Conestoga Valley High School Class of 2022 Reflects on Failed High School Graduation | Local News
Senior Gabrielle Rappa, who was accepted into the US Air Force’s Space Force program, said she didn’t think she would be speaking at graduation, having had a 0.9 GPA a year ago. year.
As the 323 graduating students of Conestoga Valley High School prepared to enter the main hall of Calvary Church in Manheim Township on Saturday, parents and teachers cheered them on.
William Burgess, who will participate in the United States Navy, played the national anthem on electric guitar.
Rappa challenged his class to be comfortable with failure and take risks, saying that life’s greatest achievements will not be found if you don’t fail.
“Regardless of an AP score, college admission, or scholarship, no one is immune to failure because of past success,” Rappa said. “I had to see myself falling to have the motivation to get up. There is no greater achievement in life than overcoming defeat. Despite the odds against us, not one of us has let those failures, big or small, keep us from succeeding.
Jayden Stokes, founder and president of the Women’s Liberation Alliance at the school, said she entered first year at Conestoga Valley High School to make a change and make it a more inclusive place.
Her speech, “The Meaning Behind a Buckskin,” reviewed the accomplishments she made with the club in high school, including providing menstrual products in women’s restrooms, fundraising, and reading inclusive books with people of color to elementary school students.
“To be a buckskin is to push boundaries for the greater good,” Stokes said. “To be a buckskin is to do the right thing even if no one is watching. And to be a buckskin is to stand up for what is right, even if you will be under scrutiny.
Class President Christopher Needham, who received a CV Rill Medal of Honor, thanked everyone who helped the class along the way, touched on, without being specific, the social issues occurring in the school as a “positive change” and wished the public a happy Pride month. .
“It has been a difficult time for our class, but we should be proud to say that we have brought so much life and spirit back into our school environment, and here we celebrate that,” Needham said.
Superintendent Dave Zuilkoski and School Board President Idette Groff, who received the District CV Medal of Honor at the ceremony, addressed the class thanking them for what they did.
Principal Michael Smith recognized those who received scholarships and those entering the military. Other awards were also presented at the ceremony, including valedictorian Lexie Kauffman and salutatorian Annika Bredeman.
The class then received their diplomas and threw down their caps.