COLCHESTER — The class of 2022 graduated on Saturday during Colchester High School's 47th commencement ceremony.
The ceremony was kicked off by senior Jenny Martel, who received a resounding applause for her rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner." Superintendent Amy Minor then praised the senior class for bringing high school's "halls and classrooms back to life" despite the struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After senior choir and band members performed Carole King's "You've Got A Friend," Emma McDonald and Gloria Kigonya delivered senior addresses.
McDonald said she and her peers have gone through more in their 18 years of life than anyone expected, but are stronger because of it.
"Nothing will be quite like this ever again," she said. "Take it all in and go do you."
Kigonya echoed that sentiment, sharing that when the pandemic sent the class home during sophomore year in March 2020, they transformed from "ordinary" to "extraordinary" students.
"We are now better problem solvers, critical thinkers, better at adapting to change and more empathetic," she said. "We are capable of extraordinary things."
For the commencement speech, Matt Fraser, an alum from 2008, returned to Colchester High School. Fraser is a five-time consecutive CrossFit Games champion, who was previously a junior national champion in Olympic weightlifting.
In his speech, he encouraged students to let their failures and mistakes motivate them to work harder and be better.
Other students who spoke at the podium included Ethan Piette, Peyton Jenkins and Kendall Spencer.