A grand Graduation

By on June 13, 2018

Warwick toss their hats during the Warwick High School Commencement held at Calvary Church in Manheim Township, PA on June 11, 2018.

It was a simple three-part message for Warwick High School’s graduating class of 2018.

As more than 350 seniors and their families listened to Warwick School District Superintendent April Hershey, she borrowed the words of author Henry James.

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind,” quoted Hershey, noting that in today’s world, few things are as vital as people treating others with kindness, respect and civility.

Hershey’s message on civility comes at a time when society has moved away from politeness and common decency. Hershey urged the class of 2018 to hold onto the kindness they have shown when they were students in the Warwick schools.

“I have seen greater kindness from students than I see from many adults,” said Hershey. “Never lose those traits.”

She quoted from George Washington’s “Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour,” filled with bits of wisdom, such as “Keep your nails clean and short…” and “Drink not, nor talk not, with your mouth full.” Her final message to the class of 2018 came from Washington’s rule No. 110.

“Labor to keep alive in your breast that little celestial fire called conscience.”

There was a sense of good will and kindness among the students as they waited to march for graduation while taking selfies and helping each other with their caps.

Warwick High School Principal Kristy Szobocsan also noted that sense of camaraderie when she addressed the graduating seniors in their own language, with #IFeltProud when students raised money to donate to charities, walked down the halls of their elementary schools to greet younger students, and formed a unified track team with athletes of all abilities.

“I felt proud when I picked up a pizza at the local pizza shop and when I opened the box, there was a message that said, ‘Hey, Mrs. Szobocsan, enjoy your pizza!’” she said, adding another hashtag, #LoveTheClassof2018.

The graduation speakers were Montana Lutz, who was named as valedictorian; Talia Bertrando; and McKenzie Cossette. Clayton Mohler was named as salutatorian.

Lutz looked back to his earliest days in school with “All We Need To Know,” inspired by Robert Fulghum’s popular book from the 1980s “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” In Lutz’s twist on the lessons of life, he said that, “Everything we ever needed to know, we learned at Warwick.”

“Much of the wisdom we learned did not come from textbooks, but from conversations, social interaction, respecting each other and tolerating each other,” said Lutz.

In Bertrando’s address to her classmates, she encouraged them to take the next step in “Being, Belonging, Becoming.” She talked about their early years in elementary school when they began their 13-year journey of being, then belonging. As they graduate, students will go on to careers, college, military and new roles in life, all the while continuing their lessons of being kind.

“What you will become will be amazing,” she said.

Cossette reminded her classmates of the great contributions they had already made as students. All of these contributions are meaningful, she told them, they will become “Everlasting Contributions.”

Will Gonzalez was one new graduate who will be staying close to home. During his senior year he had a paid internship with Versatek in Lititz. Now that he is an alum, he is set to start a full-time job at Versatek in one week. Other graduates like Bryce Zimmerman, Maverick Henry and Isaac Rissinger, have their own paths ahead, with Zimmerman setting off on a job hunt, Henry heading to Penn State, and Rissinger on his way to West Virginia University.

The commencement program recognized members of the National Arts Honor Society, National Business Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America, CTC Honors Society, National French Honors Society, National French Honors Society, National Spanish Honor Society, Tri M, National English Honors Society and National Honors Society. Foreign exchange student Magaly A. Manriquez Herrera from Chile was also honored.

A meaningful rendition of “A Million Dreams” from “The Greatest Showman” movie musical was performed by senior members of the concert choir, accompanied by senior Jack Myers.

With that, the graduates of Warwick High School’s Class of 2018 stepped up to receive their diplomas and find their place in the world — with kindness and consideration for others along the way.

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to the Record Express. She can be reached at lknowles21@gmail.com.


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