At 7 p.m. last Friday in the Upper Perkiomen High School gymnasium, the graduating class of 2012 stood before their family, friends and educators, appearing as one in their matching navy blue and white gowns.
While the class sat together, stood together, and ultimately crossed the stage together, a message separate from this resem-blance was stressed - the unique character of each individual present.
It is uncommon for two historians to speak together at a graduation ceremony, and even more uncommon for them to be twin sisters. Shanna and Sheri Law shared with the audience of Friday’s commencement that they have grown up appearing to be, in many ways, the same person. However, despite having chosen to both major in environmental science at the same college, they shared their different specific interests within that major. Although their differences may seem small, they explained it is those differences that still make them unique individuals, and urged their peers to always stay true to themselves.
Salutatorian, Linda Kleinfeld, also had a message to share with her class. Discussing how she recently received a letter which she wrote to herself in her seventh grade class, Kleinfeld acknowledged that both ignorance and bliss accompany youth. She mentioned that although the quest through life opens children’s eyes to the downfalls of the world, it also shows them all of the greatness which the world has to offer.
Contributing to the theme of life being a journey, Valedictorian, Jordan Williams, explained that graduation places one at a crossroads in their life. Having experienced all high school has to offer, even “Freshman Kick Day” as he joked, individuals must now take the next step in their life’s endeavors. Whether it be entering the work force, enlisting in the military, or going to college, the class must continue learning and surpassing new challenges. Williams advised his classmates that, with these new goals and challenges, one must also believe in achieving them.
“Never lose sight of the big picture,” Williams concluded.
While others discussed the future, class president, Jody Peart, took a step back to remember all of the good memories that he will forever associate with high school. Explaining that, although the class will always have these thoughts to fall back on, they now must now look to their futures, fully embracing their potential.
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened,” he commented.
With 74% of the class choosing to continue their education, and 90 students attending a four-year college in the fall there is no questioning this class’s potential.
First year Upper Perkiomen School District superintendent, Dr. Elizabeth Yonson, encouraged the class to, “Believe in something bigger than yourself”. She also recommended that the students always find joy and cherish their relationships because life moves too quickly.
As the class of 2012 threw their caps in the air, their next step in their lives had officially begun.
“It’s a new challenge in life which I’m ready to pursue,” senior, Allison Ortlip declared after the ceremony.