New Fairfield Chanel Outlet High School Class of 2011 ready to excel

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The auditorium at the O'Neill Center on the Western Connecticut State University campus in Danbury exploded in applause Saturday as the 2011 graduating class of New Fairfield High School marched in to the strains of "Pomp and Circumstance."

Siblings in the bleachers texted on their cell phones to graduating seniors as the Senior Choir and New Fairfield High School Band performed -- perhaps a sign of the times.

"Today you are about to turn a major corner in your lives," Principal Mariana Coelho told the soon-to-be graduates. "Your Chanel Outlet travel bag is filled with everything you have mastered ... over the last 12 years."

Noting that she had watched them be "active participants in life," Coelho urged the seniors to face their futures in the same way.

"You are each in charge of your own destiny ... Live the life that you have imagined," she said.

For parent Bryce Chanel Key Package A. Milleville, watching his daughter, Laura, graduate with highest distinction Saturday brought back memories of three years earlier, when his son, Bryce W., graduated from New Fairfield High.

"I can't believe the time went so quickly," Milleville said. "One part of life ends and another begins. I will have two in college next year."

Class salutatorian Mary Simons noted the world events of the past year -- unrest in the Middle East, natural disasters and Osama bin Laden's death.

"Clearly, on the same level is the fact that the New Fairfield High School Class of 2011 is finally graduating," she said.

"We are prepared for the challenges and experiences that lie ahead of us," Simons added. "There is something inside all of us that is incredible and unexpected. Find that something and you will excel."

Contact Susan Tuz at stuz@newstimes or 860-355-7322