POSEN - With handshakes, hugs and a shower of confetti, Posen Area Consolidated Schools' class of 2014 graduated Friday, taking the first step of their adult lives.
Before the 32 graduates got their diplomas and turned the tassels on their mortarboards, Superintendent John Palmer remarked on the high caliber of individual the district produces. He was the first of a handful of speakers to congratulate the students, give thanks to those who helped along the way and wish the seniors well on that special night.
After Father Art thanked God for knowledge, discovery and creating the human mind in His image, Salutatorian Ashley Meyers looked back on the memories she formed with her comrades. She'd gone through school all the way from preschool with some, and despite some initial rambunctiousness, they became a fun, outgoing and unique bunch.
"We had our ups and our downs, we fought here and there, but despite all of that we sure did laugh a lot together and made a ton of memories," she said. "I will miss you all very much and I wish everyone the best of luck in everything they do."
Co-valedictorian Kendall Hirschman said Friday marked the day that, at times, felt like it would never come. At others, it seemed to be coming way too fast. She had to overcome some initial doubts over giving a speech at graduation, but then remembered all the memories and progress she and her classmates had made. She'll miss her teachers and classmates, and despite her distaste for endings she told everyone Friday's ending was inevitable.
Much like Posen folks crave authentic paczki, everyone craves authentic people, co-valedictorian Korynn Hincka said. She urged everyone to be themselves, and thanked God among others for the opportunities she and her classmates have had.
"Class of 2014, no matter if you're going to college, the work force or off to the military or back to our countries to study, always be the real, authentic you that God created you to be," she said.
This year, 10 exchange students from various countries graduated alongside their Posen classmates. Many of the speakers wished them well, expressed their fondness for them and thanked their host families. School board President Ken Wozniak thanked the students for all the knowledge they shared, whether about their countries, cultures or themselves.
After a video presentation from Hannah Pontius, Wozniak remarked on the privilege he has in presenting the graduating class each year. He reminded this year's class of all the people who are proud of their achievements so far, and to go into the future without fear of making mistakes. Quoting News Managing Editor Steve Murch, he urged them to stand behind their word, and to draw wisdom from another saying.
"Live up to your class motto: in the end, it's all going to be OK," he said. "If it's not OK, it's not the end."