For a few dozen young adults, Friday evening will serve as a rite of passage, one they’ve worked 12 years to achieve.
More than a decade of hard work, shared memories and friendships made culminates tomorrow as members of the Class of 2013 step into the high school auditorium as students for the final time and step off as graduates.
The commencement ceremonies for Whitehall’s senior class will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 21, with 59 students expected to receive their diplomas.
Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings and members of the Whitehall faculty—dressed in full regalia—will be on hand to congratulate the students with them luck as they head off to college, the military or dive straight into the workforce.
The ceremony will begin with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the National Anthem and the Whitehall alma mater.
Senior members of the high school hand and chorus will deliver their final performance as part of those groups.
For the first time in a few years, Friday’s ceremony will include a designated commencement speaker.
Michael J. Greenwood, a Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force and a former graduate of Whitehall High School will deliver tomorrow’s graduation address.
Greenwood entered the Air Force 13 years ago after graduating from SUNY Adirondack (then Adirondack Community College) with a sterling 4.0 grade point average.
During his time in the military, Greenwood has worked as a security policeman at the Air Force Academy, been deployed overseas, and served in the Air Force’s space division where he was worked on military satellite systems.
Greenwood is currently in the midst of his third re-enlistment and working toward obtaining his Bachelor’s degree. He is married to Tiffanee Hopf and resides in Colorado Springs.
Speeches will also be given by class valedictorian Paxton Peterson and salutatorian Jordan Eggleston. Both students were recognized during Monday’s Board of Education meeting for their scholastic achievements.
Principal Kelly McHugh will address the crowd during the ceremony and will introduce the top 10 students (as determined by GPA). Superintendent James Watson will join her on stage to present various awards and scholarships to members of the graduating class. The ceremony will be Watson’s last as superintendent. He officially announced his retirement earlier this month and will step down next fall after more than 27 years in the position.
The evening will conclude with the presentation of diplomas by Board of Education President Virginia Rivette, following by the turning of the tassels and the recessional.
Members of the community are reminded that graduation ceremonies are open to ticket holders only and closed to the general public.
Photographs will be allowed during the ceremony but people are asked to be considerate of those around them.