Milford’s Class of 2015 told to travel and to be kind

MILFORD – The graduates were the stars of the show Saturday, but Principal Brad Craven took time to salute their parents, recognizing their “terrible joy of unbearable responsibility.”

To the 187 members of Milford High School’s Class of 2015, he advised them to travel and to be kind and noted that the obituary of a resident of the Crestwood nursing home mentioned the huge impact that Milford High students had on his time there.

And Craven begged the young people, as he did at last year’s graduation, to share less on social media and “maintain some sense of a private life … and think before you hit send. Chronicle a little less and be there a little more.”

In a speech he promised would be only 13 minutes, the principal read some of the get-well cards he received after injuring himself in an accident this year.

“I saw the accident and your head looked gross. Who’s going to give us apples on Friday now (and) I heard you might die and I hope you don’t,” he read. The notes were another reminder that “Our connections are the essence of our humanity.”

“You have taken me out of myself, and we all need that,” Craven told the young people.

Annastasia Feraco, class salutatorian, also recognized the parents, who “sat through excruciating elementary school music concerts,” helped with algebra and made numerous trips back and forth with forgotten lunches. She remembered that her class started out with a new playground at Jacques Memorial School, went on to the middle school where portfolios “were the bane of everyone’s existence,” and on to high school where they built skills that will serve them in the world.

“Most importantly, Milford has given us the ability to learn … and to learn how to continue to broaden our horizons,” she said.

Remember the small things, class president Morgan Barlow, told her classmates. Small things like Dr. Carven’s “Free Apple Fridays, Mr. Vetack saying “You are not your grades,” and Mrs. Powers remark that “Even depressing books can be fun.”

“We’ve come a long way,” she said, remembering lunch in the middle school when they would all clap simultaneously to annoy the adults, and she thanked everyone “For an unforgettable senior year.”

At the end of his speech, Craven read the names of the top 10, in alphabetical order: Kayla June Bullwinkel, Elizabeth Curless, Sean Thomas Emerson, David Gray, Dana Mikkelsen, Isabelle Rivas, Daniel Roske, Morgan Stephens, and Valedictorian Jacob Ryder and Salutatorian, Annastasia Feraco.

Craven also saluted Robert Suprenant, who is retiring as superintendent of schools this month, calling him “One of the nicest guys I know; an educator and a leader who does the right things for the right reasons.”

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or