PENNSBURY >> After a one day postponement due to rain, blue skies welcomed the Class of 2019 to this year’s graduation ceremonies at Falcon Field on June 11.
As the names of each graduate echoed through the sun-drenched stadium, school board members and high school educators greeted the 756 members of the Class of 2019 with hand shakes, hugs and high school diplomas.
Eighty-four percent of the class will continue their education at higher institutions of learning while 2.7 percent will enter the U.S. Armed Forces and 4.9 percent will join the workforce. Another 7.6 percent will pursue other avenues.
Pennsbury High School Principal Reggie Meadows commended the accomplishments of the class announcing that its members have collectively earned more than $19 million in scholarship money. And he acknowledged the students who have made the commitment to join the U.S. Armed Forces.
Meadows also had a big surprise for the graduates. In addition to being an outstanding class, he said they will go down in history as the class that broke a world record.
In dramatic fashion, Meadows held up a piece of paper certifying that the prom’s kiss mural had officially broken the Guinness World Record for the most number of lip prints on a mural. The graduates responded with a thunderous roar of applause.
During remarks to the class, Student Council President Sahil Shah called the class’s journey from the bottom - freshman year - to the top “remarkable,” while creating lasting memories and leaving a mark on the Pennsbury landscape.
He spoke about their predecessors and the marks they made on Pennsbury, including 1988 graduate professional football player Troy Vincent, who not only cemented his legacy on the football field, but gave back to the community and beyond.
And he spoke about Jeannie Markley, who served an astonishing 48 years in the high school office leaving “a different kind of mark on the Pennsbury community.
“Pennsbury provided us with knowledge and experience, the knowledge and experience we need to make a significant difference in the world,” said Shah. “Here, under every imperfection, every mistake we made, we learned a lesson. A lesson that shaped our character to become who we are today.
“Class of 2019,” he said. “You are one of the most driven, defiant, ambitious and optimistic classes to walk the halls of this prestigious high school. Keep using these traits and the sky’s the limit for leaving a mark on the world.
“As we walk off of Falcon Field and leave Pennsbury High School’s campus one last time,” Shah said, “remember, it is up to you to decide how we will implement this education and change the world as the leaders of tomorrow.”
Student speaker William Bednarz told his classmates as they prepare to embark on the path ahead, take risks, be prepared to fail and don’t stay in your comfort zone very long.
“As you begin to tread your next path, remember that if you fail, fail valiantly,” he said. “Fail with your head high and your heart on fire, knowing that you tried. You did something new. You let yourself be vulnerable. You showed up for the world.
“The time we have spent at Pennsbury has been truly unforgettable,” said Bednarz. “The memories we have made - from little moments between classes on the path to the best, and I repeat, THE BEST prom in America - will live forever. However, as we begin to take our own separate paths, we should strive to take the risk.
“Lace up your shoes, Class of 2019, and race forward. Your next path awaits,” said Bednarz.
The soon-to-be graduates also heard from classmate Miles Borowsky who challenged the class to “keep the open mind that Pennsbury has helped you develop.
“After we graduate, we’ll be faced with different people, from different backgrounds, from different high schools. These people will have traits that seem foreign to us. We’ll meet people that span all realms of the social, academic, geographic and economic spectrums.
“No matter how different and deeply-rooted our beliefs and our principles may be, there are ways to connect and build relationships with others,” he said. “And our four years at Pennsbury helped us discover these ways.
“To learn before we assume. To understand before we judge. To think before we act,” he said. “We didn’t learn this in the classroom though. We learned it in the hallways, at lunch, on the path. In these places, Pennsbury forced us to broaden our horizons.”
Also sharing parting advice to the graduates were Pennsbury School Board President T.R. Kannan and Superintendent of Schools Dr. William Gretzula.
Kannan told the class to “be thankful for what you have, show gratitude and be of service to others,” while Dr. Gretzula encouraged the members of the class “to get comfortable not knowing, embrace uncertainty. Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone,” he said.
“And take comfort in knowing you are well prepared to accomplish whatever you want to become with hard work,” said the superintendent. “So be curious, explore the world around you and work hard. Great things await you if you do.”
Acting PHS Co-Principal Cherrissa Gibson closed the ceremony by officially announcing the class graduates of Pennsbury High School.
Moments after the graduates moved their tassels from one side of their caps to the other, the caps were filling the air above the heads of the graduating class.
With that, the Class of 2019 officially embarked into the world carrying their high school diplomas and pondering the words of their classmates and district administrators.