MANSFIELD - With Straughn Auditorium being renovated, the Mansfield High School Class of 2014 used Decker Gymnasium, on the campus of Mansfield University, for its commencement services Saturday morning.
All high schools in the Southern Tioga School District are undergoing massive changes this year, said class Salutatorian Erin Dempsey.
"We are the last class to graduate from Mansfield High School," she said, acknowledging the potential "rebranding" of Liberty and Mansfield into Southern Tioga North and Southern Tioga South in the wake of the closure of North Penn High School and subsequent consolidation that will take place in the fall.
CHERYL R. CLARKE/Sun-Gazette
A group of young graduates performs the Senior Song, “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars during commencement ceremonies of the Mansfield High School Class of 2014 Saturday. They are Jenny Loher Erin Dempsey, Maggie Farrer, Janie Ghods, Jenny Moyer, Teng Gater, Margaret West, Shannon Madigan.
"Mansfield has been with us as we grew up and shaped us into the people we are today; each of us will move on to a different place in our lives, but we got here together," she said.
Valedictorian Andrew Nadas said he also was thankful for the experience he had at Mansfield.
"Without their guidance and wisdom, we would not be who we are today," he said, echoing Dempsey in speaking of his teachers.
He passed along a few words of wisdom he referred to as the "Nadas Doctrine," the first of which was borrowed from a recent Navy Seal commander's commencement speech he heard.
"If you want to change the world, start by making your bed," he said. "If you do, you will have accomplished the first task of the day, and then you will be inspired to do the next, and the next."
Featured speaker Dr. Brittany Reed, a 2002 graduate of Mansfield, based her address on the Dr. Seuss children's book "Oh, The Places You'll Go!" that she received as a graduation gift from a relative.
"That book went with me to college, then grad school and now resides on my 3-year-old son's bookshelf as one of his favorite books," she said.
Reed encouraged the graduates to "invest in your health, consider well what you consume, and what you let consume you."
"From now on, it's all on you," she said. "I strongly suggest you develop a strong work ethic."
Work hard and play hard, she said, because "laziness and procrastination are not the secrets to success, and when coupled with fear, (they) are the biggest inhibitors in life."