With a few laughs, words of advice, Class of 2014 graduates

The Trumbull High Class of 2014 graduated Friday evening at McDougall Stadium.  — Kate Czaplinski photos
The Trumbull High Class of 2014 graduated Friday evening at McDougall Stadium.  — Kate Czaplinski photos
The Trumbull High Class of 2014 graduated Friday evening at McDougall Stadium.  — Kate Czaplinski photos
The Trumbull High Class of 2014 graduated Friday evening at McDougall Stadium.  — Kate Czaplinski photos
The Trumbull High Class of 2014 graduated Friday evening at McDougall Stadium.  — Kate Czaplinski photos
The Trumbull High Class of 2014 graduated Friday evening at McDougall Stadium.  — Kate Czaplinski photos
The Trumbull High Class of 2014 graduated Friday evening at McDougall Stadium.  — Kate Czaplinski photos
The Trumbull High Class of 2014 graduated Friday evening at McDougall Stadium.  — Kate Czaplinski photos
The Trumbull High Class of 2014 graduated Friday evening at McDougall Stadium.  — Kate Czaplinski photos
The Trumbull High Class of 2014 graduated Friday evening at McDougall Stadium.  — Kate Czaplinski photos
The Trumbull High Class of 2014 graduated Friday evening at McDougall Stadium.  — Kate Czaplinski photos

Five-hundred and forty-one students celebrated the end of their high school careers Friday evening on the turf at McDougall Stadium.

With so many students, Trumbull High’s Class President Jessica Aloi, Salutatorian Maxwell Wu, and Valedictorian Maneesh Koneru all agreed that it was hard to characterize the Class of 2014.

“The Class of 2014 is a bunch of dirty troublemakers,” Wu said in his speech to the students. “I mean that in the best way.”

Jessica Aloi used humor throughout her speech to her classmates, stressing that laugher was the best medicine, especially with the recent loss of sophomore Abigail Anderson.

“As someone who knew Abby, I know she would have wanted us to laugh and enjoy today,” Aloi said.

School and public officials shared their own words of advice for the graduates.

Board of Education Chair Deborah Herbst said she has always marveled at both the accomplishments and character of Trumbull students.

“The community of Trumbull prides itself in your many accomplishments,” Herbst said. “Thank you for the contributions you have made to the town.”

The board chair also urged students to keep their families front and center in their hearts, as they move on to new challenges.

“Please call or text home as often as you can to let your parents know you are OK,” she said.

First Selectman Timothy Herbst applauded the entire class as well as the eight graduates who are moving on to serve in the military.

“Be willing to do something that others cannot or are not willing to do,” the first selectman said to the class. “Be willing to work harder and longer and be willing to risk ridicule when you champion a cause worth fighting for.”

Herbst also mentioned his father, Athletic Director Michael Herbst, who has retired after 38 years of service to the schools.

“Coach Herbst, on behalf of all of Trumbull thank you and please know how much your family loves you,” Herbst said.

Superintendent Gary Cialfi encouraged the class members to snap a “selfie” and celebrate the moment. He also encouraged the grads to be good to one another and strive meet their goals.

Trumbull High Principal Marc Guarino, who is finishing up his first year at the school, thanked the class for teaching him that THS stands for “Tradition, Honor and Success.”

“My one is regret is I only had one year to get to know you,” Guarino said. “You hold a special place as my first graduating class.”

Jessica Aloi said she wished her classmates success next year and she knows she’ll be seeing them in the future.

“I hope to see you all at the reunions I have to plan for the rest of my life,” Aloi joked. “Didn’t know that was part of the job description when I signed up.”