St. Joseph's Commencement Exercises in Trumbull, Conn., on Saturday June 1, 2019. \u2014 Christian Abraham, Hearst Connecticut Media Graduation speeches tend to make analogies. The graduating class is like a family, or a team. To St. Joseph High School Salutatorian Christopher Rossetti of Seymour, the Class of 2019 is a garden. \u201cFour years ago we came here and planted ourselves in a new environment,\u201d Rossetti told the other 196 graduates at the school\u2019s 53rd commencement Saturday. \u201cWe took root, and made friends. Now our garden flourishes.\u201d Rossetti, who knew two people in the entire building when he first entered the school, said he and his classmates had grown much over the past four years, and would continue to do so. \u201cBut I hope we never grow apart,\u201d he said. Head of School William Fitzgerald, speaking to the class for the last time gathered as a group, congratulated the school\u2019s sports teams for beating New Canaan in football, again. And winning a state championhsip, again. The baseball and lacrosse seasons are continuing, with the seniors\u2019 athletic careers continuing into the playoffs even as they are now school alumni. Fitzgerald also took time to congratulate the school\u2019s softball team. The FCIAC champs saw their season end in the state quarterfinals. \u201cYou finished 24-1...and were disappointed,\u201d he said. \u201cWhat an accomplishment.\u201d But Fitzgerald\u2019s true passion is academics, he said. And the graduates stood out there too, garnering millions of dollars in academic grants and scholarships. \u201cWe may not send many defensive tackles to Notre Dame, but we send them a lot of students,\u201d he said. Fitzgerald also commented on the current political climate in the country, urging the Class of 2019 to attack poverty ferociously and to be tireless stewards of the environment. \u201cWhether or not this climate change thing is real, fix it,\u201d he said. \u201cWe need this planet.\u201d He also couldn\u2019t resist a little non-political advice, reminding the graduates to \u201cbe nice to little kids and old people.\u201d In her remarks, Trumbull First Selectman Vicki Tesoro said the presence of the small private school within Trumbull\u2019s borders had challenged the town\u2019s public school system to be better. The rivalry betwee Trumbull High and St. Joseph was a model for what she said was the political ideal as the two schools competed academidcally and athletically with spirit and intensity, but also with respect and appreciation, she said. The challenge of competing against a rival had prepared them well for the future, she said. \u201cEvery generation faces challenges,\u201d she said. \u201cYours will be no exception.\u201d Taking the microphone as the final speaker of the ceremony, Valedictorian Anna Argulian returned to Rossetti\u2019s theme. But instead of a garden, Argulian saw the graduates as an airport diagram. \u201cYou know, with, \u2018You are here\u2019 in the middle and the lines branching out to all the places the airline flies to,\u201d she said. But the same lines that demonstrated how the school\u2019s newest alumni would branch out across the world, could also show them the way home, she said. \u201cWhether [our life] is flowers and sunshine, or showers and storms, we can always come home to Joe,\u201d she said.