Class of 2019 bids NP farewell

Pat O'Niell gives a shoutout to the family and friends cheering for him as his name is called.

TOWAMENCIN – Uncontrollable tears of joy, laughter, and families anxiously scrambling to locate their graduate among the sea of thousands were just small parts of the annual celebration held in Crawford Stadium as the Class of 2019 moved their tassels from right to left and threw their caps into the air. Administrators, teachers, and thousands of friends and family members packed the bleachers to celebrate the 1,093 soon to be graduates dressed in North Penn’s signature navy blue caps and gowns.

North Penn High School’s principal Pete Nicholson reminded the graduating class of how much they have changed in their time here at the high school, and emphasized the vital ability to adapt.

“In order to continuously win in life, you must be able to adapt. You’ll win the game of life if you are flexible and able to change, learn, and grow. It’s only through adapting – even if you don’t want to at first – that you will ultimately win. And if we’ve learned anything this spring, from the words of the immortal ABBA, the winner takes it all.”

In a school with 3,000 students, all with unique backgrounds, personalities, and interests, School Board President Tina Stoll emphasized the one thing we all have in common through three pieces of advice she gave the graduates: “Always try your best. Be kind. Always remember, North Penn is your home. Once a Knight, always a Knight.”

Valedictorian Allison Yang and Salutatorian Charis Ma both reflected on what they will take away from the 13 years of education they received from the North Penn School District, and how it can be used in the graduates’ future.

“Our future is not an empty canvas, because over the past 13 years we have been painting our backgrounds with our own distinct palette,” shared Ma.

Added Yang, “Take the education you have received over the past 13 years to impact the world and spark positive change.”

For the third year in a row, North Penn invited all interested seniors to submit a speech for a chance to get to deliver their address at graduation. The class of 2019’s selected student speaker was Anthony Hayes, who gave a riveting speech about the importance of failure and why we all must experience failure to grow.

”Dream big. Fail big. Achieve greatness. We have all defined failure incorrectly. How I define it? Failure is that space that lies between the dream and the achievement. And when you fail at something, you have two options: you can either keep trying, or you can quit. It is the grit and perseverance that makes us all capable of turning our dreams into achievements,” pronounced Hayes.

Senior class president Sarah Marshall has worked tirelessly all year, and seeing the results of all her hard work pay off is bittersweet, but she is ready to say goodbye to North Penn.

“The possibilities of what any of us could do next are absolutely limitless. I’m very excited to move on to the next stage in my life, but also very sad to be leaving all my friends and family from my first home,” concluded Marshall.