Milford’s Class of 2013 graduates

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Staff Writer

MILFORD – Milford High School is a place where teachers care, where there is a feeling of family and a sense of safety.

Those themes were repeated throughout ceremonies Saturdayas 210 members of the Class of 2013 received their diplomas.

Joseph Albina, class president, told stories of memorable moments including white water rafting on the senior outing and how parents, teachers and alumni “cheered as our girls won the state championship” soccer game.

“Our stories are part of who we are today,” he said. What is memorable is not the hours spent studying but the people we spent time with in a place “where we felt safe and cared for.”

With that sense of family and the “strong bonds between us, maybe we will change the world,” Albina said.

The honors address was given by valedictorian Emma Santelmann who read a poem she had written in “an attempt to capture the overwhelming and mixed emotions that accompany this occasion.

“Today marks our departure from the sheltered microcosm of Milford High School and our entrance into the vast and uncertain world of adulthood,” she said.

Principal Brad Craven remembered his 1981 interview for a teaching job here. He drove through the Oval, turned left onto West Street toward what was then MASH (Milford Area Senior High School) and went into the principal’s office where “Mr. Berry was sucking down a Marlboro and said, ‘Do you want a job here?’”

“I remember thinking, ‘This will be a fun place to work for a year or two,’” he said.

More than three decades have passed and someday, Craven said, his journey will end when he’ll go down West Street and make a left turn, “toward Smith & Heald (a funeral parlor).”

But in the meantime, he said, “I like this school more than ever,” calling it a home “where I witness small graces every day.”

An example was a few weeks ago, with the Unified Basketball Game, with a mix of students of varying abilities, he said, “a fun and celebratory event that had nothing to do with winning and everything to do with the word ‘unified.’” He named some of the players and called the event an example of “our school at its finest.”

Make your decisions carefully, he told the graduates and reminded them that what some people refer to as “miracles” are really based on hard work and training. An example was the “miracle” of the plane that went down in the Hudson River several years ago with no casualties.

“The pilots were trained, The passengers listened,” Craven said. It was not a miracle, but the result of discipline, in the same way a successful theatrical performance or athletic event are the result of discipline.

“That’s what we can control. That’s what is more powerful and meaningful than magic,” he said.

“I wish you lives ... that look like magic,” he said, but which are actually the result of “your wise use of your strengths and gifts,” said the principal to the graduates.

There were cheers and whistles from the audience after Superintendent Robert Suprenant gave the graduates best wishes for a “happy and fulfilled life” and said they all had met the requirements for a high school diploma.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100, ext. 304, or at kcleveland@

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