LEHMAN TWP. — A group of Knights clad in yellow and black robes stormed across Edward H. Edwards Stadium and claimed the greatest prize of all — their high school diplomas.
One hundred and 16 young adults entered Lake-Lehman High School’s campus on June 8 as high school students for the last time. The evening’s speakers spoke of next steps and future accomplishments, but as they left the football field, some graduates weren’t quite ready to move on.
“I love school,” said Molly Seashock, a Lake-Lehman graduate from Dallas. “It’s bittersweet; I’ll say that. I’m excited, but I’m sad.”
After her senior summer, Molly will attend Misericordia University where she’ll study psychology. Her mother, Mary Ann, said Lake-Lehman has helped prepare her daughter for the larger pond that is college by giving her room to find her voice.
“I just think she’s really grown up.” Mary Ann said. “She’s come out of her shell these last couple years. Outgoing, I guess you’d say.”
Principal Douglas Klopp hopes Molly and the rest of Lake-Lehman’s Class of 2018 remember their high school experience as a fruitful one they’re proud to have had.
“I hope they take a sense of pride, you know? This is a place that they had the ability to discover themselves,” Klopp said. “To be able to be individuals and have the basis for greatness.”
Klopp said the Class of 2018’s strength lies in its diverse personalities. When the graduate who served as president of those personalities, Jason Marcin, addressed his fellow classmates, he spoke of the memories they’ve made together during their years at Lake-Lehman School District. He also spoke of new beginnings apart from each other — but never without a sense of hope.
“My fellow graduates, as we go out into society, let us send forth our own tiny ripples of hope,” Marcin said. “Be kind always, stand up for what is right, treat others with respect, share your gifts and talents with the world, love deeply and with all your being. And remember, true success is not money or recognition. It is leaving every place and every person you encounter with a little more hope and a little more happiness than when you first came across them.”
Marcin was the recipient of the only scholarship awarded at the commencement ceremony, the James L. Nicholas Memorial Scholarship. The award is presented to a student who has participated in community service projects, extracurricular activities, is in good academic standing and plans to further their education.
Other award recipients included valedictorian Olivia Johanna Vasey, salutatorian Edward James Brighthaupt III and Red Jones Leadership Award winners Courtney Richards and Conor Beyer. Riley Newman and Mikayla Kidd each received an award for citizenship.
To close out the ceremony, Lake-Lehman School District Superintendent James E. McGovern told graduates they only have one question left to answer.
“What is the one thing that you can do to allow you to live for what matters most? The difference between where you are and where you want to be is what you do,” McGovern said. “Your tomorrow is built on a giant pile of yesterdays. Make today count, until it becomes a foundation of yesterdays.”
Lake-Lehman graduate Corbyn Bogart also spoke of time shortly after he walked off the Edward H. Edwards Stadium field. He said his experience at the school taught him the present is just as important as the future or the past.
“Time is important,” Bogart said. “Managing your time and making sure that … it’s not going to last forever, you know. Live in the present.”
His older sister, Lea, didn’t get a podium or a microphone, but that didn’t stop her from bestowing sagely advice.
“He’s got to live his life and be happy,” Lea said. “Do whatever he wants to do. Be the best him.”
For Corbyn, being the best him means following in his father’s footsteps and becoming a computer scientist. He said moving onto the next chapter in his life is bittersweet, but he’s already practicing his live-in-the-present mantra.
It’s good to be out of school — I mean, we go to college — but we’re out of this place,” Corbyn said. “But everybody we grew up with for the past 13 years, we’re all going to go our separate ways.”
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