Superintendent Andrew D. Netznik laid down a challenge in his message to graduating seniors during commencement exercises at Tulpehocken High School on July 30.
“Tonight I challenge you to live up to the qualities of Generation Z,” he said. “So much is happening in the world that we need good strong leaders who are willing to stand up, be a voice and create the element of change.”
Netznik and school board President Oscar Manbeck handed diplomas to 86 graduates during an outdoor assembly in the Tulpehocken Area Sports Complex.
To strains of "Pomp and Circumstance," the Class of 2020 walked in procession from the high school to the school’s athletic complex.
After the graduates and audience sang the national anthem, class President Katherine Travis delivered the welcoming address.
Co-valedictorians Jenna Phillippe and Kyleigh Beck gave the annual student farewell speeches.
Michael B. Leister and Christopher Hamrick, assistant principals, officiated at the annual presentation of awards for good citizenship, art and music.
In a virtual awards presentation on the school’s website, Leister congratulated the seniors for their exemplary conduct during the COVID-19 crisis.
“2020 will be talked about for many years. Our students and families have been through so much,” Leister said. “Although this year has been very challenging, our students demonstrated their Tulpe Pride to each other, the staff and the community.”
Principal Justin Welker read the names of the graduates, who sang the school’s alma mater.
In his remarks, as examples of people who are making a difference, Netznik told of friends who established a company to clean plastic waste from the oceans and an 8-year-old girl who invented a cup for people with Parkinson’s disease.
“Tonight, I challenge you to let your voice shine, to go out and make positive change,” he said. “Look at the world around you and be engaged. This is your moment to lead.”