Bellefonte

Bellefonte grads look to past, future

The Bellefonte Area High School Class of 2016 enters Rogers Stadium on Friday night for commencement ceremonies. There were 181 graduates as the high school held its first outdoor graduation in four years.
The Bellefonte Area High School Class of 2016 enters Rogers Stadium on Friday night for commencement ceremonies. There were 181 graduates as the high school held its first outdoor graduation in four years. For the CDT

School: Bellefonte Area High School

Graduating class: 2016

Number of graduates: 181

Colors: Boys wore red and girls wore white.

Principal: Jennifer Brown

Where: Rogers Stadium, Bellefonte Area High School

Student speakers: Tanner Day, class president; Anya Hoaglund, valedictorian; Emma Smith, salutatorian

Keynote speaker: Patti Hillard, Bellefonte High School Class of 1973 and retired district administrator

Funny moment: Tanner Day, 2016 class president, stated: “The hardest cramming I’ve done all year is fitting my hair in my graduation cap.”

Historical reference: Hillard shared several events over the years include some around the district’s founding in 1884. “You’ve heard of the Beatles,” Hillard said. “Well we have the Bellefonte Fab Four, consisting of Henry, Wilie, Morris and Harvey — the entire membership of the first graduating class. Following that, she said, there were five girls and one boy who graduated. Not long after that, in 1891, Bellefonte graduated its first African-American student, noting that the district has always been progressive, believing every child has a right to an education.

Scene at graduation: This was the first outdoor graduation at Bellefonte in four years.

Favorite memories: Hillard had recollections of many of the senior class when they were in kindergarten. “There was little Bryce Steiner,” she said. “He came up to me and said, ‘I am ready for kindergarten.’ I said ‘I am not sure we are ready for Bryce.’ ”

Graduation memories: As Emma Smith, salutatorian, stepped on stage, she looked over to the band and recalled sitting in the band as an oboe player when she was a freshman.

Tips for fellow class members: “Be yourself,” said valedictorian Anya Hoaglund. “In a world where standards are dictated by someone else, that is a bold move.”

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