‘We are a proud and accomplished class’
Three hundred fifty-one members of the Class of 2018 joined the ranks of Whitehall High School alumni at the school’s 114th commencement ceremony at Stabler Arena, Bethlehem, June 4.
Following a performance of “Pomp and Circumstance” by the Whitehall High School band, Jacky Mansour delivered the opening remarks that empowered the outgoing students to stay motivated in chasing their dreams.
“Class of 2018, we never gave up when times were tough. We kept going. That’s what makes us special. That’s what makes us Zephyrs,” Mansour said.
Several members of Whitehall’s Class of 1968 were in attendance to celebrate their 50-year milestone. Members of that class provided funding for five scholarships that were presented at the school’s awards banquet in May.
Class President Genesis Perez delivered a speech that compared the two eras. With today’s students taking an increased interest in global affairs, Perez reminded everyone of what the political climate in 1968 was like: the height of the Vietnam War coupled with the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy.
“We think the world is messed up now? Believe me, graduates, you have no idea what the people sitting behind you went through,” Perez said.
In his second graduation ceremony as Whitehall High School principal, Nathan Davidson stressed the importance of adapting when things get uncomfortable.
“As the great philosopher and pugilist Mike Tyson once said, and I quote, ‘Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth,’” Davidson said.
The principal encouraged the graduates to ignore the naysayers and pessimists who chide their generation.
“I hear people complain and ask, ‘What’s wrong with kids these days?’ I tell them that they should come to work with me because you guys are what’s right about this world.”
Valedictorian Catherine Chen and Salutatorian Miles Blumenau provided a retrospective on the academic, athletic and artistic accomplishments the Class of 2018 was able to achieve.
“We are a proud and accomplished class of seniors eager to leave our mark on the world,” Chen said.
Keziah-Grace Lopes, student chaplain, delivered the invocation and benediction.
Forty-nine students completed their high school career with a GPA of 4.0 or higher. Those students were distinguished with maroon and gold cords at the ceremony.
Class of 2018 officers included Perez as president, Ariana Hines as vice president, Renee Juliano as secretary, Alix Buskirk as treasurer and Austin Loy as historian.
(Editor’s note: Senior awards will be printed in an upcoming edition.)