Francis

Jaden Michael Fuller

Giuliana Gagliardi

Bianca Azoria Gaiter

Luis Alfonso Galarza

Lillian Dorothy Gallinoto

Annie Catherine Garach

Madison Monique Garrett

James Ryan Gaston

Namar Chance Gaynor

Oluwatobi Joshua Gbadebo

Katrina Anne Genca

Antwan Patrick Gibson

Elaina Loren Gold

Richard Shrestha Gomes

Veronica Ivelisse Gonzalez Miranda

Evan Maxwell Gordon

Mollie Naughton Gorman

Aaron Wynn Gruber

Alexandra Marie Guerrero

Claudia Isabella Gugliotti

Emma Marie Gullen

Jenish Gurung

Ariana Gutierrez

Samuel Thomas Hamel

Benjamin Martin Hardesty

Samuel Mason Hardesty

Gabriel Hartford Martinez

Colette Caroline Haverty

Maguire Kryszpin Hawkesby-Mullins

Patrick Alan Hemingway

Brenden Hill

Michael Alan Hill

Thai Tam Nhu Hoang

Matthew Israel Hook

Ariana Paola Huapaya-Rios

Elaina Marie Huber

Alexandra Rachel Hudson

Abigail June Hughes

Evan David Ittleson

Hanif Antonio Jackson Jr

Alex Charles Jakubowski

Madeline Grace Jakubowski

Angel Jose Jaquez-Rivera

Ava Elizabeth Johnson

Minu Maria Kallukalam Mathews

David James Kandel

Jayanth Karuturi

Eleanor Elizabeth Khan

Julia Louise Kiernan

Alan Harper Kim

Ella Frances Kimberly

Nina Kate Kluskiewicz

Harrison Montelle Knight

Miguel Alberto Knight

Alexander Nicholas Konopka

Charles Joseph Daniel Krajc

Emma Grace Kramer

Chandni Meenakshi Krishnaprasad

Baden J Krisst

Charles Stephen Kristofak

Declan Thomas Kutscher

Scott Donald LaBranch

Ryan Michael Lafferty

Elizabeth Grace LaMarco

Maxwell Evan Langweil

Spencer R Langweil

Benjamin David Larkin

Mason Anthony LaSala

Jason Sen Lau

Lexus Sabalboro Laureta

Sandy H Le

Vi Khang Le

Sencerie Ontionette Grace Leaphart

Barbara Ann Leonard

Margaret Elizabeth Leonard

George Leonard IV

Noah Mason Lerner

Madeleine Julia Levesque

Sydney Mae Liatti

Mwila Lingashi

Joseph Anthony Lorenzo

Cassie J Lowe-Choa-Lee

Jack Evans Lubin

Kaylie Luna

Eloise Amelia Bronte MacKinnon

Skylin Sherin Macy

Emma Rose Main

Jazmine Marie Maldonado

Laylah Salise Maldonado

Caragh Ann Maloney

Therese Amihan Maloney

Nathan Alexander Maloy

Bailey Manning-Ingala

Hunter William Marotto

Michael Anthony Marques

Alyssa Dior Martinez

Angel Maria Mathew

Ethan Felix Mathieu

Stephanie Matos

Shealyn L McCann

Preston Jay McCarthy

Aidan Robert McDonald

Owen Paul McGoldrick

Diana Margaret McGovern

Rose Tiernan McGowan

Owen Patrick McGrath

Kellsie Anne McKeown

Jessica Leann McNally

James Devine McPhee

Olivia Rose Mello

Chad David Merrifield

Maggie Mieczkowski

Weronika Milewicz

Alisha Farah Mohamed

Audrey Jean Mongillo

Luis Angel Morales Vargas

Ethan Phillip Morren

Kiefer Steven Morrow

Zoe Yachu Morrow

Brynn Irene Murphy

Tejal Nair

Notreve Antonia Nelson

Brandon L Nguyen

Bryan D Nguyen

Catherine Anh-Thi Nguyen

Mai Phuc Huynh Nguyen

Phillip Nguyen

Vivian Myhan Nguyen

Christina Ni

Ian James Nicastro

Alicia Catherine Nicholson-Gauvin

Taylor Marie Nicholson-Gauvin

Gianna Elizabeth Niman

Jessica Oliveira Nogueira

Chloe Eve Nollet

Maya Noman

Ronan Thomas O’Brien

Ryan James O’Connell

Connor Jay Olechna

Gregory Thomas Olechna

Mia Giovanna Olson

Ethan Thomas Orentas

Grace Erin O’Rourke

Isaiah Hector Padilla

Savannah Jessie Paolitto

Kayla Joyce Paparazzo

Bilaxan Paudel

Alison Katherine Pauluk

Savannah Jane Peak

Kaelyn Shahira Pelaez

Grace Kathryn Phalon

Alexander Anh Quoc Pham

Angela Thu Pham

Mark V Pham

Juliet M Pia

Francia Plascencia Espinosa De Los Monteros

Avery Lynn Pollicita

Emily Przestrzelski

Lindy Yenlinh Quach

Carolyn Faith Quinn

Julia Elizabeth Racz

Phoebe Clare Reardon

Romy De-lin Reichenberger

Andrew Jordan Reicher

Wyatt Dawson Reid

Tyler Gordon Remigino

Stephanie Anne Reuning-Scherer

Izabella Virginia Ricciardi

Justin Kamil Rivas

Alize Unique Rivera

Gabriel Andre Rivera

Jonathan A Rivera

Josiah Dorian Rivers

Arianna Haleigh Roach

Benjamin Seung Min Roach

Lindsay Anne Robinson

Mia Teresa Robinson

Rafael Tiago Rodrigues

Elise Margaret Roen

Yvonne Marie Rogach

Victor Manuel Rojas Pimentel

Ryan Jacob Roller

Melissa Kathryn Romberg

Jett Bond Rosner

Evan Philip Roy

Maya Emily Sadowski

Amanda Erin Sagers

Ceszar Manuel Santos

Jude Armand Sargent

Ariana Sarwar

Matthew Gabriel Schatz

Samantha Faith Scillia

Chloe Christine Scrimgeour

Brianna Elizabeth Segar

Zujeily Ashlian Serrano

Justice Nyles Seymour

Aidan Joseph Shaffer

Allison Grace Shane

Hallie Elizabeth Shea

William Henry Tucker Shea

Emma Spencer Sibson

Rowan James Sierra

Samyrielis Nocole Sierra

Deborah Ferreira Silva

Cooper Dylan Silver

Joshua David Nishimu Sirman

Evan Michael Smart

Gabriella Ann Sohn

Olivia Grace Sokale

Nathan Gregory Souza

Kiley Faith Spillane

Chloe E Starr

Jamie Thanh Sterling

Eric Alois Stiber

Liam Doyle Switzer

Yusey Benjamin Tanaka

Ella Eliz Tekce

Kaitlee Julie Tellez

Eduardo Terrero

Aman Thapa

Avery Louise Theriault

Catherine Maeve Thiery

John Gregory Thomas

Damian Zion Tai Thompson

Mario Dut Mario Tong

Steve Thomas Torres

Christopher Dinh Tran

Thanh Truc Tran

Jordyn Frances Trent

Charles Donald Trunik

Nicholas James Urso

Russell Ritter Van Der Hulst

Luis Vargas

Ariana Gabriela Vasquez

Dalton Veiga

Lea Mercedes Velasquez

Halle Rose Marie Weissman

Alexa Ryan Wells

Dazzanay Ethesia Williams

Nora Cawley Willson

Chengfang Wu

Annabella Jazlynn Yacoub

Luke Anthony Yanosy

Rushil Kumar Yerrabelli

Kayla Sanders Yousman

Gabriella Veronika Zhalov

Kaiwen Zhang

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