Or read it here
The members of the Springfield Township High School Class of 2010 entered their high school stadium for the last time Wednesday evening, rounded the curve of the track together, waved and smiled to their families and took their seats center field for commencement.
Together they stood for the national anthem and cheered for their class presidents, principal, teachers and fellow students.
And together they danced in the middle of the field, heeding the call of their faculty speaker, social studies teacher Chris Dwyer.
“Welcome to celebration. Welcome to the rite of passage. Welcome to commencement 2010,” Dwyer said. “Class of 2010 please rise now and prepare to dance with Dr. D. Get up!”
The young men and women proudly wore their blue and white robes as they received their high school diplomas. Of the 160 graduates, 152 plan to pursue higher level education. Four will serve in the military, and four will join the workforce, Superintendent Wendy Royer announced.
Senior class co-Presidents Ashley Gbemudu and Emily Ball kicked off commencement and reminded their peers they will always be a part of the Class of 2010.
“It has been quite the journey. Some of us have been together for 13 years or just a few,” Emily said.
“Be proud of what you have achieved both in school and out, both as an individual and as a class,” Ashley said.
Valedictorian Andrew Seredinski used numbers to detail the Class of 2010’s journey, counting down from 13 years of school, 12 grades past kindergarten to six homerooms in high school and five subjects — all leading to one moment, where they all sat at that present time on the football field, he said.
“We will go to untold places and have unexpected experiences. Past today, though we may not seek adventure, we will all be on a grand safari of self-exploration,” Andrew said. “Our paths will twist in unpredictable ways, but if we want something, it can be had. And if we want to hold on to some aspect of the past, then hold on we shall. Because clinging to something is not a stubborn inability to let go, but a wise acknowledgment that not everything has to come to an end.”
Andrew also acknowledged the teachers: “For the lessons intended and unintended. Content related and off-topic, serious and silly. We salute you, our instructors.”
Salutatorian Caroline Repola celebrated that all students had a different experience at Springfield but would leave together.
“Today we all find our place here on this field. Sitting on the chairs, adrenaline rushing through our veins, all feeling the excitement, whether we want to or not, of graduating,” she said. “One by one we walk up on this stage to get our diploma. But together we will graduate, together we will say ‘hello’ to the real world, together we will brace ourselves for the unfamiliar.”
While trying to figure out how to address the Class of 2010, high school Principal Gregory Puckett was unsure whether to focus more on the fun times — when he purposely mispronounced students’ names for a laugh, or when the Italian foreign exchange students visited this spring — or to congratulate the students on sports awards and a successful production of the “Wizard of Oz.”
Also notable, he said, are two graduating seniors who were recognized as National Merit Scholars this year.
He chose to share with them advice for their futures and decided to draw on the philosophies of Dr. Seuss.
“Be courageous, try new things. As we sit here today your world lies ahead of you rich with the challenges, successes and even failures,” Puckett said. “One thing is certain. It is your willingness to courageously move forward through the life that will open new doors for you.
“And have the courage to tackle the unknown, for we don’t know whether we will like something until we try — even eggs that are green.”
Be creative and have fun, he added. Be your own Cat in the Hat and don’t stay inside on a rainy day.
As the faculty speaker, the occasion was momentous for Dwyer, also known as “Coach,” who is retiring after almost 20 years in the district.
“Class of 2010, we’re leaving together — we’re out of here!” he said.
After a brief hiatus of dancing the “stanky foot” and the “funky Broadway,” with the students, he addressed them with a message to aspire to be the next great generation like their grandparents and great-grandparents.
“Hold on to your principles, but don’t be afraid to compromise for the common good,” he said. “All I can say to you is that if you live your lives with integrity, dignity, loyalty and acceptance of responsibility you’ll do just fine.”
Before handing diplomas to the graduates, Royer told them it had been an honor and a privilege to be a part of their senior year.
“On behalf of the board of school directors, administration, teachers and staff, I congratulate you on your accomplishments, I thank you for your contributions to the district and I wish you great success,” she said
Springfield Sun, 6/17