EHS holds commencement ceremonies
“Some have a story, we made history” was the theme for the 131st commencement for Emmaus High School held at the PPL center June 13.
Over 200 students graduatedwith honors.
Pomp and circumstance was prerecorded by the Emmaus High School’s Orchestra under the direction of Conductor Connie Arnold.
The national anthem was also prerecorded by the orchestra. EHS’ alma mater was performed by the EHS Chorale under the direction of Rita Cortez.
Principal Dr. Kate Kieres began by thanking parents. She recognized the Class of 1971 who were not in attendance. They are the 50-year graduates. She then recognized upcoming military personnel from the Class of 2021 and veterans and military personnel in the audience.
Kieres then introduced the class officers and president of the Class of 2021 Brendan Baig.
Baig thanked everyone for attending in person and those attending virtually. He congratulated his classmates and their parents, teachers and other school personnel. “You have survived,” Baig said.
He also mentioned several trying situations students encountered. One situation was the flood which Baig said made him realize gutters need to be checked as well as other water drainage areas. Another issue was the techniques around Zoom learning. There were times when all that was seen was a ceiling fan. Then there were those that did their Zoom lessons in bed.
“Our achievement is not to be taken lightly. Now kindergarten through 12th has been completed and now we focus on the future. Belief is strength. Whenever you feel down and low, hope is the antidote,” Baig said.
Assistant Principal Greg Annoni announced the Hall of Fame student. This award has a portrait of the student added to others of similar standing. It also has a monetary value. It is based on scholastic achievements, leadership abilities, volunteerism and service. It is called the Dr. Herman J. Corradetti Academic Hall of Fame Award, sponsored by the Corradetti family. Corradetti was a former principal of EHS who died in 2017.
This year’s award was given to a student with over 20 scholastic awards and a National Merit and AP scholar. The student serves in No Place for Hate and Key Club among others. She is also involved in music and has won a scholarship to Baum School of Art. Her name is Caitlyn O’Brien. O’Brien said it’s not about being a good student, it’s about being a good person. Helping and supporting others is most important.
Bailey Tietz, president of National Honor Society, spoke about the virtual year. Many strange events throughout the year were mentioned, from the junior prom being canceled to becoming best friends with parents. “So many thoughts were ongoing ... When will I see my friends again? To think we saved lives by staying in bed. We overcame adversity which was the pandemic and learned never to take anything for granted,” Tietz said. She thanked teachers and the administration for “figuring this all out.” Tietz encouraged graduates to “put more time into the world have faith in yourself.”
Milan Chin, represented the Lehigh Career & Technical Institute students saying it was an amazing four years. “The pandemic brought back the family unit. Students could still make the honor roll in the new environment. It was the year of BLM, LGBTQ, Blue Lives Matter and All Lives Matter. Just keep in mind to respect each other and show love and compassion,” Chin said.
Emily Deneen spoke about the present. “So many say what will you be when you grow up. Instead what can be done today? What can you do to make a difference? It’s extraordinary being a grad during the pandemic. We should remain optimistic for the future.”
Pandora Schoen spoke about thanking those that have helped make this happen. She said it’s important to stand up for what is right.
Schoen also spoke about the strangeness of the year. “It was like one very long, very strange movie. It was stranger than we could imagine,” Shoen said. Schoen watched her sister graduate through a car window. “Domestic terrorism, BLM and our election were part of the strange year but they made us stronger and more capable than we could imagine. We spent a year without our friends and stood up for what is right. We did our work and we got through it. There’s always change but this has prepared us for our lives.”
Kieres introduced the president of the board of directors Dr. Kenneth Bacher who declared the students graduated. The ceremony ended with a recessional.