Seniors of Hughesville High School walked into the school as students and walked out as alumni. The school held its one hundred and sixteenth commencement ceremony graduating 126 students Friday night.
Graduates were asked to remember they are entering a world full of choices. Dr. Susan Bigger, Hughesville superintendent, challenged the graduates to open their minds and be flexible to the choices life has to offer them.
"We are here to honor graduates that are not only extremely capable, but already have achieved astounding accomplishments," Bigger said.
CRAIG S. McKIBBEN JR./Sun-Gazette
2009 Hughesville graduate Kayleighia Miller, right, accepts her diploma from School Board President Richard Michael Friday evening during Hughesville's 116th Annual Commencement.
The speech of welcome was spoken by Brandon Lesko, class president. Lesko asserted that many students' inspiration did not come from celebrities or political leaders. But rather, the inspiration came from mentors in their everyday lives.
"I challenge you to become as influential to someone as that teacher or mentor was to you," Lesko said.
Megan Arthur delivered the salutatory address where she told the audience the class will embark on new challenges and adventures. Arthur advised the class to aim high and try their hardest to achieve set goals.
The class valedictorian, Kevin Daugherty, spoke about events that have shaped the students over the last 13 years.
"Someone has always been there to tell us what's cool, what's popular or what's not. We have followed the lead of the generation before us. As we leave high school, we must make a more active role in our decision making. Now, these decisions will be ours to make," Daugherty said.
Of the graduates, 40 received the highest honors, 17 received high honors and 24 were in the National Honor Society.
Following the awarding of the diplomas, graduates, Abigail Hess and Katurah Klein dedicated the yearbook to career coordinator Jamie Bower for his dedication to the future of the graduates.
During his acceptance speech, Bower acknowleged his pleasure to be part of the East Lycoming School District. "This class has made me a better educator," Bower said.
Graduates were elated to finally cross the high school finish line as they walked out the doors as Hughesville alum.
Jamal Beechey, who will be attending Slippery Rock University for a physical therapy degree, said she let out a sigh of relief. "It feels awesome," Beechey said.
"2009 is an amazing class and I'll really miss it. I wish luck to all of them," said Erin White, who will be attending Pennsylvania College of Technology for radiology.
According to Andrew Dieterle, after the nervousness of th event wore off, he felt lucky.
Most of the class plans on furthering their education while others plan to enter the work force or join the military.