A wink and a dance were two highlights of the Jonathan Law High School Class of 2019 graduation ceremony June 7.
Class Salutatorian Kruttika Gopal, during her graduation speech at the high school, convinced her classmates, whom she referred to as family, to wink to one another.
“If you know me, you know that in addition to thinking about the future, another thing I greatly enjoy doing is winking at people across the room,” Kruttika said. “So, in the spirit of family, please take this moment to humor me by giving another graduate, preferably one across the aisle, a wink.”
And Ming-May Hu, Kruttika’s best friend and Class of 2019 valedictorian, during her speech invited classmates to join her and Kruttika in a celebratory dance in the parking lot after graduation ended.
Both valedictorian and salutatorian focused their speeches on friendship, a logical choice as the two have been best friends since first grade.
“A common misconception about family is that it is just your blood relatives,” Kruttika told her classmates. “But in reality, family is so much more than that; it is the people who surround you, support you, and fill your life with love and encouragement.”
She said Ming-May has been her best friend, but the entire class of approximately 225 students has become united through their years at Jonathan Law High School.
“We have become united in order to create goodness in the larger communities of our city, state, country and world,” Kruttika said. “And I could not be more proud to be a part of such a dynamic family.”
Kruttika will attend American University in the fall, where she plans to study communications, law, economics and government, according to School Supt. Dr. Anna Cutaia.
Ming-May told the graduating class, parents and friends that she was lucky to have her best friend by her side all these years, and to have made many other friends at Jonathan Law.
“My fellow Model UN members could tell you there are many kinds of ships,” Ming-May said in addressing the Class of 2019. “There are battleships and cruise ships, spaceships and even celebrity couple ships, but the most important kind is friendship.”
“So remember,” she said, “to treasure those people that were constantly there for you because in the end, our trivial high school drama will not be remembered, but our high school friends will be.”
Ming-May will attend Brown University in the fall, where she plans to study environmental engineering.
Jonathan Law Principal Fran Thompson sent the Class of 2019 off with several bits of advice for the future, including, “give people the benefit of the doubt — twice,” “be bold,” and “have an open mind.”
And Class President Jenny Nicole Kozek ended the ceremony by telling the class that being nervous is good: it means there’s a challenge ahead. She encouraged her fellow graduates to embrace their challenges, to own them.
Quoting T.S. Eliot, Jenny said, “If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?”