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"A world of possibilities" is "now one degree hotter" — those were two of the inspiring messages spread across 542 graduation caps as the Trumbull High Class of 2016 said goodbye to its past and embraced its future Wednesday night.

As evidence by another decorated cap, the Class of 2016 has "places to see, people to meet, memories to make" — some in college, others in the military, and plenty more outside of the walls of Trumbull High School.

Peter Horton, director of the Trumbull High School concert band, led the processional before the entire class sang the National Anthem.

Principal Marc Guarino led this year's Salutatorian Rachel Tropp, Class President Astonique Robinson, and Valedictorian Christina DeBenedetto to the podium before making his opening remarks to those in the audience.

Loretta Chory, chairwoman for the Trumbull Board of Education, gave her speech to the graduates, which was followed by an address from Superintendent Dr. Gary Cialfi.

The superintendent told the 542 graduates to that in their time in the Trumbull Public School System they demonstrated self-advocacy and learned that they could not achieve success alone.

"Success requires empathy . . . the ability to work well together when you respect others’ different views, feelings and personalities," he said. 

"You can self-advocate or you can show empathy but when you use them in tandem, the sky’s the limit," he added. "You have been learning about and practicing this premise of self-advocacy and empathy throughout your school life starting way back on the pulse of that morning, that new beginning on Sept. 2, 2003 — your first day of kindergarten.

"You learned about being first in line … self-advocacy; you learned about sharing … empathy; you learned about the golden rule."

First Selectman Tim Herbst spoke next, which was followed by addresses and remarks from Tropp, Robinson, and DeBenedetto.

The Trumbull High Class of 2016 was then presented its diplomas by the school's administration.

In his speech, Dr. Cialfi acknowledged several kindergarten teachers who were in the audience Wednesday night.

"So here we are, a bit like the full circle — especially now because i am going to take this opportunity to ask your teachers to stand and acknowledge you and to be acknowledged by you," he said.

Robinson gave the closing remarks before the graduation caps were flung into the air.

One of those caps expressed what was on the mind of every student on the field Wednesday night — it was "about time" to celebrate their accomplishments.

For more photos and coverage, please pick up next week's print edition of The Trumbull Times.