‘Turning Spider Man into a real goal': Kutztown graduates 125

Patriot photos by Scott Weldon
Kutztown Salutatorian Samuel Summer puts on a straw hat for his speech.
Patriot photos by Scott Weldon Kutztown Salutatorian Samuel Summer puts on a straw hat for his speech.

“Our education is the process of turning Spider Man into a real goal, and somehow taking that 5 year old’s ignorant and wonderful imagination and tempering it with just enough reality to allow him to live it,” said Kutztown Salutatorian Samuel Summer told his fellow 125 graduates on Wednesday night.

For graduation, Summer most looked forward to giving his speech.

“It should be memorable,” he said.

And memorable it was.

Summer told the crowd that while contemplating what to write for his speech, he was worrying about his tassel dangling in front of his face during the speech.


“So there’s an angry little pony tail bouncing around in your line of sight,” he said.

Worried about hat hair, he couldn’t just take the cap off. Super gluing the tassel or shaving his head also were not options.

“We decided the only suitable compromise was for me to substitute a straw hat,” he said, pulling out a large straw hat and receiving loud applause and laughter.

Summer continued with is speech, wearing the straw hat, talking about kindergartners dreaming of becoming superheroes and princesses, how the teachers at Kutztown helped them to tap into the imagination and dreams of their 5-year-old selves.

Quoting George Washington, he said, “We’re piggyback riding on the shoulders of giants which is how we survive when the ceilings keep getting higher and higher and the light bulbs keep burning out.”

Summer, who wants to become a Green architect, thanked Kutztown teachers.

“You still know how to appeal to our inner 5 year old who wants to be Spider Man.”

Kutztown Valedictorian and Class Secretary Andrew Entriken, encouraged the graduates to challenge themselves after high school.

“We shouldn’t take life for granted. We need to push ourselves, even after we leave this school,” he said.

Entriken plans to challenge himself by pushing his education further in life, becoming a chemical engineer and aspires to move to the top of his field. He plans to study chemical engineering at Penn State University in the fall.

He credits his teachers for helping to push him “to push my own limits and not to just stay in my comfort zone. So you could say I learned how to come out of my own shell.”

Kutztown Class President Kayla Smith thanked everyone “who has had a major role and impact in getting us to where we are today.”

Smith also wanted to remind her Class that their graduation night is a special moment.

“We are excited to be done, to be walking across that stage and out of here and moving on with our lives but it’s a moment that we need to cherish and get the most out of it.”

During an interview, Smith said graduating is a bit surreal.

“The fact that this is it hasn’t really hit as in the emotional crying everything, I’m just excited to be here,” she said.

Excited about what comes next, Smith will be involved in training staff at the opening of a new Red Robin in Philadelphia this summer and then will study biology at the University of the Sciences. She wants to become an orthopedic surgeon

“It’s been a great 13 years and I’m glad that we did have such a small school because you really do know everyone. These are the kids that I’ve grown up with and I’ll still see again when I come back,” said Smith.

About the Author

Lisa Mitchell

Lisa Mitchell is the editor of The Kutztown Patriot and Managing Editor of Berks-Mont Newspapers. Reach the author at lmitchell@berksmontnews.com or follow Lisa on Twitter: @kutztownpatriot.