This article can be found published on the Daily Local News‘ website.
WEST GOSHEN — High school graduation may have ended one journey for the 381 students in West Chester East’s Class of 2015, but it also was the beginning a new adventure for the young adults.
It makes the year’s theme of “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” ever more fitting.
Graduating seniors embraced the theme by decorating their caps as well, as one student did with her’s reading “Adventure is out there.”
“(Your diploma) is a key to open doors that will lead to your next opportunity,” said East principal Kevin Fagan. “The key you will receive tonight will open many doors, indeed. You will find in life the more doors you are able to open, the better.”
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East’s Class of 2015 is a unique one, as Fagan was quick to point out.
“I will miss the way you planned your senior prank,” he said. “What other school has a group of seniors pull a prank and then help to clean up everything immediately after?”
Even Superintendent Jim Scanlon heard about them, though in a good way.
“Graduates — your teachers and administrators tell me this has been one of the best classes they have had the pleasure to teach,” he said. “When I asked why, the most common response I heard was, ‘They are nice to each other, they are intelligent (and) have good common sense.’ Well, most of you do.
“But over and over again, I heard how much you care about others.”
Though the ride may not have always been the easiest, the Class of 2015 has always prevailed, as vice principal Crystal Dowdell said she learned over her four years at East.
“I have never worked with such a creative group,” she said. “This class had great ideas from the beginning … I realized they would get (things) done during the 25th hour. I didn’t even know there was a 25th hour until the Class of 2015.”
Though most of the attention was focused on the graduates, Scanlon did pass along thanks to some of the people who helped get them to where they are.
“Parents — thank you for all you have done to help guide these fine young people sitting before us,” he said. “Without you and all of your hard work, love and devotion, none of this would be possible.
“And teachers — thank you for your tireless work, dedication and passion for learning and for faith in these students.”
In a poem dedicated to the Class of 2015 by senior Zachary Casey, he summed up the next journey for the graduates.
“The future is waiting,” his poem read. “What mark will you leave? What roads will you travel? How large will you dream?”
This year’s graduating class at East boasts amazing numbers as well for the future.
Of the 381 graduating seniors, 93 percent are going on to a two- or four-year college, roughly 2 percent are going on to serve in the military and roughly 4 percent are entering the workforce.
“Whether you are headed to college next year, as many of you are, or you are joining a branch of the armed services or entering the workforce, continue your mission to collect those keys and open doors. Create the person you wish yourself to be.”