Excitement flowed from the rafters as Twin Valley Class of 2019 filed into the Alvernia University Physical Education Center on June 8.
Salutatorian Emilija Lizens compared Tetris to the game of life. First blocks fall nice and slowly, your time to learn the ropes, then faster and more chaotic, harder to manage. As high schoolers you are comfortable in the beginning, until the blocks start falling faster making it harder to make life look so pretty and symmetrical. Then you get used to it again. This pattern continues as you continue in life.
Her advice, “Never forget that we have the power to become comfortable with whatever speed the blocks will fall.”
Twin Valley High School Principal Bill Clements addressed the success of the Class of 2019, “I have the opportunity to turn the tassels of students who embody the highest ideals of scholarship and service and who performed at elite levels in the classroom, on the field, and on stage.”
“The softball team’s repeat of last year’s win of yet another PIAA District III championship, while being humble in victory and gracious in defeat, reflects the Twin Valley dignity and class demanded by the Raider pride motto, values and attributes that are certain to leave a lasting legacy that the class of 2019 can be forever proud of,” said Clements.
He highlighted academic, technical, artistic and musical achievements and their winning of awards and certificates, as well as athletes breaking records and winning championships. He cited internship hours of 28,900 and advanced academic students earning college credits in dual programs.
Philanthropy included $10,000 worth of food collected for local families; a blood drive that saved more than 700 lives; and senior-thon collected $30,000 for pediatric cancer research.
They received $4.7 million in grants and scholarships, a $105,000 provided locally; 94 are pursuing postsecondary education; 42 entering the workforce and nine joining the military.
“Accept our most heartfelt congratulations and best wishes as you all transition to the next phase of your lives,” said Clements.
Senior Class President Kylie McNamee presented “Cheers to Our High School Years.”
“We will remember driving past the cows on the way to school … the legendary freshman homecoming, sweet sounds of moms screaming at us while we learned to drive … annoyed when the juniors parked in our lot … cheering our Raiders on under Friday night lights.”
“Life will take in the most unexpected directions … Surround yourself with the people who love you most. Find the positive in every situation. Challenge yourself. Leave a legacy worth remembering … Remember it is not about the years in your life, but the life in your years.”
“I want you to know that all of you have the power to make your dreams come true,” Superintendent Dr. Robert Pleis said. “I especially like Walt Disney's secret to make dreams come true. Follow the four Cs: Curiosity, Confidence, Courage and Constancy... Once your curiosity has led you to your passion, have the confidence to know anything is possible. Maintain the courage to keep reaching for your dreams, even when they seem unreachable.”
“The immortal words of Dr. Seuss: You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the one who'll decide where to go. And oh, the places you will go!”
The class gift was presented by Sydney Badman and Julie Capato.
Morgan Prigmore spoke about the past, present and future. “Remember what it was like to be accepted, remember what it was like to be rejected. Be kind. Our future is right in front of us. Always remember that everything is happening exactly as it is supposed to be.”
Brock Drahus, humorous and lively, opened to wild applause, challenging them to make their “own little dent in the universe. Ignore the naysayers, prove them wrong. Chad Hurley, founder of YouTube, was a Twin Valley Raider in 1985. The class of 2019 will surprise the world.”
Valedictorian Evan Lawler closed by saying, “Go forth boldly. Live life to its full potential. Work hard. Live each moment like it could be your last. Take risks and try new things. If someone tells you that you can't do something, tell them ‘watch me!’ My mom mom once said, ‘The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who actually do it.’”
Then he presented the Class Of 2019 and hats flew wildly to dent their little spot of the universe.
A live stream of the ceremony will be broadcast over the internet and can be accessed by visiting https://live.myvrspot.com/st?cid=ODYyMW.