The future is bright as 278 graduate from CM

SARAH SMELTZ/THE EXPRESS Soon-to-be Central Mountain Alumni gather in the cafeteria as they prep themselves for their commencement ceremony at Malinak Stadium Friday evening. Above, dear friends hug as they prepare themselves for the journey ahead in their next chapter.

LOCK HAVEN — The Central Mountain graduating class of 2019 said their last goodbyes on Friday night, as 278 graduates made their way into a stadium with the bleachers packed with friends, family and supporters.

The Commencement Ceremonies got under way with the performance of “Pomp and Circumstance,” along with the National Anthem from the concert band.

Class President Katherine Burrows provided the welcome address, which she said was a goal she set in a letter to herself in the ninth grade.

Burrows reminisced over “memories that will last a lifetime,” such as lip-sync battles and classmates wearing togas to school.

She also lauded teachers and classmates for their amazing encouragement, teaching kindness and “push for us to win the day.”

“We learned to always be accepting of everyone, regardless of circumstance,” Burrows said. “We fell in love with each other and broke each other’s hearts. We were competitors and confidants. Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat.”

After a musical selection of “Brave Souls” by Sarah Walizer, Valedictorian Micah Schall took the stage.

“Out of all the things I have done in high school, this speech was the hardest,” Schall said. “How do you capture the essence of this class in just a few sentences. We are all unique, a little weird, maybe. I am not special, I am just the one my friends chose to support. If anyone can do it, you can. It is not enough for just one of us to succeed, all of us have to. I am choosing to ignore the farewell aspect of this speech, I don’t want to consider saying goodbyes. I am terrified to be leaving, but life doesn’t have that luxury. Life is scary because there are so many uncertainties. Life has no retakes, no do-overs at finding the meaning of life. After so many years, we still haven’t figured that out. Sit down, be humble. Farewell, Class of 2019, I loved every minute I’ve spent with all of you. I hope you achieve the huge dreams you have for your future. I’ll miss you all.”

Salutatorian Christina Lugg then took thanked friends, teachers, parents and grandparents for their support.

“Everybody has been very instrumental into shaping me into what I am today,” Lugg said. “Lastly I would like to wish all graduates the best of luck in their endeavors, and to thank all of those that are entering into the armed services.”

Superintendent Jacquelyn M. Martin then provided closing remarks.

She urged seniors to think of the people who have impacted them, and created a permanent impression in their lives. She then asked each student and person in attendance to pull out their cell phones and message at least one person a heartfelt thank you.

After all the teary-eyed memories and speeches, the awarding of the diplomas began.