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Together As a Tribe One Last Time: Class of 2019 Graduation
Written by Esther Mack, Correspondent

            Upper Perkiomen High School's Class of 2019 was the first class to graduate in outside ceremonies this century. The stage was set in the football stadium as 198 students reached an important milestone in their lives and got ready to embark into the future.

            The home-side bleachers were packed with enthusiastic family and friends patiently waiting for their loved ones to walk out on the turf as a class one last time.

            There were three student speakers during graduation: Valedictorian Dylan Reil, Salutatorian Mary Camuso, and Senior Class President Jackson Gray. Each had the opportunity to share some final words of wisdom to their fellow classmates, along with extending gratitude to the faculty and family that has supported them during these last four years of their lives.

            As Dylan Reil encouraged his class to "follow your dreams relentlessly, because the only one stopping you is yourself", it began a theme of resilience. This theme would continue to surface in the other student speeches, thus creating a special type of unity among the students one last time.

            Mary Camuso reminded students that "strength is asking others to be strong for you" when life becomes difficult and overwhelming. She urged this message to her peers because she wants others to be able to be resilient against life's hardships, and a friend can help anyone do that.

            Jackson Gray perfectly captured the idea of unity as he admitted, "It breaks my heart that we won't be surviving another year of school together". The bonds made within the class of 2019 was the support system that helped bring them to graduation.

            Acting Superintendent Dr. Andrea Farina also provided final remarks to the students as they close this chapter of their lives. "Integrity takes years to build, but split seconds to lose … please never forget that integrity matters."

            Once all the student and faculty speakers shared their final reflections and advice, 198 students each received their well-deserved moments of recognition as the diplomas were handed out.  Family, friends and faculty let out their excitement and joy as their loved ones walked across the turf.  From simple cheers to loud air horns and posters of students' faces, everyone had a part in sharing this special moment.

            A total of 146 students will continue their academic careers in some type of secondary education while 52 other students either enlist in the military or enter the workforce immediately.

            But no matter which future path each student chooses, none of them will forget where they all first came from.





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