Defining Moments: QCHS Class of 2022 embraced them and thrived!

The Quakertown Community High School com­mu­ni­ty cel­e­brat­ed more than 400 seniors as a group who embraced oppor­tu­ni­ties and per­se­vered through chal­lenges. In a packed Alumni Field on a beau­ti­ful June 8th evening, these stu­dents were rec­og­nized at the 2022 Commencement Ceremony for their sac­ri­fices through the dif­fi­cult years of COVID and how they adapt­ed in ways that demon­strat­ed true character.

Class advi­sor Sandi Frisch told the stu­dents their life will be filled with defin­ing moments. “Tonight is one of them,” she said. “Many more are on your hori­zon, like find­ing your future career, build­ing rela­tion­ships with friends and future part­ners, trav­el­ing, hav­ing chil­dren, and even cel­e­brat­ing a night like tonight with those children.”

Representing the Class of 2022 advi­sors — Lindsay. Alcaro, Adriane Carickhoff and Bethany Fuller — Mrs. Frisch shared with the audi­ence of proud fam­i­ly mem­bers how stu­dents “learned new skills, and used your ideas and imag­i­na­tion to sur­vive in a new uncer­tain envi­ron­ment. You stood and faced these moments and embraced oppor­tu­ni­ties. Class of 2022, you amazed and inspired us with your dedication.”

Just two days after the com­mu­ni­ty ral­lied with sup­port in the third annu­al Parade of Graduates down Park Avenue and Juniper Street, grads enjoyed a fire­works dis­play fol­low­ing the cel­e­bra­to­ry toss­ing of caps into the air. Then it was a mob scene as stu­dents and teach­ers found peo­ple to embrace and soak in the emo­tion­al final moments of their K‑12 stu­dent life.

It was a glo­ri­ous night as every­one was enter­tained by the QCHS band and cho­rus, lis­tened to the words of Principal Mattias van’t Hoenderdaal, School Board President Jonathan Kern (who received sev­er­al ova­tions), and stu­dent lead­ers Madelyn LaBonge, John Juszynski, Amelia Cianciola, and Madison Jeffery.

I see strength and resilience,” Madison said from the stage. “I see a class of self-assured stu­dents pre­pared for what comes next. Getting to the back of the bus or forg­ing our way to the front of the stands wasn’t always the eas­i­est jour­ney.  Yet I say, thank good­ness for the sur­pris­es and the detours! Sometimes the uni­verse hears our plans but sends us down a dif­fer­ent road, and because of the path of the past two and a half years, we head into a future equipped to nav­i­gate any obsta­cle in our way.”

As each stu­dent walked off the stage, they were met at the bot­tom of the steps by Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner, who asked them what they plan to do next. The fol­low­ing night at the School Board meet­ing, Dr. Harner praised teach­ers and cur­ricu­lum writ­ers in the Office For Teaching and Learning for “knock­ing it out of the park” in help­ing stu­dents suc­ceed. Students were des­tined for col­lege and imme­di­ate careers in the work­force, with many going direct­ly into mil­i­tary ser­vice in the Marines, Army, Air Force, and Coast Guard.

The Class of 2022 included:

  • 64 seniors who earned mem­ber­ship in the National Honor Society.
  • 10 seniors who earned mem­ber­ship in the National Technical Honor Society.
  • 50 who achieved Advanced Placement Scholar recog­ni­tion by their 11th-grade year, includ­ing 15 with Honors, and 14 with Distinction.
  • Eight stu­dents who earned AP Capstone diplo­mas: Yelizaveta Hernandez, Eliza Menser, Delaney Peckham, Madelyn LaBonge, Alexis Mowrer, Lucas Schwartz, Paul Lancos, and Sara Nouri.
  • $9 mil­lion in schol­ar­ship awards.
  • 10 stu­dents who com­mit­ted to serve our coun­try in the Armed Forces: Shay Causerano, Madison D’Cruz, Daulton Grainger, Jordan Mitchell, Aiden O’Connell, Dominick Peterson, Andrew Proffit, Alexia Ramirez, Kaden Roesener, and Freddie Steinmetz. 

It is my hope that we have instilled in you a desire to grow in char­ac­ter — that we have made just a small con­tri­bu­tion in your jour­ney to becom­ing a per­son who is unwill­ing to give up when they fail,” Mr. V said. “A per­son who will always work hard, care about those around you and build strong rela­tion­ships, and that you stay true to who you are.  That you ded­i­cate your­self to becom­ing just a lit­tle bet­ter every day, and that you start tak­ing plea­sure — not in the des­ti­na­tion alone — but in the jour­ney itself.”

Mr. V also gave a shout-out “to the fam­i­lies of this excel­lent class. Thank you,” he said. “Your sup­port has been crit­i­cal in the achieve­ment of this mile­stone in the lives of the young peo­ple sit­ting here today.”

Madelyn kicked off the stu­dent speech­es, say­ing “I know I would not be the per­son I am today with­out my class­mates, team­mates, and friends before me. Since kinder­garten, 180 days for 13 years, these grad­u­ates in this sta­di­um have been my com­mu­ni­ty. Now, it is time for us to sep­a­rate and pur­sue our dreams; the dreams we planned together.”

John said, “As we move for­ward in our lives we have a myr­i­ad of deci­sions we must make. Decisions that will affect us for years to come and pos­si­bly the rest of our lives. We are pre­pared to make those deci­sions. So, make them with a lev­el head, take the time to think about what you’re doing, and at the same time make sure to have fun along the way.”

And Amelia echoed Mrs. Frisch’s theme: “Every sin­gle one of you has per­se­vered through the mul­ti­tude of unique obsta­cles that have been put in front of us through­out our aca­d­e­m­ic careers. You each have your own indi­vid­ual skills that will stand out among the rest. Take pride in know­ing that you can make an impact on this world just as John Mayer said, ‘One day our gen­er­a­tion is gonna rule the pop­u­la­tion.’  While this may be a fright­en­ing real­iza­tion, I tru­ly believe the world will be in good hands.”

The essence of Mr. Kern’s speech: “If you have learned how to learn, you are set for life. If not, it is not too late to start.”