Members of the Penn Manor Class of 2019 received their diplomas Tuesday night before family and friends during an upbeat graduation ceremony at Franklin & Marshall College.
In his address to the crowd, principal Dr. Phil Gale celebrated the many accomplishments of the 417 graduates, including state and national recognition in academics, technology, agriculture, the performing arts and athletics.
He pointed out that seniors will be receiving more than $2.5 million in academic awards and scholarships to continue their education. About 70 percent of graduates plan to further their studies, and about 20 percent will enter the workforce. Twelve students will be joining the armed forces, including Cole Shenk, who earned an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy.
Shenk was one of six student speakers who addressed the crowd at commencement. The others were Derek Davis and Ryan Glenn, co-valedictorians; Sameeha Hossain, salutatorian; Jared Stephan, class president; and Erica Shaub.
Members of the Class of 2019 completed 77 college classes while enrolled at Penn Manor and took 502 advanced-placement exams in 24 different subjects. In addition, 73 seniors graduated from the honors program, 69 students graduated with a grade-point average of 4.0 or higher, and 61 seniors earned a GPA of 4.0 or higher and graduated with honors.
During the ceremony, David Kramer was named Student of the Year, as selected by the faculty. Dr. Gale honored the memory of Sean Moore, who passed away at the start of the school year, pointing out that he will always be a member of the Penn Manor Class of 2019.
The ceremony was the final one for Dr. Gale as principal. After working for 19 years at the high school, he has accepted the position of assistant superintendent for secondary education at Penn Manor.
The ceremony also honored members of the Penn Manor High School Class of 1969, many of whom were in attendance. One of them, Denise Morris Race, got to see her granddaughter, Paige Marie Ireland Miller, graduate exactly 50 years to the day that Denise received her diploma.
Congratulations to the 417 members of the Class of 2019, and best wishes as you embark on the next chapter of your lives!