A final journey ... together ... down memory lane
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.”
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“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.
Graduating senior Zachary Bergman accepts his diploma from Council Rock School Board member Jerold Grupp June 19.