‘It’s where memories are made’
With “Pomp and Circumstance” echoing into the roof beams at Stabler Arena, Bethlehem, Northampton Area School District graduated its 118th high school class June 1.
The band, conducted by James Sansone, greeted graduates with a rousing welcome.
Northampton Area High School Principal Luke Shafnisky welcomed the graduates and their families. He took a moment to honor veterans and those in the class who chose to follow a military career.
The Class of 2019 was his first address to NAHS graduates. He was greeted by a round of applause to mark his successful first year.
NASD Superintendent Joseph Kovalchik praised the Class of 2019 for its excellence.
“I looked up the dictionary definition of dare. It is the courage to contend against and be bold. It typifies this class,” he said.
The Class of 2019 had a rebirth of winning athletics for the school, a great musical presentation of “Mary Poppins” at the Freddy Awards and a slew of academic achievement and Bethlehem Area Vocational-Technical School awards.
Advanced Placement scholars with distinction — Laura Betzenberger, Aaron Eberts and Maxx Venzke — were noted. Betzenberger was also a National AP Scholar.
There is a strong affiliation among alumni of NAHS; the Class of 1969 was represented and recognized.
Kovalchik welcomed the new graduates into the alumni ranks.
Class officers for this year are Michael Kistler, president; Korina Zambrano, vice president; Madison Watson, secretary; and Tyler Gilliard, treasurer.
Kistler added valedictorian to his list of accomplishments. Gabrielle Demchak was this year’s salutatorian.
The student speakers relived the memories they created as they move on to find their careers.
“It is more than a building. It’s more than an education. It’s where memories are made,” Demchak said, recalling her time as a Konkrete Kid.
Kistler emphasized Northampton’s long tradition of success.
“The experiences we had in elementary school helped us to be the persons we are now,” Watson said while reflecting on her time in high school.
“What we learned here will serve us for the rest of our lives,” Zambrano said.
After the ceremony, graduates gathered with friends and family to celebrate their success.