Standing on the precipice of what will be the rest of their lives, the members of 's Class of 2011 were filled with optimism and enthusiasm Friday night, as they marked the transition from being high school seniors to graduates during Commencement Exercises held in the auditorium.
After the ceremony began with a moving performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" by graduates Jeannine Riley and Christine Masucci, Class President Kristen Ferrani welcomed family and friends to the high school, which she said has been a special place for her and the 200 other graduates over the past four years.
"'Graduation' is the title of the book that's going to define our lives," Ferrani said.
She encouraged her classmates to be unafraid of what the future holds for them, "because that will take away from the experience."
"I think it's important to know that we shouldn't get too consumed with the future," she added, before eliciting a laugh from the audience by comparing the high school experience with one of life's often unmentioned necessities.
"High school's like toilet paper," Ferrani said, near the end of her remarks. "You only miss it when it's gone."
Salutatorian Patrick Kowalski, who will attend Penn State in the fall, told members of the audience that the Class of 2011 "accomplished a lot" in four years at Saucon Valley.
To his classmates, he offered this advice: "Don't limit yourself."
"Your goal next year should be to find something new about yourself" and to "focus on the good stuff," he added.
Delivering the second commencement address of the evening was Valedictorian Patrick Miller, who will attend Vanderbilt University in the fall.
Miller waxed nostalgic, when he reminisced that the Class of 2011 is the last Saucon Valley graduating class to include members who attended Reinhard Elementary School in Hellertown.
The 101-year-old school building, which was in use as an elementary school until the late 1990s, is scheduled to be demolished this summer.
Quoting Gandhi, Miller told his classmates that they must embrace change in order to make their world a better place.
"Many argue that modern American society has effectively blurred the lines between good and bad," he said. "I hope we can each, in some form--as Gandhi put it--be the change we want to be in the real world."
School district superintendent Sandra Fellin echoed those words of advice in her remarks to the Class of 2011, who she encouraged to take a relaxed but thoughtful approach to life.
"Live life as if you were at the beach," Fellin advised.
At the beach, she explained, "everyone's happy. Everyone's getting along... Families are together, talking, walking, laughing, swimming, surfing."
"Be in the moment," she continued. "Appreciate all you have (and) love those around you, before they are gone."
School board president Lachlan Peeke told the sea of bright-eyed faces looking back at him from the stage to "be proud of your accomplishments."
"Be happy with who you are, where you are and what you are," he said. "Have confidence in your future. Have fun getting there."
Finally, Principal Eric Kahler told the Saucon Valley High School Class of 2011 to "leave your mark on the world, not for glamour, not for glory, but for the benefit of others."
"I am so proud of you becoming the young men and women that represent this school district so wonderfully," he said. "The future of this great land is in your hands, and I know you are up for the challenge."
The commencement exercises concluded with Kahler's formal presentation of the class and the turning of tassles on graduates' mortarboards, to indicate their transition from students to graduates.
After the school's "Alma Mater" was sung, the members of Saucon Valley High School's Class of 2011 recessed out of the auditorium and picture-taking and celebrating began in earnest.
CLASS OF 2011*
Arkady I. Apelchuk
Jade Lynn Appel
Faith E. Appolloni
Kristina Marie Arnold
Sara Beth Baab
Sandi Lynn Baer
Garrett E. Bartley
Joshua Worthington Beedle
Daniel T. Berardesca
Travis Russell Biechy
Neville R. Billimoria
Courtnie A. Bisson
Dayna Leyanne Bloch
Brian K. Bogart, Jr.
Jeremy B. Bohan
Katrina E. Bohnhorst
Kerry Borger, Jr.
Alex M. Bowen
Melissa R. Boyd
Daniel Anthony Brozoski
Matthew T. Cao
Brandon M. Carregal
Nicholas S. Carvis
Christopher J. Casale
Michael R. Citrola
Jonathan Jeffrey Clark
Victoria Ann Clark
Sara Noelle Cote
Miranda Ann Craig
Tyrell Hasan Cromwell
James Robert Cullen
Samantha N. DaSilva
Ryan Alexander Davis
Patrick Liam Deegan
Elisabeth Yvonne Delmore
Derrick Allen Deschler
Leona Lynn Deschler
Lindsay Michelle Diehl
Mary Kate Diehl
Jacob D. Dishong
Joshua Dylan Dishong
Daniel M. Doheny
Zachery T. Duffy
Ashley M. Eckert
Roger Lee Eldredge, Jr.
Kristy Anne Evans
Kristen B. Ferrani
Abraham M. Figueroa
Trisha A. Filo
Benjamin Alan Fistner
Venua Alexandria Fontanez
Brittany Nicole Ford
Eric Benjamin Frans
Megan Elizabeth Geiter
Kyle John Gertz
Ian R. Gimbar
Timothy A. Gold II
Alec W. Guito
Jared D. Hagenbuch
Marina Ameys Hierl
Lori Ann Hillegass
Tanya Sarah Johnson
Patrick James Kane
Chelsea Lee Kaufman
Kimberly Dwyer Kelly
Hailey M. Kemmerer
Lauren Elizabeth Kennedy
Samantha Jean Veronica Kiefer
Lyndsey T. Kincaid
David M. Kinker
Corrinne A. Kirk
Amanda Elizabeth Kirka
Sarah Marie Kish
Matthew J. Knauss
Jacob Ahren Knowles
Aimee Christine Konkolics
Austin G. Kuba
Jonathan D. Lascelle
Kyle Edward Lascelle
Courtney M. Laub
Quantera A. Lightner
Brooke Kathryn Loller
William Jesse Lopez
Michael Lee Luttinen, Jr.
John Anthony Lynch, Jr.
Kaila Ann Mackey
Sarah Rachel Macsek
John Tyler Mahoney
Eric Warren Mantz, Jr.
Samantha A. Marri
Danielle Brita Martin
Katherine L. Martin
Michael J. McCall
Ryan G. McQueen
Monica Marie Michael
Patrick Michael Miller
Tyler J. Miller
Cory A. Newhard
David R. Nonnemaker
Daniel F. O'Connell
Zachary David Oatis
Patrick C. Oliver
Matthew David Orban
Chelsey Elizabeth Outman
Kelly Nicole Palenchar
Adam Michael Peterson
Todd Alan Pfeiffer
Paige Michelle Phillips
Kaitlyn Elizabeth Pinczok
Emily A. Polefka
Keri Lynn Polgar
Andrew Edwin Remaly
Jonathan P. Remmey
Talia Patrice Richelieu
Jeannine Leigh Riley
Johanna Catherine Roche
Jesus M. Rodriguez
Kelsey L. Roetenberg
Morgan C. Rothacker
Kolby K. Rutherford
Michael Christian Sandberg
Triston L. Schafer
John M. Schmidt
Cody D. Schneider
Tyler Patrick Seitter
Brandon Thomas Shuck
Sarah Elizabeth Snyder
Julia Deanne Solosky
Ashley W. Soong
Megan E. Stack
Alyssa Victoria Stahler
Andrew J. Stauffer
Lenard Stimmell, Jr.
Dimitrios C. Valianatos
Danielle A. Van Buren
Erika B. Velho
Christopher James Voag
Melissa S. Wagner
Coryn J. Wister
Paige Marie Wolst
James E. Yob
* Names listed in the official program for the Commencement Exercises of Saucon Valley High School, Class of 2011, June 17, 2011. Names listed do not necessarily confirm completion of graduation requirements.
CLASS OF 2011 GRADUATION AWARDS*
American Association of University Women Scholarship (Bethlehem Branch) - Katrina Bohnhorst
Annie Scholarship - Andrew Stauffer
Best of the Best Scholarship Award Program - Kelsey Roetenberg
Bethlehem Apparatus Company Award - Kyle Daniel
Bethlehem Area Vocational-Technical School Awards
- Best of the Best Scholarship - Jonathan Remmey
- Bridges Scholarship - Ryan Davis, Leona Deschler, Eric Mantz, Jr., Jonathan Remmey
- Elmer Gates Enterprise Award - Ryan Davis
- Outstanding Co-Op Student in Welding - Jonathan Remmey
- Perfect Attendance Award - Eric Mantz, Jr., Jonathan Remmey
Bethlehem Teachers Federal Credit Union Scholarship - Sarah Kish
Colonial League Academic All-Stars - Samantha DaSilva, Patrick Kowalski
Congressman Charles W. Dent Good Citizenship Award - Julie Carr
DAR Good Citizenship Award - Shannon Cassidy
The Donley Award for Excellence - Kyle Daniel
Elmer Gates Enterprise Award - Leona Deschler
Margaret M. Fitzpatrick Memorial Scholarship - Patrick Michael Miller
GFWC-PA Woman's Club Scholarship - Paige Wolst
GFWC-PA Woman's Club Vocational-Technical School Award - Andrew Stauffer
Erik Grubb Memorial Award - Daniel Brozoski
Hellertown Chamber of Commerce Phyllis M. Schnaible Merit Scholarship Award - Andrew Stauffer
Hellertown Lions Club Scholarships - Andrew Stauffer, Paige Wolst
IESI Bethlehem Landfill Environmental Excellence Scholarship - Lindsay Diehl, Austin Kuba
The Sandy Lance Memorial Scholarship - Kristen Ferrani
The David W. Lang Memorial Scholarship - Samantha DaSilva, Patrick Kowalski
Dolores R. Luna Memorial Spanish Award - Lindsay Diehl
National Merit Scholar Program Commended Student - Patrick Miller
National School Choral Award - Christine Masucci
National School Marching Band Award - Austin Kuba
National School Orchestra Award - Tanya Johnson, Christine Masucci
Phi Delta Kappa Award - Emily Polefka
The Prosser Foundation Memorial Scholarship - Alex Bowen, Erika Weisbach
The Reichard Scholarship in Memory of Theresa and Robert Reichard by sons Robert Reichard, Jr. and Ronald C. Reichard - Nicholas Carvis
St. Luke's Hospital Volunteer Escort Service Mary Frances Kuklentz Scholarship - Nicholas Carvis
Saucon Valley Alumni Association Scholarship - Ian Gimbar
Saucon Valley Education Association, M.E. Illick Award - Patrick Michael Miller
Saucon Valley High School Faculty Mae Cowherd and Arthur Oplinger Award - Katrina Fenstermacher
Saucon Valley High School Band Director's Award - Kyle Daniel, Lori Hillegass
Saucon Valley Jaycees Community Service Award - Andrew Stauffer
Saucon Valley Lions Club Scholarship - Alex Bowen
Saucon Valley Lions Club Vocational-Technical School Award - Eric Mantz, Jr.
Saucon Valley Teachers Award - Melissa Boyd
Ernie Savakis Memorial Scholarship - Sara Baab, Jonathan Pearson
Second Mile Community Service Award - Sara Cote
The Steven C. Shermetta Memorial Scholarship - Kristen Ferrani, Jason Okken
The Rhonda Smith Memorial Scholarship - Benjamin Fistner
The Carolyn Snellman Memorial Scholarship - Austin Kuba
Society of Women Engineers Awards
- Highest Honor in Science and Mathematics (certificate) - Kelsey Roetenberg
- High Honor in Science and Mathematics (certificate) - Samantha DaSilva
- Honor in Science and Mathematics (certificate) - Julie Carr
Sons of the American Revolution Good Citizenship Award - Eric Frans
John Philip Sousa Band Award - Christine Masucci
Travelers Protection Association of America Altruism Award - Benjamin Fistner
UNICO (Italian-American) Scholarship, Bethlehem Chapter - Sarah Kish
United States Army Reserve National Scholar Athlete Award - Melissa Boyd, Ian Gimbar
United States Marine Corps Scholastic Excellence Award - Arkady Apelchuk
United States Marine Corps Semper Fidelis Award - Kyle Daniel, Tanya Johnson
United States Marine Corps Distinguished Athlete Award - Samantha Marri
Veterans of Foreign Wars Award, Post 3094 - Patrick Miller
Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary Award, Post 3094 - Samantha DaSilva
Marian Wisser Scholarship - Paige Wolst
The Roland J. Wotring Scholarship in memory of M. Louise Neuweiler Wotring - Arkady Apelchuk, Christine Masucci
Zeswitz Instrumental Music Award - Kelsey Roetenberg
* Names listed in the official program for the Commencement Exercises of Saucon Valley High School, Class of 2011, June 17, 2011.