The theme of Montoursville Area High School's 48th annual commencement spoke to the powerful words of happiness, courage and friendship.
On a breezy cool June evening, graduating seniors came together as a class one final time to accept their high school diplomas at Montoursville's Memorial Stadium.
Sawyer Bressler addressed happiness, reminding his graduating classmates that now is the time for them to show the world what they can do.
Members of Montoursville Area High School’s Class of 2014 are all smiles as they march into the school’s stadium for the 48th Annual Commencement Thursday night.
Randall J. Hall, left, receives his diploma and gets a handshake from Thomas P. McNamara, of the Montoursville Area School Board
"My wish is simplistic," he said. "That every single member of the class be happy."
Bressler kept things light, taking a picture of himself with his phone to capture a moment he said he won't forget.
He thanked school faculty, family and classmates for making the night possible.
"Make your own dreams," he said. "There's very little certainty in life."
Bressler's classmates, Hanna Cioffi and William Confer, spoke about what their school years meant to them.
Cioffi, the class salutatorian, advised everyone to take risks.
"Overcoming fears is as simple as facing them," she said. "We will fail sometimes. As Babe Ruth said, 'Don't let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.'"
Confer, class valedictorian, recalled high school football games and the feeling of warmth he felt being around friends, despite the cold weather.
"Remain open to change and open to new people," he said.
District Superintendent Dr. Timothy S. Bowers told the graduates to think about what their education has meant.
He reminded them that they received both a formal and a life education during their school years.
The life education, he said, included the failures, the triumphs, the challenges, the happy and the painful experiences.
"Now is the time to further and embrace both educations," he said.
Class president Mollie Sullivan welcomed her classmates to the end of a journey.
Everyone, she said, has taken various paths to reach graduation night.
But now they all have in common an unknown destination, she added.
High school principal Daniel Taormina then presented the class, and Bowers formally certified all seniors present as having met the requirements of earning their high school diplomas.
The high school band played "Pomp and Circumstance as the graduates entered the stadium and later the musical selection, "Country Gardens" by Percy Grainger.
The high school concert