St. John Neumann Regional Academy class of 2014 walks into the future

The stage of the Community Arts Center glistened in gold and burgundy Tuesday evening as the St. John Neumann Regional Academy Class of 2014 became high school graduates.

The ceremony began with the graduates making their way to the stage as the Fairplay Brass Ensemble played “Pomp and Circumstance.”

Once the graduates arrived to the stage, the Rev. John Victoria, pastor at the Church of St. Ann, delivered the invocation.

Following the invocation the Salutatorian of the class, Geoffrey Thomas Kist, welcomed the audience. Kist explained that although he has mixed emotions about leaving high school behind, he knows that the class of 2014 will leave behind a legacy to remember, including successful sports teams in basketball and baseball, and in new academic successes.

“We are a great class who continuously progressed through high school,” Kist said.

The ceremony then recognized the many awards the graduates received, and National Honor Society members were asked to stand and be recognized. Graduates who received gold and silver honor cords were recognized for their high academic achievements. Red honor cord recipients were acknowledged for participating in life-saving mission of the Red Cross by either donating blood four times or volunteering four times, for at least eight hours of service. Athletic awards and designated awards also were received.

After all the awards were handed out, the graduates were able to walk across the stage and receive their high school diplomas in front of their friends and family. Then Denise Toshiba, principal of St. John Neumann Regional Academy, asked the students to move their tassels and declared them high school graduates.

The class of 2014 Valedictorian, Benjamin Peter Facey, spoke on behalf of the class and reminded his fellow graduates to be thankful for all the gifts around them.

He thanked the teachers, administrators, alumni and everyone that has helped make the school the great Catholic school it is. He also acknowledged the parents present and said that, by sending their children to St. John Neumann Regional Academy, it provided them with a great educational experience.

“Success is when someone leaves your life happier than when they entered,” Facey said.

To conclude the ceremony, the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, spoke to the graduating class.

He offered the class three rules to live by that included believing in yourself, respecting others and serving generously and often. He then told the class that each of the graduates has been given gifts by God, and they should use them wisely.

The graduates then left the Community Arts Center and left behind their high school days, as they walked into the future.