414 members of Class of 2014 earn diplomas

More than 400 seniors bid farewell to Penn Manor High School Tuesday night during commencement ceremonies at Franklin & Marshall College.

Valedictorian Lauren Longenecker addressed the Class of 2014, along with co-salutatorians Justin Gaukler and Laura Bleacher and class president Alisa Herr. Senior Chloe Vassot provided the welcome, and Lily Wushanley delivered a farewell speech to the 414 graduates, their family members and friends assembled in F&M’s Alumni Sports and Fitness Complex.

High school principal Phil Gale pointed out the many accomplishments of the graduating class, which earned more than $1.7 million in scholarships, awards and grants to continue their education beyond high school.

Forty-four percent of the graduates will be continuing their education at a four-year school, 21 percent will attend a two-year school, and 4 percent have elected to serve in the military.

Thirty-eight seniors took a total of 53 college classes this year, and 264 Penn Manor High School students took 402 advanced-placement exams in 20 different subjects during the month of May.

A total of 68 students graduated in the honors program, 54 students maintained a grade-point average of 4.0 or higher, and 48 seniors in the honors program maintained a 4.0 or higher GPA.

Gale mentioned that senior James Reilly was recognized as a National Merit Commended student for his success on the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Three seniors also were lauded for their exemplary high school attendance records.

Jeremy Darrah had perfect attendance throughout high school, Blake Gomez had perfect attendance in grades 10 through 12, and Micah Brown had perfect attendance during senior year.

Gale also announced that Laura Bleacher was chosen by the faculty as Student of the Year.

“Congratulations to all of our seniors for the success you have achieved throughout your career at Penn Manor,” he told the graduates.

In his final congratulations, Gale praised social studies teacher Joe Herman, who is retiring after 39.5 years at Penn Manor.

Mr. Herman “is as much a part of Penn Manor history as the events of history he so passionately teaches,” Gale said. “Mr. Herman, please accept our thanks and appreciation for the many ways that you have served the Penn Manor community.”

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