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Class of 2012 Good named valedictorian during 56th annual commencement
"Hold hope in your heart. The possibilities are limitless."
Charlie Good was named Warwick High School’s valedictorian, top student in a class of 357, during commencement Monday night at Calvary Church. His speech, "Waking up to the Dream," encouraged fellow graduates to aim high and never give up.
"If one person can change the world," Good posited, "just think what the people in this room could accomplish together."
The ceremony opened with the traditional "Pomp and Circumstance" by the WHS band as the class of 2012 entered the large hall… together. Principal Troy Price then welcomed those in attendance, and soon announced Good as head of the class.
Neither Good, nor class salutatorian Korey Johnson knew they would be the recipients of the honors until Monday night.
"I have learned this year that the final result is not always the most important outcome," said Johnson in his address. "The final grade does not totally define me as a high school student. The process and effort going into that grade is what truly defines who I am. Little moments add up to larger experiences, which ultimately define who we really are."
Fellow graduates Natalie Weaver and Justin Pennypacker had also been in the running for top academic honors. In total, 36 students represented the top 10 percent of the Class of 2012. Assistant Principal Zachary Fletcher introduced those students to the assembly.
While Weaver and Pennypacker weren’t chosen to deliver their prepared speeches at commencement, their messages to the class of 2012 beg to be heard.
Pennypacker encouraged his classmates to always endeavor to serve others.
"When you see someone in need, don’t be afraid to go out of your way to fill that need, no matter how big or how small," he wrote. "Take a few minutes away from your instant messages, your chats, your Facebook status posts, your tweets and your texts to spend some time serving others."
Weaver praised her community and challenged her fellow graduates to carry that great example out into the world.
"We’ve been blessed with a great example of community here in Lititz," she pointed out. "Not only have we grown up with the support of friends and family, but I’ve witnessed the support of the community in attending athletic competitions, enjoying musical performances, and giving time and money to help and bless us as students. Always be grateful for this gift, and keep this experience in mind as you go on your way."
Senior members of the concert choir gave their final performance as an ensemble, "Time to Say Goodbye."
Board president Dr. Timothy Quinn and superintendent Dr. April Hershey then introduced the class of 2012, calling the graduates’ names, one by one. School board members assisted in handing out the 357 diplomas.
Afterwards, principal Price immediately inducted the graduates into the Warwick Alumni Association.
Senior class president Gavin Noritsky delivered a farewell address to his classmates, and commencement ended with the alma mater:
Let’s all stand for dear old Warwick
With a spirit strong and true.
Red and black her high school colors
Let them wave in glory new.
We will sing her praises ever
Through the months and through the years.
Warwick is our Alma Mater
Let’s all sing it loud and clear!
The 2012 valedictorian left his classmates with a challenge, to dare to dream and never stop.
"Take a box for instance, and call it your dream box. You put all of your biggest, wildest dreams in that box," Good said. "It’s what we do with those dream boxes that determines what our world will be like. Class of 2012, don’t put your dream boxes away and let them collect dust. Open them every day. Add new dreams to the box. Know that these boxes are not rigid, but are as flexible as your heart." "What gives me hope is our collective will
and our collective brilliance. Your individual dreams
are exciting. But our collective dreams
make me feel that nothing is too great to overcome."
– Charlie Good, 2012 valedictorian More GRADUATION, page A5 ? Get your extra copies of this week’s graduation issue, on newsstands now!
? Individual graduate photos start on page A16.