While celebrating their accomplishments, the Loyalsock Township High School class of 2013 also celebrated the challenges and pressure that they overcame throughout their academic careers to become who they are at Friday's commencement ceremony.
Student remarks reflected the theme of the ceremony, "A diamond in the rough."
Class president Morgan Chambers, who was named salutatorian, reminded the class that, "it is because of pressure that a diamond exists."
A student delivers the “first diploma” Friday on behalf of the Class of 2013 during Loyalsock Township High School’s 52nd Annual Commencement.
Like lumps of coal, Emily Niditch, who was named valedictorian, said they began their academic careers with endless opportunities. As she said, the students had the "potential to transform into something magnificent."
But the end result was not without work.
Anna Newcomer said all students worked to find themselves during high school and responded to pressures in the forms of sports, academics and extracurricular activities. But she added that the pressure made them push
themselves to become better and they now are ready for bigger challenges that await.
The commencement speaker, Dr. Cindy Adams, a 2000 Loyalsock graduate, who currently is going through her first of two fellowships at the Boston Children's Hospital and was working when the Boston Marathon was attacked, said she also is a diamond in the rough. She explained that she expected her life to take her in a different direction than it actually did, wanting originally to work for NASA.
But Adams added that its just as valuable for graduates to learn about their dislikes as it is to find their interests.
"Never worry about time spent trying to find yourself," she said.
And although Niditch joked that the class was cursed by rain at every field trip and outside event, even having the graduation ceremony moved into the high school gymnasium because of the threat of rain, the class still came together to uniquely present the first diploma. While class officers brought an oversized diploma toward the stage, the entire class jumped up and began performing the online video sensation, The Harlem Shake. Students began dancing and even Charles Greevy, assistant principal, got into the action, sporting orange sunglasses and dancing while receiving the first diploma to hand out.
Chambers said the times and lessons they learned in school will help to shape who they are in the future.
And whether they go on to be doctors, artists or rock stars, Chambers reminded graduates to remember where they came from, while not dwelling on the past.
"A diamond never forgets it was once a lump of coal," she said.