Schuylkill Valley School board president advises grads to ‘smove’ through life

Schuylkill Valley School Board President Kevin Raudenbush, right, presents diplomas during the Schuylkill Valley Class of 2018 graduation on June 7.
Schuylkill Valley School Board President Kevin Raudenbush, right, presents diplomas during the Schuylkill Valley Class of 2018 graduation on June 7. Lisa Mitchell - Digital First Media
Class of 2018 Salutatorian Olivia Jenkins and Valedictorian Lucas Horrell hold their diplomas after Schuylkill Valley’s graduation on June 7.
Class of 2018 Salutatorian Olivia Jenkins and Valedictorian Lucas Horrell hold their diplomas after Schuylkill Valley’s graduation on June 7. Lisa Mitchell - Digital First Media

Wearing red and black robes, Schuylkill Valley High School’s Class of 2018 tossed their caps in the air becoming high school graduates on June 7.

Valedictorian Lucas Horrell told his fellow graduates that a big part of graduating from high school is that now they have become individuals instead of being a group of people.

“We need to respect that and accept the responsibility that comes with being an individual and use it to make ourselves the best that we can possibly be, as well as our community.”

Salutatorian Olivia Jenkins reflected on all of the years they had at Schuylkill Valley.

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“We have experienced everything that SV has brought us and it’s a really special place. Even though we’re in little Leesport, we have a lot of programs and clubs that it seems like we’re a huge school and even though our graduating class is only 150, the amount of talent and personalities packed in there just make it a great place,” said Jenkins.

Offering a final message to her fellow graduates, she said, “Just go out there and do it. Live life.”

Schuylkill Valley School Board President Kevin Raudenbush addressed the Class of 2018, basing his comments on the book, “Smile and Move: A Reminder to Happily Serve,” by Sam Parker. He encouraged the graduates to “smove” as a way to live their life. In other words, smile and move.

“Something as simple as a smile can have a huge affect on the people you encounter everyday. Just smile,” said Raudenbush. “It’s infectious and contagious, just a simple smile.”

He encouraged the graduates to make someone’s day by giving them a nice, genuine smile.

Referring to the move aspect of the book, he said, “Get done what needs to be done whatever it takes, no excuses. Be resourceful and resilient. Be happy. Do something for someone else.”

Raudenbush concluded, saying, “Smove your way through life. Make the right smooves.”

Schuylkill Valley Superintendent Dr. Cindy Mierzejewski also offered the Class of 2018 a few words of wisdom.

“Self-fulfillment and for many, finding happiness, is an individual journey,” said Mierzejewski. “You decide for yourself what success will mean to you and how you want to measure it. Think about what that will be, what it will look like and how you will get there. When you decide, as the greeting cards all say, ‘I send you best wishes for your success.’”

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.