Katherine Alling said giving the salutatorian speech at Jonathan Law High School’s graduation was out of her comfort zone.

As she spoke to the graduating class of 2013, she urged her fellow graduates to venture out of their comfort zones, to try new things even if they might seem daunting.

“Never settle for less because you are afraid to reach higher,” Katherine said. “Know that however well you are doing, you can do better. Have the confidence to attempt to reach higher than you ever thought you could go, and when that confidence fails you, have the bravery to act as though you have all the confidence in the world.”

The graduating senior said it takes bravery to bring about change in the world, even in one’s own life.

Katherine told her classmates to find what they are special at and passionate about, and then to pursue that as they find their place in the world.

“Have confidence that you will find your special passions, and have the bravery to never stop looking for ways to improve,” she said.

Katherine, daughter of Carolyn and Charles Alling, ranked second in the class of 249 students.

She will be attending the University of Connecticut in the fall, where she has been awarded UConn’s Presidential Scholarship. She will pursue a degree in engineering.

Valedictorian Anisha Manglani, number one in the graduating class, recalled the Catcher in the Rye’s Holden Caulfield as she told her fellow graduates not to be afraid to move onto the next stage of their lives.

The character was not crazy, she said, just afraid to move beyond the comfort of childhood.

“If we could remain children forever, cushioned by seemingly incorruptible minds, the worst life could throw at us would be the scrapes on our knees when we fall off our bikes,” Anisha said. “A sense of security urges us to linger in the times which provided us close-knit friendships and active imaginations.”

The valedictorian told her classmates they should not linger behind like the catcher in the rye but should look to the future, and keep their eyes focused on their dreams and their futures.

“This is the year we leave our first footprints on the world,” she said. “This year, the class of 2013 waves goodbye to Jonathan Law and says hello to the untold stories of the future.”

Anisha is the daughter of Sabina and Sunil Manglani.

She will be attending Quinnipiac University in the fall where she will enter the honors program and major in marketing.

Jonathan Law’s class of 2013 graduated Thursday, June 20.