Hughesville graduates urged to be heroes and help others

HUGHESVILLE High school graduates dressed in caps and gowns aren’t normally considered to be wearing super hero costumes, but Hughesville High School 2013 valedictorian Jay Hiller encouraged all of his classmates Friday night to be one.

The 117 graduating seniors destined for all different walks of life from college, military and the workforce can be heroes to somebody, Hiller said.

Hiller asked his classmates and those attending the graduation inside the school’s auditorium who they consider to be their hero.

Heroes aren’t just the stuff of fiction and fantasy, he said.

“Ask yourself: Can I be a hero?” he said. “The answer, I think, is only if you want to be. Everyone here has a certain uniqueness, a certain talent.”

Hiller told those in attendance to use their power of influence to help be someone’s hero.

“If you’re not making someone’s life better, then you’re wasting your time,” he said. “Thank your heroes, and then be someone’s hero.”

His twin brother, salutatorian and fellow classmate Eric, praised the school’s staff and school district’s administration for it’s commitment to education.

“In a time when most schools are cutting back, Hughesville High School is buying equipment and hiring teachers,” he said, noting that the school is listed at No. 43 in the state on U.S. News and World Report’s education rankings.

District Superintendent Michael Pawlik said this year’s graduating class would be remembered by their teachers as “a bunch of great kids.”

“They put others ahead of themselves,” he said.

Pawlik said that students may define success by making money, using their talents or helping others.

But one definition he likes is if people are “proud of where you were, where you are and where you’re going,” he said.

Steven Saladino, class president, told his classmates that none of their successes “would have been possible without the wonderful teachers we’ve had through the years.”

“Get out there and enjoy life,” he said.