Photo of the graduates on the field.

400 seniors earn Penn Manor diplomas at June 1 commencement

A total of 400 members of the Penn Manor Class of 2022 received their diplomas Wednesday, June 1, before family and friends during a balmy outdoor ceremony at Millersville University’s Biemesderfer Stadium.

It was the second year in a row that commencement was held outdoors and the final graduation ceremony for Mike Leichliter, who is leaving Penn Manor after serving 13 years as superintendent. You can watch the ceremony here.

In his address to the crowd, principal Baron Jones commended the graduates for persevering in an unprecedented school year filled with ongoing high school construction and multiple classroom and schedule changes.

He listed some of the accomplishments of the senior class, which includes 36 students who took a total of 129 college-credit classes while at Penn Manor, including three who completed a full year at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology.

In addition, 295 students took 451 advanced-placement exams in 27 different subjects, 75 students graduated in the honors program, and 61 seniors earned an honors degree and a grade-point average of 4.0 or better.

Among them was Max Bushong, who was selected by the high school faculty as the Penn Manor High School Student of the Year for 2022.

About 60 percent of the graduates plan to attend a two- or four-year college, and 31 percent are planning to pursue a career. In addition, 12 members of the senior class will be joining the United States military, including Colton Garber, who is already serving in the Marine Corps. His parents accepted his diploma on his behalf.

This year’s commencement speakers were valedictorian Natalie Krahulik, salutatorian Caroline Foltz, class president Riley Peart and Emily Riggs.

Caroline pointed out that every graduate took a unique path to commencement.

“Tonight, I encourage you to celebrate not only the diploma you earned but the way in which you earned that diploma,” she said. “Because, despite us all being given the same parameters to graduate, there are roughly 400 chairs arranged here in this stadium, indicating that there were roughly 400 distinct pathways that all led to this ceremony.”

“I challenge you to view the idea that ‘life’ is going to start tomorrow or after you’re handed your diploma as a falsehood instead of a reality. Realize that ‘life’ has been happening to each of us on our chosen pathways this entire time.”

“Have confidence, because the path you took to get here tonight has already traversed rough terrain. There were 400 distinct pathways that led here and 400 distinct pathways that will, in transition, leave this ceremony each in a unique and individual direction.”

“To the Class of 2022, congratulations!” 

  • Photo of ceremony