Hess also focused on the commitment of the Bolton Central teachers. She said the teachers went beyond state standards in preparing students for college and careers.
"You've done us an incredible favor," she said. "You've created a foundation for learning that will last us the rest of our lives, and for that we thank you with infinite gratitude."
Caldwell also touched on this theme: "I feel so incredibly privileged to have attended a school with unlimited opportunities."
Caldwell advised the underclassmen to treasure their time at Bolton High.
"Appreciate what we are so lucky to have here: an administration that will do anything to improve our great school, teachers that truly care about our success, and friends that support and believe in us."
She challenged her classmates to be true to themselves, recognize the community's nurturing and be grateful.
"Continue to be who you are, because there's no way to leave Bolton without compassion in your heart and a good head on your shoulders."
The Senior music students sang a contemporary selection, accompanied by graduating seniors John Saris on guitar, Charlotte Caldwell on bass and Tyler Calzada on drums. The classical Northland Chamber string ensemble played the processional and recessional.
Adhering to school tradition, the graduates individually presented their parents with white roses, a ceremony that includes hugs, photographs and applause.
With the showmanship of an NBA announcer, Superintendent of Schools Raymond Ciccarelli Jr. introduced each graduate as they received their diploma from School Board President Dennis P. Murphy and Principal Damian Switzer.
Graduating were: Vincent Barcia, Matthew Braman, Emma Cady, Charlotte Caldwell, Tyler Calzada, Christopher Condon, Mark Dawson, Ryan Dickson, Taylor Grover, Sonja Hess, Annelise Jensen, Caleb Kneeshaw, Anthony Lemise, Jacob Nittmann, Elizabeth Parker, Emma Passaro, Alana Peterson, John Saris, Dominique-Jean Servelli, Andrew Smith, Matthew Smith and Kyle Vilmar.
In his closing tribute to the Class of 2011, Ciccarelli observed that the graduates had been particularly bonded to the community.
"Congratulations graduates, and be proud of your accomplishments," he said. "Leave with love in your hearts and be all that you can be."