Telstar graduates urged to 'get lost'

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BETHEL — Graduating seniors at Telstar High School on Friday evening were urged by top scholar Gaelan Boyle-Wight to “get lost.”

“There’s usually a negative image that goes with that phrase, but tonight it has a different meaning,” Boyle-Wight said. “When you get lost, you find out new information and meet new people.”

He encouraged his fellow graduates to make their own paths and become “trailblazers.”

“Sometimes our trail disappears. Our path is gone. That’s when you make your own,” he said.

Along with being the 50th ceremony, this was the first graduation in which Telstar used the “honors recognition” system for determining the top students in the class, replacing the titles valedictorian and salutatorian with cum laude and magna cum laude, Latin for “with honor” and “with great honor,” respectively.

Principal Cheryl Lang said in her introduction that the new system encourages students to compete against themselves rather than each other for a high GPA, and the title of “top scholar” is not limited to any number of students.

Taylor Mason, another top scholar, described the graduates’ future as a “blank canvas” and an “unwritten book.”

“Don’t be defeated by life’s events,” Mason said. “Start a new chapter, use a different color, write a new verse. Our worst moments are the ones that make us the best we can be.”

Before the ceremony began, parents were asked to stand so their students could find them and give them golden carnations, along with a hug and a “thank you.”

“It takes a village to raise our children,” said Lang, who thanked “all the pivotal people” for helping the graduates receive their diplomas.

Lang praised the Class of 2018, and said she was “impressed by their hard work and dedication to succeed.”

According to Lang, the class logged a total of 3,466 hours of community service throughout their four years of high school. Many also held jobs and participated in athletics and other extracurricular activities.

“The future is waiting for us,” said Boyle-Wight. “Let’s show it what we’ve got. Let’s get out there and get lost.”

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Class marshals for Telstar High School’s Class of 2018, Gabe Pasternak and Emalee Harrington, lead the graduates toward the stage Friday night in Bethel.  (Liz Marquis/Sun Journal)

Top scholar Gaelan Boyle-Wight hands his mother, Patricia Boyle-Wight, a carnation before the Telstar High School graduation ceremony Friday night in Bethel.  (Liz Marquis/Sun Journal)

Top scholar Gaelan Boyle-Wight hands his mother, Patricia Boyle-Wight, a carnation before the Telstar High School graduation ceremony on Friday night in Bethel.  (Liz Marquis/Sun Journal)

Top scholar Gaelan Boyle-Wight hands his mother, Patricia Boyle-Wight, a carnation before the Telstar High School graduation ceremony on Friday night in Bethel.  (Liz Marquis/Sun Journal)

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