Graduates urged to ‘Stop, Drop & Roll’

RALPH WILSON/Sun-Gazette Correspondent Seniors toss their caps at the conclusion of the 2019 commencement ceremony at Montoursville Area High School on Thursday.

Each year, Montoursville Area High School follows a special theme to give a send-off to its graduating class at commencement ceremonies.

The three seniors who spoke Thursday night at Memorial Stadium took turns reflecting on their years and what the coming days of their lives will mean to the words: Stop, Drop and Roll.

Kurtis Alexander Johnson told his classmates to “stop and smell the roses.”

Take pride in accomplishments and don’t forget the challenges that were faced, he said. After all, there is always another day.

“I think we can all agree we turned out alright,” he said.

Emma Ida Cihanowyz told classmates it’s time “to drop and be humble.”

She stressed the importance of humility. Humble people assume responsibility and ask for help and take time to say thank you she said.

Cihanowyz reminded her classmates to not forget the people who supplied the tools that helped them in school.

“We cannot roll if we never dropped,” she said.

Rebekah Marie Lundy called on classmates to “just roll with it.”

She noted that nearby Loyalsock Creek often rolls easily through the mountains, but can also run high and hard as in times of flooding.

In such times, one must adapt.

Roll with adversity, she said.

Class president Jared Holmes urged his classmates to not be fearful and to take risks.

“Otherwise, you’ll be forced to settle for the ordinary,” he said. “Just because your path is different doesn’t mean you are lost.”

District Superintendent Christina Bason told the graduating seniors they have been given the opportunity during their school years to develop their voices and principles.

“You need to understand that only you have the ability to move yourself forward,” she said.

And while life’s challenges will certainly present themselves, there is no reason to be fearful.

“A challenge is an opportunity you didn’t anticipate,” she said. “You don’t need to fear new things.”

Embrace life and spontaneity, love oneself and don’t try to be perfect, she added.

High school principal Daniel Taormina introduced each of the graduates as they came forward to accept their diplomas.

The senior ensemble performed the Star Spangled Banner.