GRADUATION - LV ACADEMY - ‘Many more mountains’
“It‘s been an honor to be here on behalf of the board of trustees,” said Board President Martin Smith as he praised the Lehigh Valley Academy graduating seniors at the Zoellner Arts Center May 28. For him, Smith announced, it was personal; his daughter, Madalyn, was one of the 61 receiving high school diplomas from the regional charter school that day.
“By making it to this point this evening, you have already proven that you are capable of putting forth effort in order to reach your goals,” remarked CEO Susan Mauser as she addressed the class of 2019. She encouraged them to retain their work ethic as they continue through life and choose a career that “makes you smile.”
Mauser recognized graduating seniors who had begun their studies at the charter school in kindergarten, including Gavyne Ace, Devin Jordan, Wyatt Korb, Maurice Minnifield, Christina Pinho, Jessica Skee, Madalyn Smith, Kira Stevens, and Jayda Suarez.
After commending the seniors for their achievements, Principal Jennifer Nonnemacher said, “Do not hold yourself back. You have the power to make a difference in our world.” She added, “Remember, that if you ever need anything, you can always come back to your family at LVA.”
“Even though we have finally reached the peak of the mountain today, there are many, many more mountains to seek out and climb,” said Student Council President Jermaine Harris in his remarks to his fellow graduates. He told his classmates to follow their dreams and to “live and learn.” Harris will be bound for Penn State University as a business major.
“Accept change!” student speaker Yardley Plasencia exhorted. He added, “Appreciate every single thing you get in life, including all the opportunities you can get.” Plasencia proudly gave a shout-out to his mother, who held two jobs and still managed to earn a degree of her own at DeSales University, with, “You taught me to never give up and stay true to myself, no matter what.” Plasencia plans to attend Lafayette College to study mechanical engineering.
The last student to address the gathering was graduating senior Elijah Sweeney, who said “We all did this together!” as he introduced the class video. The graduates, along with their families, reacted enthusiastically to the film of their scholastic journey. Sweeney looks to study film and television at Rider University.
Directed by Andrew McCartney, the Lehigh Valley Academy Choir, in addition to the national anthem and alma matter, sang “For Good” from the musical “Wicked.” Solo parts were performed by Isabella Trauger and Genesis Reyes, both members of the Music National Honors Society and biology majors. Trauger is headed for Muhlenberg College and Reyes to East Stroudsburg University.
The seniors were ushered in to “Pomp and Circumstance, March No. 1” played by the LVA band. The theme music for “Game of Thrones” accompanied the new graduates as they exited the auditorium to start a new chapter to their lives.