It was an ugly afternoon weatherwise on Friday, June 13, but through all of the dark clouds and rain there were still bright, shining faces on the 172 graduates of Wyoming Area High School.
The Wyoming Area graduating class of 2014 ran into a small speed bump earlier in the day having the ceremony pushed back 30 minutes from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. due to the adverse weather forecasts. Despite the on and off rain the 48th commencement ceremony was still held outside at Anthony “Jake” Sobeski Football Stadium.
The boys dressed in green gowns, while the girls wore gold with each gender sitting in between two of the opposite to keep the green and gold pattern going through the seats.
Class President Morgan DeAngelo wasted little time introducing the graduating class, which was followed by a thunderous applause from friends and family.
She urged her fellow classmates to never forget their past, for it was their past that helped shape them as individuals.
“The past is an origin that constructs, molds and suppliments every individual,” said DeAngleo. “The events that have transpired within our short lives have developed each and every trait and characterisitc that is expressed within our beings.”
DeAngelo then compared each student to a paintbrush painting its own canvas, only to come together as one big art project resulting in the graduating class.
“Our stories are all unique, every single page,” she said. “Adding every single one of our history together until a picture is painted upon a canvas. Each canavs, a painting of ourselves, is painted with our own brush capturing every A, every hug from family members, every breakup and every beed of sweat and dedication that has dripped on a collection of sports fields and academic stages. Each of these paintings have underlined green and gold subscribed ‘Lifelong Warriors Since Kindergarten.’”
Class Valdectorian Lisa Guido spoke more personally to the crowd telling her story of how it was always her mother and herself through the years and that it will be difficult to leave her behind when she moves on in life.
“My hardest task will be saying goodbye to my mother,” said Guido. “I was always receiving advice from her, whether I wanted it or not, and she taught me to learn from my mistakes and that they would help me become a better person in life.”
Guido ended her speech with a quote from Ghandi: “Whatever you do in life will be insignificant, but it will be important that you did it.”
Salutatorian Gabrielle Spagnuolo reminded her fellow graduates, “High school was never meant to last forever, but to only serves as a guide to the rest of our lives. Guides have been given to all of us here at Wyoming Area in terms of friends, teachers and coaches, both athletic and academic, giving us the basis of the foundations we give today.”
She said that graduation was not the end of something great, but rather the beginning of something better.
“We need to be sure that these days aren’t our best days, but instead the beginning of something great,” said Spagnuolo. “As American entreprenuer Victor Kiam once said ‘Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.’”
As the dark rain clouds came in and the students recieved their diplomas, principal Vito Quaglia officially declared the students graduated and dismissed everyone before the inevitable downpour began.
That didn’t stop the students from running into the field though as they pumped their fists, hugged, shouted for joy and threw their caps into the air.
As Spagnuolo said to conclude her speech “life is what we make of it, not what it’s made for us.”