Brandywine Heights Area High School proudly bid farewell to a sea of graduates dressed in grey or red caps and gowns during the Class of 2019 Commencement held at Kutztown University’s Keystone Hall on May 29.
Of the Class of 2019, some seniors were involved in the 21-student walk-out of March 2018 in support of gun control and school safety in the wake of the Valentine’s Day mass shooting in Florida. Although this demonstration was not mentioned, Senior Class Officer Leslie Grossman, who was one of these students, did discuss the power and passion of this class, citing involvement in past political demonstrations.
Grossman left her graduating class with kind words as well as a token of advice.
“Do not regard this moment in your mind as the end of your education; force yourself to remain a student, not of an institution but of the world,” Grossman said. “If you develop discontent, have the confidence to be affirmative and take action. The world needs our love and assistance and we have proven we have so much to give so do not hold back.”
While presenting diplomas, Superintendent Andrew Potteiger presented each student with a white rose. The graduating class chose the white rose as their symbolic class flower because, according to the graduation program, white roses “symbolize new starts and hope for the future.”
Filled with pride and joy for this graduating class, Potteiger said, in his speech, “you have accomplished much in your time here at Brandywine… as wonderful, caring individuals.”
Following the presentation of diplomas by Potteiger, Principal Matthew Dziunycz recognized several awards including, but not limited to, categories in academic achievement, athletic achievement, technology, art, scholarships for universities and community service.
These awards also recognized those students who graduated Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude. 12 students also were awarded the 2019 President’s Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement.
Every member of this graduating class needed to complete a minimum of 25 hours of community service over the course of their secondary education experience. 45 students took it upon themselves to achieve over 100 hours of community service totaling the entire class’s service hours at 8,000 hours.
The Class of 2019 was Dziunycz’s first full-year, graduating class since becoming head principal in 2018.
“Although we are a smaller [school] community I’d be hard-pressed to find a stronger one,” Dziunycz said. “The students seated before you have given there all to support their community, to help it grow, and to provide for it using their many unique skills and talents they possess.”
During the ceremony, the Brandywnie Heights High School Choral Ensemble performed two songs, including the emotional and empowering “A Million Dreams” by Mac Huff and the school’s Alma Mater at the conclusion of the ceremony.
Senior Speakers Rebecca Dunning and Zachary Bradley gave speeches addressing the graduating class.
Dunning, during her speech, explained that the Class of 2019 chose a certain quote to represent them. This quote, once said by Winston Churchill, states, “Now this is not the end. It’s not even the beginning. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
The 115 graduates will be moving onto the post-graduate world by attending college, joining the workforce or joining the military.