WINGATE Donald Spackman, a 1962 Bald Eagle Area High School graduate, turned to his own story Monday night to remind the senior class to work hard and focus on what they can do.
He said as seventh-graders, he and other students had come from tiny elementary schools. On his first day, his mother gave him a quarter for lunch in the cafeteria.
His response: Whats a cafeteria?
But, six years later, Spackman said, he graduated and went to Penn State where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering.
The point is, its amazing what you can do if you work hard, if youre determined, Spackman told the graduating seniors.
Members of the class from 50 years ago were among those applauding the seniors in the ceremony in the high school gymnasium.
Along with words of advice from previous graduates, the ceremony included music from the band and concert choir and the traditional tossing of the caps and silly string at the end.
Once were kicked out of here in a few minutes, all we will have is our diploma, a head full of knowledge well, some of us and memories, said valedictorian Timothy Gleason.
Our diplomas will get us jobs, our memories will keep us happy and sane and it will all allow us to make the most of our lives.
Tanya Watson, of Milesburg, was one of those waiting to congratulate the new graduates after the ceremony.
Lots of tears, was how Watson described her feelings. Tears of happiness.
She said her son, Cody Ripka, who will go to Lock Haven University in the fall, wasnt nervous about commencement and finishing high school.
I think I was more nervous than he was.
Anne Danahy can be reached at 231-4648. Follow her on Twitter @AnneDanahy