Preceded by bagpipers and the black-robed faculty that have cultivated their minds for years, the class of 2012 walked to “Pomp and Circumstance” wearing gowns and caps, awaiting a new beginning.
Family members, friends and past graduates filled the seats while others dangled from the bleachers near the football field, taking in the speeches of students and faculty.
There were undoubtedly some common themes heard Thursday under the extreme heat.
“We danced, we laughed, we cried, and we had a really, really good time,” several speakers said, as if rehearsed.
Messages of pride and comraderie also carried throughout the ceremony. Some joked of the sweltering conditions, others pridefully noted how few cliques are in Glen Rock, and others more were certain to thank teachers and parents for their hard work and support.
Kevern Cameron, the class-elected faculty speaker, spoke of education and integrity. “You have my permission,” he told the graduates, “You may change the world for the better without getting rich.”
For valedictorian Timothy Miller, there were many key influences you might not initially consider. An education community is more than just students and teachers. Certainly his parents and teachers helped him achieve, he said, but others were there along the way, like the kind lunch ladies and “Bob the Janitor.”
Ultimately, despite the pride and excitement for a new act on life's stage, there must be some trepediation in the minds of grads. It is, said Miller, the last time the whole class will ever again sit “under the protection of the Glen Rock Bubble.”
“Look with favor upon a new beginning,” said class-elected speaker Rob Costello, quoting Virgil. As the ceremony ended – with the choir singing “The Lord Bless and Keep You” – the graduates were swarmed by friends and family, already at that new beginning.