Class of 2018 graduates embark on a new chapter in their lives
Class of 2018 President Robert A. Carlson, carrying the class key, led approximately 800 of his classmates toward a new chapter in their lives to receive their high school diplomas at Parkland High School’s commencement June 11 at the PPL Center, Allentown.
The procession of seniors, dressed in red and gray gowns, walked into the arena as the high school band, under the direction of Jason D. Lerew, performed “Pomp and Circumstance,” by Edward Elgar.
Welcoming the Class of 2018, family, friends, school board members and staff was high school Assistant Principal Crystal George.
George said the Class of 2018 holds a special place for her personally as she and the seniors all entered through the doors at Parkland High School together four years ago.
“Tonight’s ceremony is a time to reflect on all that you have achieved through the past four years,” George said.
“It is also a time to celebrate the beginning of a new chapter in your life with your classmates, family and friends.”
Carlson, before presenting the class key to Class of 2019 President Danielle M. Colapietro, told his classmates,
“High school is over and the rest of life is here. It is now time to take advantage of the new opportunities and use what you have learned to create your best possible life.
“This big step will open the door for many more opportunities, but what will change now is you run the show. It is time to sit in the driver’s seat and take the wheel.
“You can steer your life into any path you want.”
He also told members of the Class of 2018 to use the lessons and skills they have learned from their friends, family and school to make the best possible life for themselves, and anything is possible for each and every one of them.
After a musical presentation of “A Million Dreams,” student speaker Steven M. Lipson addressed the class.
“High school is like a treasure hunt,” Lipson said. “We began uneasy and unaware of what to expect. We attempted to find our group of friends and embarked upon a four-year adventure, unsure of where we will lead.
“We inevitably faced many challenges along the way but we hope that our hard work would pay off in the end.
“Today, we will indeed find our treasure in the form of a diploma.”
After the presentation of the National Honor Society awards, and greeting and presentation of the reading of the names of the Top 3 percent of the Class of 2018, Lisa A. Roth, vice president of the Parkland School Board, addressed the class.
“Go after your passions. Do what you love,” Roth told the class. “Do things that make you proud.”
Superintendent Richard T. Sniscak also spoke to the soon-to-be graduates.
“High school graduation is a major turning point in life,” Sniscak said. “It marks the end of an important phase, and also marks the dawn of a new and exciting era.
“This class is a terrific group of students. You are an accomplished graduating class that has brought pride and honor to Parkland.”
Before closing, Sniscak told the class exciting opportunities await them and to capitalize on those opportunities.
After the awarding of diplomas, Parkland High School Principal James E. Moniz II told the Class of 2018 it was truly an honor serving as their principal the last four years.
“As it was mentioned previously and including at the end of the ceremony tonight you have distinguished yourself routinely over and over again in the classroom, on the playing field, in the theater, and in your community,” Moniz said. “You have been tremendous role models for our students to emulate.
“You gave us countless memories that will certainly last a lifetime as your principal. I say thank you.
“On behalf of the school board and administrative staff we congratulate you and best wishes.”