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Integrity, Respect and ‘Wakanda Forever’ Echo through Hall High School’s 2018 Commencement

Hall High School students flip their tassels from right to left as they become graduates. Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School’s Class of 2018 was urged to look toward the future by showing integrity, respect, and honor.

Mortarboards decorated with inspiring words and college mascots. Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

By Ryley McGinnis. Photos by Hunter Marotto

The 85-degree heat couldn’t melt the excitement that the 355 members of West Hartford’s Hall High School Class of 2018 felt at their graduation ceremony Tuesday.

The rows were lined with royal blue robes and decorated caps were covered in encouraging quotes or their future school’s mascots, as the soon-to-be alumni sat eagerly anticipating their names being called.

The many speakers focused on the students’ integrity and honor, and highlighted the graduating class’ compassion.

In Principal Dan Zittoun’s opening remarks, he recounted the innumerable letters and words of encouragement he received last fall when he announced to the school that his daughter, Abigail, had been diagnosed with cancer. Zittoun said his family was covered in a “blanket” of love and compassion. “During the most difficult times, I knew I had this blanket that gave me the strength to keep going.”

Zittoun thanked the graduating class for this compassion, and Board of Education Member Mark Zydanowicz echoed the sentiment when he thanked the class for their kindness when his daughter joined Hall last year as a freshman. “As a dad, I personally want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being such a wonderful class,” said Zydanowicz.

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Paul Vicinus urged the graduates to push these characteristics to include respect, integrity, and honor.

“Integrity means doing what’s right, and that is measured by actions,” said Vicinus. “We show respect for others by walking ahead and holding the door for those who have their hands full, but do we honor them to take the time to offer help carrying those packages?” Vicinus told the graduates this was their call to action, to show respect and honor, as they become active members of society. “Stand up and take action in pursuit of your passions, be the change to make the difference.”

Lara White, chosen by the students as their faculty speaker, shared a similar sentiment with the graduates. “I hope that you leave my class not only being an advocate for change we need in our country, but the change you need for yourself,” said White.

White also gave the students a piece of advice that she took from class discussions on the movie Black Panther. “In the face of adversity when you realize that some people might expect less of you, assume your defeat or underestimate your power, we believe you can and will triumph and at that moment I want you to remember why you loved watching Black Panther so much,” said White. “In the future when you’re down, be sure to whisper ‘Wakanda forever’ and it might just help you find your faith, your swagger, and your smile again.”

“I realized that for all of us, what ‘Wakanda’ really truly represents, it is a place where our best selves reside and where we can be brilliant,” said White.

Another common theme for the night was goodbyes, or the opposite of that, according to student speaker Sreenidhi Nair. “Graduation can be misleading, people often think of them as goodbyes, when they are in fact a welcome of a new beginning,” said Nair. But these new beginnings aren’t always easy.

“Although the future is a beautiful thing, it won’t be easy. There will be times when you question what you’re doing, there will be times where you feel discouraged, but there will also be times of success, happiness, and belief,” said Nair.

Overall, the many speakers shared positive messages and inspiring words of advice, which was one of the things that Chase Jeter, one of the graduates, said he was looking forward to. “I’m looking forward to the speakers, seeing my friends walk across the stage, and to get started on the next chapter of my life,” said Jeter, who will be attending Dartmouth College in the fall, along with his friend Scott Ritter. Ritter said he was mainly looking forward to cheering on his friends as they walked across the stage as well.

When asked what his favorite moment was in his time at Hall, Jeter said there couldn’t be just one. “I think just overall spending time here, experiencing new things, broadening my horizons and my knowledge of the world is the big thing,” said Jeter. “And of course my friends.”

At the end of the ceremony, the graduates tossed their colorful mortarboards into the air, went to find their families, and then went off on their separate ways, at least for a few hours until the Safe Grad celebration began at 10 p.m.

Some of Nair’s final words sum up the “blanket” of love that covered the crowd of graduates, family members, and friends Tuesday night: “In the end, you will be happy with who you are, and if you aren’t, then it isn’t the end yet.”

A complete list of graduates from the Hall High School Class of 2018, provided by Hall, follows the photos.

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Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School Graduation. Students with faculty speaker Lara White. Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall HighHall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

HaHall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School Graduation. Principal Dan Zittoun and Board of Ed Member Rob Levine. Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall HigHall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School graduation. June 19, 2018. Photo by Hunter Marotto.

Hall High School Class of 2018:

Inna Abalyan
Victoria Rose Abel
Adam Abo Rabia
Elton Christopher-Aeolus Adams III
John Michael Agnew
Elizabeth Dubuque Agreda
Khalid Ashraff Ahmed
Bryan John Albee
Rayadh Ali
Mahmoud Saleh Almohaid
Emilia Mary Alquist
Meghan Ann Alquist
Grace Veronica Amato
Isabelle Diane Amato
Chloe Jordan Amaya
Luc Paul Anis
Miles Leo Aronow
Nathan Ray Arthur
Nyasia Sky Ayala
Camila Lourdes Barbosa
Michael Eugene Baril
Jane Emily Barlow
Kathryn Erin Barnett
Kriti Bashyal
Addison Aliya Bassock
Hannah Joan Baxer
Carolyn Bayarsaihan
Brandon H. Beecher
Haley Jordan Berkowitz
Max Alexander Berman
Akash Binoj
Isabella Stuart Blake
Andrew Conner Booth
Elijah Boyd
Nia Emilia Braccidiferro
Gabrielle Anna Brousseau
Terry Allen Brown
Tyasia Antoinette Brown
Elijah Isaiah Bryan
Molly Shea Buckley
Jason Eli Buckman
Emory Thomas Burke
Ariel Bykoff
Sossi Bykoff
Michael Vincent Cagnetta
Alana Marie Calabrese
Cole Visscher Canarie
Carla Emilia Canovi
William Jackson Carpenter
Jordan Chase Carrillo
Brianna Castillo
Benjamin Eric Castro
Masato Nicholas Cayford
Suhay Chacon
Naomi Aleeza Chandler
Tessora Li-Lih Chang
Evan Chen
Declan Donohue Chill
Mara Nicole Chiriac
Samuel David Chmielewski
Cecilia Enyoung Cho
Arman Reedoy Chowdhury
Joselyn Elizabeth Clark
Natan Israel Cohen
Sarah Eileen Cohn
Kylee Martine Colbert
Abijah Zechariah Cole
Jesse Marie Connelly-Cohen
Joshua Andrew Correa
Mariel Sofia Correa-Maynard
Dylan Manuel Costa
Aiyanna Mae Coulter
Clare Kelly Coursey
Thomas Robert Cravedi
Patrick Austin Daly
Alexandra Grace Danehy
Davishka Thihani Miriam De Silva
Anna Rose DeFilippis
Ashlyn Mary Delaney
Julio Angel Delgado Jr.
Megan Angie Delgado Franco
Olivia Anne DeMaio
Nicholas Joseph DeMichele
Owen William Denton
Xavier M. Depestre
Prakriti Dhakal
Jeremy Tyler Diaz
Hodo Mohamed Dirir
Maxwell Harrison Drazen
Bridget Jane Dugan
Matthew Edward Dunlap
Ella Jade Dunn
Kaitlyn Marie Dupont
Elliot Francis Duprey
Thomas Joseph Dupuis
Cole Riley Duzan
Cedrick Decka Ekra
Gillen Elizabeth Faenza
Samantha Beatriz Falcon
Noa Shaindel Mann Falik
Michael Triggs Farley
Isabelle Loewald Farnham
Shayna Alexis Fiedler
Sophia Catherine Finn-McMahon
Brian McIntyre Flynn
Noah Harrison Fox
Harrison James Freda
Destiny Desire Fuller
Ellen Roslyn Fuller
James David Gadue
Makayla Marie Gelinas
Alexa Nicole Gellerman
Lily Marie George
Cyrus McCall Gibson
Oliver Shane Gibson
Adam Andrew Glassman
Henry Edward Glucksman
Rebecca Paige Gold
Catherine Grace Golder
Alexander Anthony Gombosh
Nathalia Eduarda Goncalves Bastos
Dimeldy Dana Gonzalez
Andrew Michael Gottlieb
Matthew Ryan Graulich
Valentino Giovanni Guarino
Justin Elijah Gutierrez
Samuel Conley Hamad
Alaysia Elise Hamilton
J’Niah Shea Hampton
Grace Erin Hanlon
Jada Harding
Michael Todd Hardwic
Mary Grace Harris
Maram Omar Hayajneh
Emma C. Henderson
Cyrus Marcel Henry
Sarai Dov Hertz-Velazquez
Deonna Linda Hightower
Phuongthao Hoang
Aidan Joseph Hoffman
Evan Alexander Holmes
Alan Richard Horner
John Oliver Hosey
Riley Andrew Hrdlicka
Anne Kim Hua
Natalie Claire Hucker
Chastidy Dymond Hudson
Aiden Elizabeth Huth
Chase Francis Jeter
Kaylah Morgan Johnson
Jonah William Kalsner Kershen
Aidan Shraga Kaminer
William Barrett Kanaga
Farhan Israq Karim
Louise Marie Helene Kehres
Graham Thomas Kennedy
Anastasia Khrenova
Minjae Kim
Joseph Cosimo Kitz
John William Kozak
Senekha Mariam Kuriakose
Joshua Aaron Kursman
Colin Ryan Kuzia
Josephine Barrett La Forte
Kylor H M Lachut
Ashley Y. Lam
Dylan Louis Landau
Richard Willem Landis
Richard Quinn Lane
Eve Emmanuelle Laub
Brianna Thanh Thanh Le
Christina Anne Hoa Le
Rachel Helen Leibin
Elenore Rose Leonidas
Samuel Irwin Levine
Daisy Yingxuan Li
Andrew Liew
Anthony Krisna Lim
Annika Marjorie Little
Matthew Wade Little
Isabella Marie Livingston
Yahya Ibrahim Lodi
Hannah Rose Loiselle
Douglas George Lombardi
Matthew Ryan Lombardo
Taylor Nicole Lubin
Valerie Ann Lund
Max Allen MacDuffie
Agam Kumar Mahato
Aishah Zahrah Malik
Lauren S. Maltby
Madison Christine Mandyck
Andrew James Marchesi
Rebecca Gabrielle Margolis
Zamora Aria Market-Maestre
Jacob Paul Martin
Cassandra Mariana Martinez
Aisling Millar Marie
Irma Camila Martinez
Jacob Elliot Mason
James Cameron Matino
Paul Dexter McCann
Miles Roy McCarthy-Reynolds
Jacqueline Kelly McConnell
Rakayla Ronee McKain
Catherine Ann McNamara
Anya Lihua Melick
Miranda Rose Mertes
Jace Xavier Meyer
Chasano Anthony-Paul Meyers
Rebeca Andreina Michelena Assuncao
Darrell Devane Mickey Jr
Naji Mohammed Middleton
Alexander Ivan Miner
Richard Andrew Mitchell IV
Emily Hoppin Mohler
Brendan Kerrigan Moore
Carlos Roberto Moore
Shannon Victoria Morrin
Tiasia Ajanae Morton
Rani Honeshwari Motiram
Augustus John Murchie
Sean Edward Murphy
Braedon William Murray
Sreenidhi Gopalakrishnan Nair
Ivan Alexander Narvaez
Harlan Jacob Neiditz
Kenny Kim Nguyen
Saomai Phuong Nguyen
Andrew Michael Nicklas
Desirae Lee-Rodriguez Nigol-Mason
Natalie Anne Nordyke
William Robert Northup
Eric Arinze Nwachukwu
Hannah Taylor O’Connell
Honor Caroline O’Connell
Kian Justin O’Connor
Grace Han-Li Olson
Kachi Onochie Onoh
Joshua Chiagoziem Onyirimba
Zumair Mohd Pagani
Cindy Pan
Sanskriti Pandey
Matthew Harry Patchen
Christina Anne Pender
Oscar Alexander Perdomo
Victoria Maria Pereira
Keisha Perez
Noam Perov
Hannah Rose Pliskin
Madeline Beth Pliskin
Olivia Belle Pomerleau
Jorge Oscar Ponton Benitez
Maria Ingrid Porth
Shanta Lakshmi Prasad
Olivia Pearce Prestley
Erin Salvia Principe
Erica Renee Propis
Amit Pun Chochangi
John Alexander Punt
Amber Brooke Raisner
Sydney Gisele Rekow
Alison Rose Restelli
Lindsey Anne Restelli
Ariel Angelica Rice
Desmond Richards
Devin Anthony Richards
William Scott Ritter
Joshua Isaiah Rivera
Jacob Ryan Rocheleau
Niall Erden Rodgers
Alisa Elizabeth Rodriguez
Eileen Tatianna Rodriguez
Krystal Lee Rodriguez
Alexandra Yeimar Rosales Ballestas
Chase Cordey Rose-Hollis
Jake Andrew Rosenkranz
Benjamin Jacob Rosin
Abby Jessica Rossini
Xavier Bryant Rouleau
Elizabeth Louise Rousseau
Rachel Elan Saal
Susana Rafaela Santos Sousa
Rachel Pereira Santos
Nathan Ross Schaumburger
Jacob Sidney Schneider
Shaina Alison Schnog
Caroline Rose Schuck
MiaShea Mei Schumey
Justin Michael Searls
Devon Barr Shafer
Jaden Brian Shaw
Mason John Shimanski
Renee Aviva Silver
Noah Lee Silverman
Abdiel Joshua Singleton
Caitlin Aine Skarzynski
Danielle Marissa Small
Griffin Doyle Smith
Lila Elizabeth Snider
Mackenzie Autumn Snow
Seyenah Madison Soto
Mason Tyler Stabile
Dillon James Stan
Naiela Airas Suleiman
Suliman Ibrahim Suliman
Brae Marie Sullivan
Samuel Sun
Justin David Surowiec
Megan Tyler Swindle
Arbaz Syed
Emily Jane Szubinski
Jacob David Tafrate
Nasir Adnan Suleiman Tanash
Reylyn Bondoc Tanchiatco
Phillip Hoang Tang
Charles Jerome Teasley
Jesse Eric Thermer
Katja Elisabeth Thomalla
Connor James Thomas
Ly’Asia Taijha Thompson
Kelly Alaina Tiernan
Arianna Eleni Marie Trahiotis
Alexander Michael Tranquilli
Peter George Travers
Shayla Lynn Tulier
Megan Eleanor Tuohy
Rebecca Ungar
Ezequiel Matias Unger
Maya Teresa Varney
Kevin Abraham Vazquez
Tri-Thien Dinh Vu
Emma Raskin Waddell
Mitchell Carter Wahlberg
Moriah Doris Walker
Jeanne Wang
Ahjanae Tranese Ward
Samantha Day Warshauer
Katherine Belden Washburn
Craig Edward Wasielewski
Hannah Beth Weisenberg
Julia Mae Wiener
Frank Howard Williams
Kierstin Marie Winkelman
Joshua Elliot Wolmer
Tajanay Marcella Woodard
Harrison Robert Woods
Jessie Jiachen Xu
Liam Ryan Yorgensen
Eric Jacob Zeiberg
Yiwei Zhan
Miranda Zhang
Michael Thomas Zhou
Luke Thomas Zmudzinski
George Zugravu

 

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Ryley McGinnis

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