A fi­nal jour­ney ... to­gether ... down mem­ory lane

The Advance of Bucks County - - NEWTOWN AREA - By Cary Beavers

NORTHAMP­TON - In Septem­ber, 2000, kids all over Amer­ica, as in ev­ery year, started kinder­garten. Kinder­garten rep­re­sents more than just an in­tro­duc­tion to or­ga­nized school for chil­dren. It also is the VyPEROLF firVW VWHS Ln D 13-yHDr SDWK WKDW cul­mi­nates with the end of a high school ca­reer.

2n -unH 19, 505 RI WKRVH VWuGHnWV WRRN WKH finDO VWHS RI WKHLr MRurnHy Ln CRunFLO Rock High School South’s gym, which was packed with par­ents, sib­lings and other wHOO-wLVKHrV JDWKHrHG DW WKH VWuGHnWV’ fin­ish line, oth­er­wise known as grad­u­a­tion. TKH VFKRRO’V CODVV RI 2013 LV Ln WKH ERRNV.

Be­fore school board Pres­i­dent Wendi TKRPDV PDGH LW RI­fiFLDO wLWK WKH FRnIHr­rDO RI GLSORPDV, WKrHH RI CRunFLO RRFN SRuWK’V most pres­ti­gious stu­dents led the class in RnH, finDO MRurnHy, WKLV RnH GRwn PHPRry lane. Each of the speak­ers – Ryan Wal­ter, NDWDOLH SFKDIIHr DnG SDrDK CDVHy – uVHG D VSHFL­fiF WKHPH WR JHW WKHLr SRLnW DFrRVV.

“Take a mo­ment to look back at the good times,” said Wal­ter, the pres­i­dent RI CRunFLO RRFN SRuWK’V CODVV RI 2013. “Take a look back at the bad times. They all brought you to this day. The mem­o­ries will last a life­time.”

He left his class­mates with a piece of ad­vLFH firVW RIIHrHG Ey RDOSK WDOGR EPHrVRn.

“Do not take the pass most trav­eled. do in­stead where there is no path and leave a trail.” He ended with the per­func­tory, “We did it!” which brought one of many thun­der­ous roars from the pic­ture-snap­ping crowd.

Natalie Schaf­fer fol­lowed Wal­ter, and in­stead of talk­ing about where the class is head­ing, looked back at where they’re from.

“I am from you, and you are from me,” Shaf­fer said. “We are from all of this, and each and ev­ery one of us has the po­ten­tial to be amaz­ing. Let’s go show the world what amaz­ing re­ally is.”

NHxW uS wDV CDVHy, wKR uVHG WrDnVSRrWDWLRn, VSHFL­fiFDOOy WrDLnV, WR VyPEROLzH WKH jour­ney.

“At times, it seemed like the train would nHvHr JHW KHrH,” CDVHy VDLG. “BuW LW Dr­rLvHG and the most vi­tal thing wwe can do is to roll on. Life has a funny way of work­ing it­self out.”

She con­tin­ued by quot­ing Andy Bernard, the quirky char­ac­ter from Ts’s “The Of­fiFH.”

“I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days be­fore you left WKHP,” CDVHy VDLG EHIRrH rHvHrWLnJ EDFN WR her own words. “Well, th­ese are the good old days. We’re step­ping off one train on onto the next.”

As with most grad­u­a­tion cer­e­monies, it was equal parts look­ing back and peer­ing ahead. Part of the rem­i­nis­cence was a moPHnW RI VLOHnFH Ln KRnRr RI CDrOHLJK -RnHV, D CODVV RI ’13 PHPEHr wKR wDV NLOOHG Ln AuJuVW, 2011, DIWHr EHLnJ VWruFN GRwn Ey D car. The mo­ment also re­mem­bered teacher Rick Moore, who re­cently suc­cumbed to can­cer. In ad­di­tion to be­ing men­tioned by name, Jones was rep­re­sented by a cap and rose perched on an oth­er­wise empty chair.

Fi­nally, the long process of hand­ing out diplo­mas to each in­di­vid­ual stu­dent – a process that, in any other set­ting, would be WHGLRuV EuW LnVWHDG wDV fiOOHG wLWK HxFLWH­ment and lone-voices-in-the-wilder­ness cheers – be­gan. Soon, they were obey­ing TKRPDV DnG flLSSLnJ WKHLr WDVVHOV IrRP WKH left to the right.

And sud­denly, it was over. Af­ter a well­re­hearsed cer­e­mony that moved at a rea­son­able pace, the end seemed sud­den. It was a per­fect mi­cro­cosm for the jour­ney WKDW OHG WKRVH 505 VWuGHnWV WR WKH CRunFLO Rock High School South gym Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon.

Pho­to­graphs by Cary Beavers

Grad­u­at­ing se­nior Zachary Bergman ac­cepts his diploma from Coun­cil Rock School Board mem­ber Jerold Grupp June 19.

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