LOWER OXFORD >> The student speakers at the years of Avon Grove Charter School graduations are fond of saying that attending here is like being part of a family. On last Wednesday evening, the kids who spoke on stage reiterated that feeling.
Eighty-three seniors and their families gathered at Lincoln University’s International Cultural Center, where the diplomas were handed out, music was played and cheers rang to the ceiling.
Mathematics teacher Jeremiah Stone, who was voted the “Teacher of the Year,” spoke to the students who were obviously fond of him and he of them.
He said he wanted to share with them what he believed would be decisions that would affect their futures.
While finding one’s self at their stage of life was important, it is not enough, he said. “You must take time away from yourself to give purpose to someone else,” he said.
He told them to challenge themselves and find joy in learning. “Take classes that will challenge you or something you don’t know anything about,” he said.
Stone also said that they must not be afraid of failure, because failure has a purpose. “Failure reminds us that no one is perfect. Don’t be terrified by your mistakes,” he said.
His third point was to engage in the community. “We build too many walls but not enough bridges. Volunteer, keep in touch with your parents and listen to others,” he said.
Finally, he said, “Enjoy life. Don’t lose sight of your dreams and enjoy your friends and family. I love what I do. I hope that you can do the same,” he said.
Kathryn Weiser and Samantha Williams gave a duo speech recalling significant and silly things that had happened in classes through the years.
Sarah Kriebal, editor of the yearbook, said she appreciated the events that had occurred through the semesters by reliving them in the publication of the book.
Kristen Riess said she sometimes feels lost because of all the choices there are to make, but “I am proud to be lost,” she said.
Gabe Salalazar, a motivational youth speaker who addressed the classes earlier, spoke of his shaky academic beginnings in a school for special children. And yet, he said, circumstances had brought him to a successful position in life.
He praised the passion of the current generation of students, and said that would drive them in the future.
Director of Administration Bryan Brutto announced that the class had earned more than $1 million in scholarships and grants.
Staff members presented awards to several outstanding students in their disciplines, and the chorus and jazz band performed.
The students recessed following bagpiper David Bailiff.