MUNCY - High school graduates here were sent off to the next phase of their lives as 65 students of the class of 2012 received diplomas during a pleasant early June evening Friday on the grounds of Muncy High School.
Whether that next phase was college, military service or entering the workforce after school, Carly Gardner said the class as a whole has come a long way.
"We all may have taken different paths, but we all got here," she said, as family, friends, teachers and administrators looked on.
Mackenzie Ruby quoted a line from the movie "Forrest Gump" about knowing a lot about people from their shoes. She said each classmate has their own style and uniqueness just like shoes.
"Some of us are tying our shoes and some of us are deciding what shoes to wear," Ruby said, referring to the next stage in their lives. "I'm sure all of us are going to look fresh in our new shoes. Congratulations, seniors, and walk on."
The school bells at Muncy High School segment students' days into distinct times, said Courtney Ebner. There is a time for learning, playing and being with family, she said.
She said that now "it is our time to go out and learn new lessons" and "the most important part is that it will be in our own time."
Salutatorian Sophia Reeder said second place - the traditional spot behind the valedictorian - isn't so bad. She said putting others first makes a difference and gives meaning and purpose in life.
"Wherever you find yourself, remember to put yourself in second place," she reminded her classmates.
Jaylan Jones, valedictorian, read from a Steve Jobs quote about following dreams.
The late founder of Apple computer founder and technological innovator said, "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life."
Despite being ridiculed early in his career, Jobs went on to great things, Jones said.
"He went forward with his own ideas anyway. He never let negative opinions of others drown out his heart," she said.
High School Principal Tim Welliver inducted John Lawrence Hall into the school's Academic Hall of Fame. Hall, a 1945 graduate, enlisted at 17 and lied about his age to the draft board to serve in the Army.
Hall, who lives in Alaska, was not able to be present at the ceremony.
Welliver said Hall served his country through the Army and through his many years of work with the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service.
The principal encouraged the graduating class to emulate Hall by being lifelong learners and good stewards of the environment.
Welliver also recognized Ward L. Myers Elementary School Principal William Ramsey, who is retiring at the conclusion of the school year.