SALISBURY TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT
Salisbury Township School District held its 53rd commencement ceremony in the early evening hours June 7 at Miller Symphony Hall.
After a musical overture of popular movie themes, the graduates took the stage to the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance.”
In his opening statements, Superintendent Dr. Randy Ziegenfuss noted the accomplishments of the 141 graduates of Salisbury High School – including a Freddy nominated actress, high-ranking debate and scholastic scrimmage teams, four state medalists in swimming and tennis and district champions for soccer. In total, the class had been offered over $1 million in scholarships.
“It is my hope that you are leaving us today with a portfolio of memories and habits of mind that will prepare you to pursue your passions to take on the challenges of this restless world,” Ziegenfuss said.
Ziegenfuss asked the students to consider the impact they may have on the world by sharing stories from inspirational Salisbury alumni.
Board of Education President Frank Frankenfield spoke next, drawing from his personal memories of being a Salisbury parent. His son, Eric, was among the graduates.
“It seems like yesterday we were afraid to put them on the bus,” Frankenfield said. “Now they’re driving their own cars, leaving for college or starting new careers.”
Frankenfield noted over 80 percent of the graduates would pursue secondary education, and a third of the class had an A average. At times, class rank would be determined by a 10th of a point.
“Tonight represents the end of chapter one. Tomorrow will be the beginning of chapter two,” Frankenfield said.
Class President Alyson Godusky reflected on the increasing pressure the world puts on students to decide their futures early on. Godusky encouraged her classmates to revel in the possibilities and freedoms that come with graduating high school rather than dwell in fear.
“Whether you’re attending college, entering the work force or taking a gap year, this is the time to build yourself and find your true passions,” Godusky said. “This is when your life will finally begin.”
Class Salutatorian Ethan Heydt reminisced about the many good times he had at Salisbury, saying goodbye to the guidance counselors, soccer games and Paul Koba’s physics class.
“I am truly honored to a part of Salisbury’s Class of 2017,” Heydt said. “As I look at the faces of my fellow classmates on this stage, each have their mark on the school and have helped create a legacy that will not be forgotten.”
After an introduction by Principal Heather Morningstar, class Valedictorian Benjamin Wiener thanked the network of support Salisbury had to offer. Wiener praised the small school environment of Salisbury where everyone was interconnected.
“We’ve been there for each other when we didn’t ask for help, but we needed it,” Wiener said, “when the answer to ‘how are you’ was a half-hearted, ‘good’.”
Wiener charged the members of the class to continue to care about others as they leave the halls of Salisbury.
“It is our obligation, as products of this community, to keep caring.”
Graduating members of the Salisbury High School Chorus sang “Lean On Me” by Bill Withers.
After the presentation of several awards, each member of the senior class was presented with their diploma. As with the several previous graduation ceremonies, a reception for the graduates and their families was held in Arts Park after the ceremony concluded.