POINT PLEASANT — The more than 200 members of the Class of 2023 received their diplomas Thursday in the 58th commencement ceremony at Point Pleasant Borough High School.
Principal Kurt Karcich encouraged the graduates to follow their dreams and pursue their interests. Quoting Mark Twain, he said, “Nobody wants to have regrets, so be true to yourself and your passion.”
There were five students who will be going into the armed forces and three who are active EMTs in our community. Mr. Karcich asked these students to stand during his speech so they can be properly recognized for their commitment to the community and the country, which was met with thunderous applause from the audience.
He also revealed that the average grade-point average of the class of 2023 was 95, and how 88 percent of the graduating class had completed at least one college level course.
The band seniors then joined the rest of the ensemble for a final performance. Under the maestro of band teacher Scott Visco, the seniors performed “Symphony #2 – Finale” from composer Gustav Mahler.
Director of School Counseling Nicole Hankins then had the honor to introduce the class salutatorian, Hailey Lokerson, and valedictorian, Sarah Rusher, both of which spoke to their fellow graduating classmates. Ms. Hankins also presented each of them with a certificate commending them for becoming top of their class.
Ms. Lokerson, who will be attending Clemson University, said “On behalf of my peers, I would like to send endless amounts of love and gratitude to all those who have supported us over the last 13 years of schooling. It seems so surreal to be standing here at this point in our high school journey … Every single one of you in front of me has grown to become so much stronger and wiser than we could have ever imagined.”
Ms. Rusher, who will be attending Princeton University recalled, “Just as we felt we had strong legs beneath us, the pandemic hit our class hard. Switching to virtual disrupted everyone’s high school experience, but our disruption was unique. Our self discovery was halted, our bonds between each other began to fray and it appeared as if any progress that was made was uncoiled.”
Despite these challenges she commended her peers for being able to adapt and evolve under such unique circumstances. “We rose up, succeeded, failed and discovered so much together.”
After the diplomas were distributed, Senior Class President Joseph Mazzaro commended his classmates for the accomplishments of their years in school and said, “Those achievements are just a small preview of what is to come in our lives.”
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