Rain didn’t deter Washington Township commencement
Rain could not damper the excitement inside the township high-school auditorium on June 12 as the Class of 2023 took center stage during the school’s 58th commencement.
While rain did force the ceremony inside, it didn’t keep some 504 seniors from receiving their diplomas after much pomp and circumstance.
Principal Raymond F. Anderson III welcomed the crowd of family and friends and the senior class executive board delivered remarks. Those were followed by Salutatorian Ryan Crowley and Valedictorian Jessica Wei.
“We finally did it,” Crowley said, eliciting applause from the crowd. “To the Class of 2023, I know the journey hasn’t been easy. Every single one of us has overcome obstacles that have come in our way.
“We showed resilience, determination and perseverance, and that is what makes you special,” he added. “Each of you have the power to achieve anything you want in your life. If you work hard, believe in yourself and unsubscribe to the norms of life, you can accomplish truly anything.”
Crowley said one thing he learned in high school is that “time does not stand still.”
“It’s important you live your most authentic life and embrace all the moments,” he noted. “… Each moment is only going to happen once, and once it passes, all that is left for you is the memories.”
Wei told her fellow classmates to reflect on who they’ve become since freshman year.
“Strive to live life to the fullest and never forget the lessons you learned from our peers, friends and teachers,” she said.
As they embark on the next chapters of their lives, Wei urged her classmates to keep moving forward by quoting Martin Luther King Jr.
“One of the best pieces of advice that I have received is to disentangle yourself from the labels that fight to define you,” she related, noting that behind every label, there is a unique story waiting to be shared.
“Follow the advice of the three Cs: choice, chance and change,” Wei added. “You have the choice to take a chance and make a change.”
Before the roll call of graduates, school Superintendent Dr. Eric M. Hibbs offered 10 things he wanted the graduates to reflect on:
- Put the phone down.
- Remember your losses.
- Value your parents.
- Don’t stop believing.
- Get used to falling.
- Always be a RKP (right kind of person).
- Ignore the negative.
- Keep the right company.
After diplomas were handed out, Lyle Flint, Class of 1973, and the school’s commencement singers sang the school’s alma mater.