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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:

InnaAbalyan
VictoriaRoseAbel
AdamAbo Rabia
EltonChristopher-AeolusAdams III
JohnMichaelAgnew
ElizabethDubuqueAgreda
KhalidAshraffAhmed
BryanJohnAlbee
RayadhAli
MahmoudSalehAlmohaid
EmiliaMaryAlquist
MeghanAnnAlquist
GraceVeronicaAmato
IsabelleDianeAmato
ChloeJordanAmaya
LucPaulAnis
MilesLeoAronow
NathanRayArthur
NyasiaSkyAyala
CamilaLourdesBarbosa
MichaelEugeneBaril
JaneEmilyBarlow
KathrynErinBarnett
KritiBashyal
AddisonAliyaBassock
HannahJoanBaxer
CarolynBayarsaihan
BrandonH.Beecher
HaleyJordanBerkowitz
MaxAlexanderBerman
AkashBinoj
IsabellaStuartBlake
AndrewConnerBooth
ElijahBoyd
NiaEmiliaBraccidiferro
GabrielleAnnaBrousseau
TerryAllenBrown
TyasiaAntoinetteBrown
ElijahIsaiahBryan
MollySheaBuckley
JasonEliBuckman
EmoryThomasBurke
ArielBykoff
SossiBykoff
MichaelVincentCagnetta
AlanaMarieCalabrese
ColeVisscherCanarie
CarlaEmiliaCanovi
WilliamJacksonCarpenter
JordanChaseCarrillo
BriannaCastillo
BenjaminEricCastro
MasatoNicholasCayford
SuhayChacon
NaomiAleezaChandler
TessoraLi-LihChang
EvanChen
DeclanDonohueChill
MaraNicoleChiriac
SamuelDavidChmielewski
CeciliaEnyoungCho
ArmanReedoyChowdhury
JoselynElizabethClark
NatanIsraelCohen
SarahEileenCohn
KyleeMartineColbert
AbijahZechariahCole
JesseMarieConnelly-Cohen
JoshuaAndrewCorrea
MarielSofiaCorrea-Maynard
DylanManuelCosta
AiyannaMaeCoulter
ClareKellyCoursey
ThomasRobertCravedi
PatrickAustinDaly
AlexandraGraceDanehy
DavishkaThihani MiriamDe Silva
AnnaRoseDeFilippis
AshlynMaryDelaney
JulioAngelDelgado Jr.
MeganAngieDelgado Franco
OliviaAnneDeMaio
NicholasJosephDeMichele
OwenWilliamDenton
XavierM.Depestre
PrakritiDhakal
JeremyTylerDiaz
HodoMohamedDirir
MaxwellHarrisonDrazen
BridgetJaneDugan
MatthewEdwardDunlap
EllaJadeDunn
KaitlynMarieDupont
ElliotFrancisDuprey
ThomasJosephDupuis
ColeRileyDuzan
CedrickDeckaEkra
GillenElizabethFaenza
SamanthaBeatrizFalcon
NoaShaindel MannFalik
MichaelTriggsFarley
IsabelleLoewaldFarnham
ShaynaAlexisFiedler
SophiaCatherineFinn-McMahon
BrianMcIntyreFlynn
NoahHarrisonFox
HarrisonJamesFreda
DestinyDesireFuller
EllenRoslynFuller
JamesDavidGadue
MakaylaMarieGelinas
AlexaNicoleGellerman
LilyMarieGeorge
CyrusMcCallGibson
OliverShaneGibson
AdamAndrewGlassman
HenryEdwardGlucksman
RebeccaPaigeGold
CatherineGraceGolder
AlexanderAnthonyGombosh
NathaliaEduardaGoncalves Bastos
DimeldyDanaGonzalez
AndrewMichaelGottlieb
MatthewRyanGraulich
ValentinoGiovanniGuarino
JustinElijahGutierrez
SamuelConleyHamad
AlaysiaEliseHamilton
J’NiahSheaHampton
GraceErinHanlon
JadaHarding
MichaelToddHardwic
Mary GraceHarris
MaramOmarHayajneh
EmmaC.Henderson
CyrusMarcelHenry
SaraiDovHertz-Velazquez
DeonnaLindaHightower
PhuongthaoHoang
AidanJosephHoffman
EvanAlexanderHolmes
AlanRichardHorner
JohnOliverHosey
RileyAndrewHrdlicka
AnneKimHua
NatalieClaireHucker
ChastidyDymondHudson
AidenElizabethHuth
ChaseFrancisJeter
KaylahMorganJohnson
JonahWilliamKalsner Kershen
AidanShragaKaminer
WilliamBarrettKanaga
FarhanIsraqKarim
LouiseMarie HeleneKehres
GrahamThomasKennedy
AnastasiaKhrenova
MinjaeKim
JosephCosimoKitz
JohnWilliamKozak
SenekhaMariamKuriakose
JoshuaAaronKursman
ColinRyanKuzia
JosephineBarrettLa Forte
KylorH MLachut
AshleyY.Lam
DylanLouisLandau
RichardWillemLandis
RichardQuinnLane
EveEmmanuelleLaub
BriannaThanh ThanhLe
Christina AnneHoaLe
RachelHelenLeibin
ElenoreRoseLeonidas
SamuelIrwinLevine
DaisyYingxuanLi
AndrewLiew
AnthonyKrisnaLim
AnnikaMarjorieLittle
MatthewWadeLittle
IsabellaMarieLivingston
YahyaIbrahimLodi
HannahRoseLoiselle
DouglasGeorgeLombardi
MatthewRyanLombardo
TaylorNicoleLubin
ValerieAnnLund
MaxAllenMacDuffie
AgamKumarMahato
AishahZahrahMalik
LaurenS.Maltby
MadisonChristineMandyck
AndrewJamesMarchesi
RebeccaGabrielleMargolis
ZamoraAriaMarket-Maestre
JacobPaulMartin
CassandraMarianaMartinez
AislingMillarMarie
IrmaCamilaMartinez
JacobElliotMason
JamesCameronMatino
PaulDexterMcCann
MilesRoyMcCarthy-Reynolds
JacquelineKellyMcConnell
RakaylaRoneeMcKain
CatherineAnnMcNamara
AnyaLihuaMelick
MirandaRoseMertes
JaceXavierMeyer
ChasanoAnthony-PaulMeyers
RebecaAndreinaMichelena Assuncao
DarrellDevaneMickey Jr
NajiMohammedMiddleton
AlexanderIvanMiner
RichardAndrewMitchell IV
EmilyHoppinMohler
BrendanKerriganMoore
CarlosRobertoMoore
ShannonVictoriaMorrin
TiasiaAjanaeMorton
RaniHoneshwariMotiram
AugustusJohnMurchie
SeanEdwardMurphy
BraedonWilliamMurray
SreenidhiGopalakrishnanNair
IvanAlexanderNarvaez
HarlanJacobNeiditz
KennyKimNguyen
SaomaiPhuongNguyen
AndrewMichaelNicklas
DesiraeLee-RodriguezNigol-Mason
NatalieAnneNordyke
WilliamRobertNorthup
EricArinzeNwachukwu
HannahTaylorO’Connell
HonorCarolineO’Connell
KianJustinO’Connor
GraceHan-LiOlson
KachiOnochieOnoh
JoshuaChiagoziemOnyirimba
ZumairMohdPagani
CindyPan
SanskritiPandey
MatthewHarryPatchen
ChristinaAnnePender
OscarAlexanderPerdomo
VictoriaMariaPereira
KeishaPerez
NoamPerov
HannahRosePliskin
MadelineBethPliskin
OliviaBellePomerleau
JorgeOscarPonton Benitez
MariaIngridPorth
ShantaLakshmiPrasad
OliviaPearcePrestley
ErinSalviaPrincipe
EricaReneePropis
AmitPun Chochangi
JohnAlexanderPunt
AmberBrookeRaisner
SydneyGiseleRekow
AlisonRoseRestelli
LindseyAnneRestelli
ArielAngelicaRice
DesmondRichards
DevinAnthonyRichards
WilliamScottRitter
JoshuaIsaiahRivera
JacobRyanRocheleau
NiallErdenRodgers
AlisaElizabethRodriguez
EileenTatiannaRodriguez
KrystalLeeRodriguez
AlexandraYeimarRosales Ballestas
ChaseCordeyRose-Hollis
JakeAndrewRosenkranz
BenjaminJacobRosin
AbbyJessicaRossini
XavierBryantRouleau
ElizabethLouiseRousseau
RachelElanSaal
SusanaRafaelaSantos Sousa
RachelPereiraSantos
NathanRossSchaumburger
JacobSidneySchneider
ShainaAlisonSchnog
CarolineRoseSchuck
MiaSheaMeiSchumey
JustinMichaelSearls
DevonBarrShafer
JadenBrianShaw
MasonJohnShimanski
ReneeAvivaSilver
NoahLeeSilverman
AbdielJoshuaSingleton
CaitlinAineSkarzynski
DanielleMarissaSmall
GriffinDoyleSmith
LilaElizabethSnider
MackenzieAutumnSnow
SeyenahMadisonSoto
MasonTylerStabile
DillonJamesStan
NaielaAirasSuleiman
SulimanIbrahimSuliman
BraeMarieSullivan
SamuelSun
JustinDavidSurowiec
MeganTylerSwindle
ArbazSyed
EmilyJaneSzubinski
JacobDavidTafrate
NasirAdnan SuleimanTanash
ReylynBondocTanchiatco
PhillipHoangTang
CharlesJeromeTeasley
JesseEricThermer
KatjaElisabethThomalla
ConnorJamesThomas
Ly’AsiaTaijhaThompson
KellyAlainaTiernan
AriannaEleni MarieTrahiotis
AlexanderMichaelTranquilli
PeterGeorgeTravers
ShaylaLynnTulier
MeganEleanorTuohy
RebeccaUngar
EzequielMatiasUnger
MayaTeresaVarney
KevinAbrahamVazquez
Tri-ThienDinhVu
EmmaRaskinWaddell
MitchellCarterWahlberg
MoriahDorisWalker
JeanneWang
AhjanaeTraneseWard
SamanthaDayWarshauer
KatherineBeldenWashburn
CraigEdwardWasielewski
HannahBethWeisenberg
JuliaMaeWiener
FrankHowardWilliams
KierstinMarieWinkelman
JoshuaElliotWolmer
TajanayMarcellaWoodard
HarrisonRobertWoods
JessieJiachenXu
LiamRyanYorgensen
EricJacobZeiberg
YiweiZhan
MirandaZhang
MichaelThomasZhou
LukeThomasZmudzinski
GeorgeZugravu

 

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Ryley McGinnis

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