HATFIELD — There are three main features of Smith Academy that Class of 2019 valedictorian Maia Seetal said she will always remember.
The first, she said, were cheap $3 school lunches. The second, a water fountain in the school’s main lobby, which counted how many plastic bottles students saved when filling up reusable containers.
“I only used it like three times, but I probably saved at least half of a seal,” Seetal said to the crowd at the school’s 143rd commencement on Friday.
But above all that, she said, were the teachers and faculty who focused on helping her break from her natural introversion and into a successful graduate.
“They’re not just teachers,” she said. “They’re coaches, role models, mentors, confidants and occasionally, enablers.”
Seetal’s remarks gained the laughter of not only friends, family and faculty gathered in the gymnasium, but also the rest of her graduating class — 28 students in total.