The skies finally opened after stormy weather as the Class of 2023 at Delran High School held its commencement outdoors at Joseph A. Stadium on June 16.
“It’s been a rollercoaster for the past four years,” Principal Daniel Finkle said. “However, you made it. … Today, we gather to celebrate, not only your collective achievements, but also incredible individual accomplishments that make each of you shine.
“… As you embark on this next chapter of your lives, be bold, follow your passions, chase your dreams and never settle for anything less than what ignites your souls,” he added.
Valedictorian Daniel Lukens and Salutatorian Gene Lazarraga touched on the graduates’ unconventional high-school journey.
“Our class has really been through it all,” Lazarraga noted. “From our short freshman year, online sophomore year, moderated junior year, and finally our first full normal year as seniors, we have gone through so much change that made our high-school (years) different from most, and not necessarily what we bargained for.
“… I believe what we all have been through is what makes today even more special,” he added. “As suggested time and time again, life is an unpredictable force (and) we have no choice (but) to play the cards we are dealt.
“It all culminated in a fantastic senior year.”
Lukens told the crowd that it’s critical for graduates to remember what they overcame during high school.
“What started as two weeks off from school turned into over two years of different types of instruction,” he said, referring to the strains of COVID. “And through all the Wednesday check-ins and days locked in our rooms, I’m proud to say we found a community in each other.
” … It’s so important wherever you go that you remember this community and take it with you, and share it with those around you.”
While they now leave the halls at Delran High, Lukens remarked, the halls will not leave them.
“We have all made a mark on Delran High School, defining what it means to be a Delran bear, giving it life.”