SALISBURY TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT
One hundred twenty six students walked across the stage at Allentown Symphony Hall June 4 to celebrate their graduation from Salisbury High School.
The Salisbury High School Falcon Band and Chorus performed during the ceremony.
Family members anxiously awaited catching a glimpse of their graduate as the students processed down the aisles to the stage to “Pomp and Circumstance” by Elgar.
Salisbury High School Principal Heather Morningstar welcomed everyone to the graduation and all rose to the playing of “The Star Spangled Banner.”
The Class of 2019 acknowledged the passing of their classmate Duncan Yankovitch, who died unexpectedly Oct. 16, 2018.
Salisbury Township School District Superintendent Dr. Randy Ziegenfuss and Associate Superintendent Lynn Fuini-Hetten were introduced by Morningstar.
Ziegenfuss also welcomed family friends and staff and congratulated the students on their graduation.
Both Ziegenfuss and Fuini-Hetten highlighted a sampling of stories of graduates who exemplify the Profile of a Graduate and Beliefs About Learning program developed by the district.
Highlighted were the students who participated in an exchange program with German students, the social media advisory committee, the emerging health program and the many athletic accomplishments.
More than half of the seniors were consistently on the honor roll, 71 students participated in advanced placement or dual enrollment courses, 21 seniors were members of National Honor Society and 24 seniors attended Lehigh Career and Technical Institute.
Some of the seniors worked as interns, in the district or in local businesses, in the fields of education, business or art – with a concentration on the student’s future career path.
Students created their own podcasts – introducing a new way of communication.
The debate team, with advisor Michael Barna had their best season ever and students in the arts were offered congratulations as well.
Two senior twirlers were noted for being caring with their fellow teammates and members of the SHS safety committee were recognized for impacting the building safety and security practices for the district.
Students displaying entrepreneurship were also recognized.
Students who come to Salisbury from other countries were acknowledged for their resilience.
“We wish you all the best as you leave us today to begin your journey ….” Ziegenfuss said.
School Board President Frank Frankenfield talked about the students’ journey through elementary, middle and high school. He noted 80 percent of the graduates will pursue secondary education, five are entering military service and multiple athletes will be playing in college.
“Turn all that knowledge into a positive future. Be diligent and determined,” Frankenfield said. “Class of 2019, it’s a great day to be a Falcon.”
Director of Student Activities Monica Deeb, introduced President of the Class of 2019 Melinda Mary Rivera, who ran the student Twitter page and coordinated the school’s blood drives garnering 153 pints of blood. Rivera will attend Penn State University in the fall pursuing a degree in psychology.
In Rivera’s speech, she highlighted students and their accomplishments. She also noted students who will be furthering their athletic and academic careers.
Rivera ended her speech by saying “…I am the average girl who would not be able to be where she is today without the help of my above average mom.”
SHS Assistant Principal Brian A. Muschlitz introduced Salutatorian Sean M. Snyder, who is actively involved in National Honor Society, sports, prom court, Future Business Leaders of America and fundraising for autism. Snyder noted his two most influential teachers – Richard Pearce and Jonathan Ruiz. Snyder noted his desire to pursue a career in data analytics and finance due to Pierce’s algebra class. He said Ruiz gave him the passion for math – always challenging students beyond their comfort levels. Snyder will be attending Villanova University in the fall.
In his speech, Snyder said this is the “single greatest class of students to ever come out of Salisbury High School.” He told the students, “You can accomplish anything.”
Snyder noted several students such as Lucas Reichard who will pursue his dream of being a railroad conductor.
Morningstar then introduced Valedictorian Peyton L. Stauffer, listing her many accomplishments at SHS. Stauffer said her parents are her role models who instilled the value of hard work.
Stauffer will attend Villanova University for biochemistry.
Stauffer said the most important lesson learned is to “treat others how you want to be treated.” She talked about interacting with the other members of the Class of 2019 and realizing the many conversations changed her perspectives and enabled her to understand what she hadn’t before. “Discussing current events in class showed me there are a million reasons to believe in something and one reason is no less valid than another.
“My classmates possess inspiring passion and drive to accomplish their goals. Watching the support offered to one another in pursuit of those goals is something that will stick with me for the rest of my life,” Stauffer said.
She expressed gratitude for lessons learned and for the support from teachers and students.
Members of the senior chorus then performed “Man in the Mirror” by Siedah Garrett and Glen Ballard.
SHS Counselor Natalie Kriner presented the staff award to Helen Rapp.
President, Salisbury Education Association Steven Hilaire presented the Salisbury Education award of $500 to a student who plans a career in education to Bryant Alayola, who will pursue a career in teaching foreign languages.
Salisbury Educational Support Professional Association member Dawn Cressman presented an award to LCTI student Victoria Cresswell.
SHS Teacher Rachel Legath presented the alumni award to Peyton Stauffer.
Following the awards, degrees were presented to the members of the Class of 2019.