School: Bald Eagle Area High School
Graduating class: 2016
Number of grads: 130
Colors: Graduates wore blue caps and gowns. A blue and gold tassel hung from their caps with a gold 2016 medallion. Students in the National Honor Society had a white sash around their necks, and students who were in the top 10 percent of their class also wore a gold sash that said “honor.”
Principal: Jack Tobias
Where: Alumni Stadium at Bald Eagle Area High School
Student speakers: Matt Blaylock, Morgan Nyman
Keynote speakers: Superintendent Jeff Miles
Graduation moments: Graduation started and ended with a prayer by graduate Sarah Van Cise. The 50th anniversary Class of 1966 was also honored and a moment of silence was held in memory of two Bald Eagle Area students who died — Joe Reed and Coy Lutz.
Student memories: Josh Fye, 18, of Moshannon, might be leaving behind Bald Eagle Area and high school sports, but he will continue to wrestle at Lock Haven University, where he also plans to study health and physical education. During his time at Bald Eagle Area, he said sports were a big part of his life, and something he’ll miss. “I wrestled, played football and did track and field,” he said. “That’s what I’ll miss the most, and just seeing friends every day and doing the same routine. I’m not sure how much of the class and studying part I’ll miss, but it’s the people here, like your friends and teachers, who made it worthwhile. … There were a lot of teachers I really grew fond of who kind of became like friends. I’ll miss that.”
Graduation memory: Seth Woodring, 18, of Milesburg, said though graduation is a milestone, he’s looking forward to the next chapter. “It’s exciting, for sure, but I’m ready for what’s next,” he said. “I’ve always been the kind of person to take responsibility for myself and move on and do what’s right.” Woodring will attend massage school in State College this year. He said it’s a one-year program, but that Bald Eagle Area was able to help him take the next step. “This is the kind of place that will always be a big part of your life,” he said. “I got to give it to them (teachers); they do a pretty good job.” Woodring graduated as part of the school’s National Honor Society and in the top 10 percent of the class.
Tips for underclassmen: If Blaylock, of Clarence, could tell underclassmen one thing, it would be to work hard. “It might not seem all that important, but it can pay off in the end,” he said. Blaylock was this year’s valedictorian, graduating with a 3.98 GPA. He’ll be attending Messiah College in the fall to study music education. “I just hope they soak it all in, because these are good years that help you get to where you want to go,” he said. “I hope other students realize not to take it for granted, and use what the school offers. BEA is a small school, but provides all the opportunities. You just have to be willing to do it.”