Staples students shine at 2019 graduation
WESTPORT — The cloudy, rainy skies didn’t block Staples High School’s newest graduates from shining on their big day.
On Tuesday afternoon, families and friends packed the Staples Field House to watch over 400 seniors complete their high school journeys.
Staples Principal James D’Amico said his hope for the class of 2019 was for them to grow, adapt to their environments, and foster growth in the world around them.
“There’s nowhere to go but up from here,” D’Amico said.
Class speaker Victoria Cao, a senior at Staples, said after four years and countless hours it felt surreal graduation had finally arrived.
“It’s difficult to come to terms with the idea that we may never step foot in this field house or walk these halls again,” Cao said.
Despite this, the lasting impact of Staples High School would endure, she said, adding the school was much more than just a building.
“This school has changed us and has taught us more about ourselves then we could have ever hoped for,” Cao said. “The teachers, the administrators, our friends, our siblings and our parents have each helped to shape us into who we are.”
Cao said while watching a variety show she saw a similarity in the Staples community. At the school, however, the broad range of talent was on display for longer than 50 minutes.
“The past four years have been a continuous Staples variety show with all of us walking alongside our classmates and watching them reach their full potential,” she said.
Reflecting on her past years, Cao told her fellow graduates to continue to live with purpose. She encouraged her class to live moment-to-moment and enjoy the fruitfulness of life.
“Our lives should be lived day-by-day, not goal-by-goal,” she said, thanking Staples for teaching her this lesson.
Valedictorian Sirina Verma Prasad, who will attend Harvard in the fall with her identical twin sister Anisa (salutatorian of this year’s class), said she came to a realization while watching the classic 1985 film “The Breakfast Club.”
“I was struck by the fact that in 30 odd years, high school really hasn’t changed that much,” Prasad joked.
However, a theme in the movie tied into a lifelong lesson she learned while at Staples.
“The greatest lesson I’ve learned over the last four years is that it’s worth the effort to find common ground,” she said. “As we move into the next stage of our lives we’ll need this skill more than ever.”
Prasad said she didn’t believe high school would be the best days of her graduating class’ lives — there would be more.
“I believe that we will take what we will learn, all the lessons we’ve tested out, and use them as we continue to grow with the experience,” she said.