A look back at the Spring-Ford Class of 2014

Jackie Pascale poses with her family after Spring-Ford's graduation. Photo courtesy of Jackie Pascale
Jackie Pascale after graduation at Spring-Ford Area Senior High School. Photo courtesy of Jackie Pascale

Having been a Spring-Ford student all of my life, it feels surreal to ‘suddenly’ be considered an alum.

Sitting in the crowd, surrounded by over 500 of my peers at graduation, listening to our salutatorian talk about the upcoming changes and our valedictorian crack jokes about our final days in high school, it did not feel real. I did not feel as if I would no longer have classes in the school next year and I certainly did not feel as if I’d be seven plus hours away from my Spring-Ford family in a few months.

I was surrounded by my friends who had become my second family over the years. We have grown up together, gotten through the awkward middle school years and finally developed into adults. Again, I did not feel as if this would be the last time I might ever see some of my classmates.

Within the coming weeks, we will all be moving onto new paths. In our class alone, we have students going as far as Boston, the Carolinas, Florida and so many other places across the country. It is there that they will major in the arts, the sciences, history and communications or go straight into the workforce or the military; and many will find great success in their careers.

We have bonded together through many ups and downs. I have watched my class win six PAC-10 championships this year, make it to state finals games, win overwhelming academic achievements and still be humble.

I have also seen my class at its worst, when we heard of the accident that took the life of our classmate, Brian Clarke. Having gotten to know him through classes and outside interactions, I was devastated to hear the news, and no one knew if we could recover from that loss.

However, we honored him at football games, wearing his football number on our cheeks and helmets, had moments of silence for him and remember him each and every day as he looks down on us. He was also one of the first boys to play in spirit on football’s senior night, his teammates carrying his jersey out with all of the respect and love in the world. Brian’s name being called at graduation was followed by a moment of silence and then an overwhelming applause. He will forever be in our hearts, as whenever we hear BC or 44, we will always think of Brian.

My class is also bound by hundreds of memories, whether they’re from elementary school friendships that lasted through the years, the scary transition from the 9th grade center to the real high school, or just this past year, filled with laughs and craziness, even in our final days.

We have left our mark on the school in more ways than one. We have established a new rule in the handbook: no pillows in school! Underclassmen will remember us as close friends and teachers will miss our fun-loving spirits.

It is hard not to sound conceited when speaking of my class, but I can say with the utmost confidence that it is filled with some of the strongest, nicest, most hardworking students in Spring-Ford’s history.

We have all developed a close bond with one another; it will be so incredibly difficult to leave some friends behind. Of course, we’ll have FaceTime, texts, calls and all other sorts of social media to stay connected, but we all know it’s not the same as seeing one another every day in the halls of our amazing school. Spring-Ford truly is an awesome place to grow up, with its undeniable Ram pride, devoted teaching staff and administration, and passionate student body.

When asked, students described Spring-Ford as “life-changing,” “unified” and “proud.” What more could you ask for? After writing a piece last year about all of my friends graduating, I thought I understood how they felt and what they were in store for. I guess you don’t really know something until you experience it for yourself.

I can’t believe my years at this amazing school have ended, and I wouldn’t have wanted to share my experiences and memories with anyone else more than my class.

As some last advice for the Class of 2014: never give up on your dreams, never forget what you learned back in high school and stay awesome. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for you all, but I am certain you will all be successful in life. Thank you for the past 12 years and for all the memories. Class of 2014, we made it!

Jackie Pascale

Spring-Ford Class of 2014