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‘Forever a Konkrete Kid’

The 123rd annual commencement ceremony for Northampton Area High School was held May 31 at Al Erdosy Stadium. Students, dressed in black and white graduation gowns, proudly entered the ceremony to the sounds of the high school orchestra performing “Pomp and Circumstance.”

NAHS Principal Luke Shafnisky provided opening remarks, and Superintendent of Schools Joseph Kovalchik reflected on the Class of 2024.

“I have been the superintendent since you started kindergarten in our system,” Kovalchik said. “I saw you come through our elementary schools as young children, through our middle school as young adolescents and, of course, into the high school, where you became adults, and are here this evening.

“The question I receive the most from community members as graduation approaches is, what type of class was this,” he added. “I can say the Class of 2024 has been one of the most enjoyable classes that I’ve worked with in over 30 years.”

Reflections were presented by the senior class officers.

“No matter what you go on to do, your memories from your time here at Northampton will always be a part of you, and you will forever be a Konkrete Kid,” Sydney Sugra, class secretary, reminded her classmates.

The Class of 2024 wasn’t alone on the field that night, as the high school honored its 50-year graduates as well - the Class of 1974.

As the ceremony closed, students transferred their tassels from right to left. The alma mater was sung by everyone in attendance, led by Bryanna Bogden and Jayden Lucas. The piece was written by Dorothy Mae Hawk, a member of Northampton’s Class of 1921.

Students gathered with friends and family on the field to take photos and share this special moment with loved ones after the ceremony.

“Be kind,” Montana Schleicher said when asked to share advice for the incoming senior class. “You don’t know what anybody’s going through. Keep pushing for your future self - and make yourself proud. Go after whatever it is that you wanna do; no matter how hard it is, you will succeed. And even if you don’t see a future for yourself, make one.”

Kathryn Esser said, “Take every chance you get, and even if you fail, it’s one more lesson you’ve learned for free.”

Esser said she is graduating with honors, an AP Scholar with Distinction, an NAHS Senior Student Council awardee and earned the Duquesne STEM Scholarship. The scholarship offers a full ride to Duquesne University where Esser plans to major in chemistry and work in pharmaceuticals.

While some students plan on furthering their education, like Schleicher, who plans on attending Northampton Community College to study health sciences, Jacob Koch plans to follow a different path.

“My dad’s got a business, and I’m working with that because that’s the life I know, the quickest path to success,” Koch said.

Abigail Enstrom, class treasurer, says her biggest accomplishment was “all the friends that I have and all the opportunities that the school gave me, being a part of the clubs and sports.”

She looks forward to attending Coastal Carolina University to study engineering.

PRESS PHOTOS BY DONNA GEWERTZ Northampton Area High School Class of 2024 President Joseph LaForgia leads the procession of 433 graduating class members into Al Erdosy Stadium for the May 31 commencement ceremony.
A very happy Dalaney Graves leaves the ceremony stage waving her diploma as a celebration of her accomplishments.
Members of the Class of 1974 were honored guests at the ceremony to mark 50 years since their own graduation.
PRESS PHOTOS BY DONNA GEWERTZ NAHS Class of 2024 members toss their caps after the ceremony.
Graduating chorus members Karah Abarca, Rachael Kemmerer and Kelsey Secara, led by Emily Reinsmith, perform the national anthem.
Northampton Area High School's Class of 2024 stands amid a filled-to-capacity crowd of family and friends during the May 31 commencement exercises at Al Erdosy Stadium.
Graduate Angel Mella Guzman Jr. receives a congratulatory hug from NAHS business education teacher Tara Mrazik.
Caden Henritzy accepts a congratulatory handshake from Class of 2024 Class President Joseph LaForgia.