MILTON — Choice, hope and success were all major themes as the Milton Area High School Class of 2023 celebrated its commencement outdoors Wednesday, with the ceremony held in the recently renovated athletic stadium.
“These past four years have been especially taxing on one’s mind. We saw the entirety of the pandemic come and go, as I am sure you are all well aware,” said class President Nicholas Fleck, to an audience of fellow graduates, parents and friends. “But I am also sure nobody wants to hear me drone on about the challenges of life during COVID, so instead let us focus on our triumphs and failures of the last four years.”
Fleck spoke about the hard work students had completed over the years, likening graduation itself to a kind of “victory.”
He reminded his classmates that, despite the challenges and losses they may have experienced, they too have gained valuable insights that will guide their journeys into the future.
“Now, you get the freedom to fill in the rest of your story however you want. After tonight your life will no longer be defined by rules imposed by those deemed more mature, or by the actions of those who are immature. Instead, moving forward you have a basic blueprint from your adolescent years to use as a framework to help you,” said Fleck.
Class Valedictorian Ephraim Langdon framed graduation as a kind of crossroads, one on which he and his fellow graduates were faced with choices about how they would like to move forward in life.
“Tonight we find ourselves at the crossroads of time, a special place, a place we will only ever truly visit once in our lifetime. As we look around into the folds and swirls of the future, we can see the thousands of possibilities, paths, and detours that could exist,” said Langdon. “Now that we find ourselves at this new intersection, transitioning from the known highway to the intricate maze of backroads that will lead us to our individual futures, we must make choices. Choices that can alter our lives forever.”
Langdon ruminated on the freedom and possibility of choice as markers of the transition from childhood into adulthood.
“After tonight, your future now falls onto your shoulders,” said Langdon.
Class Salutatorian Brooklyn Wade congratulated all of her classmates on their hard work and dedication over the last four years, and focused on the different ways her peers might pursue and define success.
“After tonight, some of my fellow graduates here will be going to college, some will be entering the workforce, some will be going to a trade school, some will be entering the military, and some will be waiting to start the next step because it is still undecided,” said Wade. “From this point, we all have different journeys that we will embark on, but we will all strive for the same thing: success.”
With her gaze angled toward what lies ahead, Wade also acknowledged the importance of where her and her fellow graduates were coming from.
“No matter how we got here and no matter what we will do in the future, we are all determined and astounding young men and women that have all left a mark on the Milton area school and community.”
Matt Jones can be reached at 570-742-9671 ext. 119 or email email@example.com
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