's Class of 2012 became the 50th graduating class in the history of the school on Friday evening.
Near-perfect weather made the outdoor graduation ceremony even more delightful for the stands full of family and friends of the graduates. The event started off with the high school chamber singers performing the National Anthem followed by the Alma Mater.
Hayden Briggs, student council president, welcomed the audience, and was followed by four other senior speakers: Amanda Cline urged the graduates to overcome the seniors' urge to see 2012 as the end of time and "enjoy the present and the past." Margaret O'Keefe reminded students that "to make an end is also to make a beginning." Karrtik Bhamidipati related how his dreams had changes over four years of high school from "having no dreams as a freshman" to having a goal to get things done and be exceptionally satisfied as a senior.
Daniel Dore, the class valedictorian, related how he and other students spent the wee hours of the morning doing school work, and how he "found it easier to cope with things then, because life had slowed down".
Students honored class advisors Amy McGregor and Jennifer O'Mara, and faculty advisors Brittany Carlino and Thomas Esterly for their assistance through out the year. Retiring teacher Deborah Snyder urged the graduates to honor and preserve the connections they had made through four years of high school.
Principal Daniel Goffredo read of the list of major awards received by students. He happily pointed out that 93 percent of the graduates were going on to some type of post graduation education, and that seniors had received a total of $1.6 million in scholarships fromthe school they had decided to attend.
District Superintendent Alan Lonoconus noted that nothing happens in the future—things happen now, so do one thing at a time and do it well. He said the graduates should work to make themselves proud of their accomplishments.
"If you do not like yourself, you will spend all your time with someone you do not like," Lonoconus said.
The school's 50th graduation also marked the start of a new tradition—inductions to the Wall of Fame. Five people were inducted: Mark Baranberg (1973), David Concannon (1983), Brian Peterman (1968), Miriam Susan Zucker (1980) and Sharon Ann Chiccino (1981). Chiccino, who succumbed to breast cancer, had worked at the school for 15 years.
State Rep. Duane Milne, who graduated from Great Valley, read a House of Representatives resolution honoring the school's achievements over 50 years.
To cap off the event, David Barrett, School Board President, began the process of presenting the diplomas. For 15 minutes, the soon-to-be graduates filed up on the stage to the cheers of classmates, family and friends. With diplomas in hand the the graduates stood, switched their tassels from right to left, let out a huge cheer and tossed their mortarboards into the air, and marched off the field smiling.