SCHUYLKILL - Class of 2004 students of the Center for Arts & Technology (CAT) at the Pickering Campus in the Phoenixville Area School District (PASD) graduated into the real world Sunday afternoon.
Commencement took place in the Langley Auditorium at CAT Pickering with a full house of family, friends and special guests of the graduates. The 2004 class was the 36th to graduate from the school.
Principal Ronald Husband welcomed guests. He said all of the graduates had completed their senior exams and other graduation requirements to "assure area employers that Pickering graduates are ready for them."
"The graduates can be best characterized as real people. What you see is what you get," said Husband.
He also proclaimed that he was extremely proud of the students and faculty for their achievements. The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) scores were up from junior year. Husband requested that the teachers and instructors rise to face the audience to be applauded.
Husband referred to graduation as a "time to reflect on the achievements of your sons or daughters." Or for some, it served as a moment to "thank your lucky stars graduation is actually a reality."
Senior Honors Speaker Jeni Warner shared many warm thoughts with her longtime classmates.
"Graduation is not just a beginning, but a new beginning" said Warner. "Everyday could be a new beginning."
"We deal with our high school education being over, and we welcome that feat," she said.
Warner said she would always remember the strong bonds she made with the faculty. However, in the future, she said "the bad experiences will be more beneficial than the close relationships."
After quoting both Albert Einstein and John Lennon, Warner said "the best advice to my senior class is stand up for what you believe in and what is right."
During the ceremony, Supervisor of Career and Technical Programs Richard Teifel recognized seniors' achievements. Students rose and were applauded from the National Honor Society and the National Vocational Technical Honor Society, as well as those who received their Pennsylvania Skills Test certificates, were top ten scorers in the senior exit exam and were students of the month throughout the year.
Carol Lynch awarded James T. Smith the Student of the Year trophy and savings bond for the 2003-2004 school year. The faculty also awarded two scholarships to students planning on pursuing higher education. Recipients were Jaclyn Dick, who is pursuing nursing, and James T. Smith, who is going onto Lincoln Technical Institute.
John Baillie, executive director of the Chester County Intermediate Unit, presented scholarships to James T. Smith and Jeremy Stepnowski.
Baillie then distributed diplomas to eager young grads alongside Katherine Pettiss, president of the Chester County Intermediate Unit Board of Directors. Senior Class co-advisors, Margaret LaRosa and Melvin Tomlinson, announced the graduates' names as they walked across stage.
Stephen Moore, elected representative of the Class of 2004, delivered the farewell message. He was chosen to speak on behalf of his classmates.
"Today truly ends the world we knew," said Moore. He spoke of how he and his classmates embarked on the path of uncertainty 12 years ago, with dreams of becoming fireman, Batman, Barbie and other fantastic occupations. "As we matured, as have our dreams."
Moore had the audience observe a moment of silence to remember two fallen classmates who were not at graduation. In addition to 9/11, the Class of 2004 have been through their share of hardships.
"The tragedies make us know life is a gift that should be appreciated," said Moore.
After their time at CAT Pickering, Moore said they are now onto "a new road called life." He thanked those who contributed to the character shaping of his class.
As a graduation tradition familiar as "Pomp and Circumstance," the graduates moved their tassels from right to left completing the ceremony and their high school careers.
The senior awards were announced: Chester County Children's Fund, James T. Smith and Jeremy Stepnowski; Senator Robert Thompson Awards, Christine McCampbell, James T. Smith, Jeremy Stepnowski, Jeni Warner and Michelle Wright; Allentown Caging and Equipment Company, David Harper; AASP of Pennsylvania, Shaun Haines; Michael Orr's Memorial, Merlin Van Brunt; Edward Mikus Award, Thomas Burnley, Jr.; C'Jon Saunders Memorial, Christopher Speese; CJ's Tire, Ryan Almond; Tracy Allen Moses Memorial Scholarship, Thomas Burnley, Jr. and Robert Stoke, Jr.; Randy Railing Memorial Scholarship, Christopher Speese; Tague Lumber of Phoenixville, Jason Smith; Raymond Straub Memorial, Nicholas Barilaro; Kiwanis Club of Phoenixville, Rachel Beard and Crystal McCampbell; Randy J. Heiser Memorial, Rachel Beard; Allegheny Educational Systems, James T. Smith; Niemeyer Service Center, James Bradish; Patricia Taglieber Memorial, Jaclyn Dick; Phoenixville Community Health Foundation, Melissa Eichenberger; Phoenixville Hospital, Jessica Setzler; Graphic Communications & Printing Technology, Colleen Ferrilli, Edel Lima and William Ludwick; Andro Printing Excellence Award, Colleen Ferrilli; Gateway Pharmacy, Jessica Setzler and Jeremy Stepnowski; Computer Information Systems, Douglas Korzec; Cosmetology, Natasha Fitzsimmons and Michelle Wright; Association of Vocational Teachers Educating Cosmetologists, Christine McCampbell; Culinary Arts, Alise Washington and Joshua White; Early Childhood Care & Education, Rachel Beard; Electronic Technology, James T. Smith; Engine Technology, James Bradish and Sean Krivulka; Security & Police Sciences, Jeremy Stepnowski, Robert Tulish and Rashad Wilson; Pennsylvania Skills Certificates, Ryan Almond, Rachel Beard, Thomas Burnley, Jr., Ashley Ceulers, Rachael DeGidio, Melissa Eichenberger, Jessica Everingham, Natasha Fitzsimmons, Hayley Granacher, David Harper, Amber Herrington, Michele King, Sean Krivulka, William Ludwick, Christine McCampbell, Stephen Moore, April Sinquett, James T.. Smith, Jeremy Stepnowski, Robert Stoke, Jr., Shanelle Tannehill, Merlin Van Brunt, Joseph Volante, Rashad Wilson and Michelle Wright; Phoenixville Soroptimists, Rachel Beard; Phoenix Lodge #75, David Harper and Jessica Setzler; Margaret Baker Memorial, Melissa Eichenberger and Sean Krivulka; American Legion, Stephen Moore and April Sinquett; Arthur & Mabel Friday Memorial, Derek Shelton and Jeni Warner; Kimberton Lions Club, Christine McCampbell and Alise Washington; Phoenixville Rotary Club, Crystal McCampbell; Phoenixville Lions Club, Robert Stoke, Jr.; Phoenixville Republican Committee, James T. Smith; Phoenixville Federal Bank and Trust, James Bradish; Rotary Club of Central Chester County, Ryan Almond; Great Valley/Daughters of the American Revolution, Derek Shelton and Jeremy Stepnowski; Pennsylvania Stock Market, Tabatha Brahm, Jeffrey Daywalt, Jeremy Luzesky, John Pierson and Robert Stoke, Jr.; C & S Repair Center, Sean Krivulka; Tristam Colket Award, Michelle King and Edel Lima; Senior Class Endowment Award, Alise Washington.
The administrative acknowledgments & awards were announced: Donald J. Langley Award for best attendance, Martina Sisson; Pickering Campus Administration Awards for furthering education, Ryan Almond, Rachel Beard, James Bradish, Tabatha Brahm, Rachel DeGideo, Jaclyn Dick, Melissa Eichenberger, James Fomba, Dennis Himes, Jr., Michele King, Edel Lima, William Ludwick, Mark Managan, Jr., Crystal McCampbell, Jonathan Schoenfield, Jessica Setzler, Derek Shelton, Martina Sisson, James T. Smith, Jeremy Stepnowski, Merlin Van Brunt, Alise Washington, Ashley Washington, Joshua White and Amanda Williams; Pickering Campus Administration Award for service to school, Rachel Beard, David Harper, William Ludwick and James T. Smith; Presidential Achievement Awards for academic improvement, Rachel Beard, Michael Beto, Kyle Bodnar, James Bradish, Richard Clarke, Jeffrey Daywalt, Melissa Eichenberger, James Fomba, Sharee Grant, Amber Herrington, Dennis Himes, Jr., Jeremy Luzesky, Mark Mangan, Jr., Lauren Moore, Jay Rogers, Jason Spiese, Robert Twaddell, Alise Washington, Joshua White and Amanda Williams; Presidential Achievement Awards for academic excellence, Ryan Almond, James Bradish, Peter Bruder, Rachael DeGideo, Shawn Devine, Jaclyn Dick, Melissa Eichenberger, Sean Krivulka, Edel Lima, William Ludwick, Christine McCampbell, Crystal McCampbell, Brian Pierce, Jessica Setzler, Derek Shelton, April Sinquett, James T. Smith, Jason Spiese, Jeremy Stepnowski, Jeni Warner, Amanda Williams and Michelle Wright.
The graduates included: David Ackerman, Ryan Almond, Daniel Atkinson, Nicholas Barilaro, Rachel Beard, Michael Beto, M. Kyle Bodnar, James Bradish, Tabatha Brahm, Peter Bruder, Thomas Burnley, Jr., Richard Clarke, Brian Cutillo, Jeffrey Daywalt, Rachael DeGideo, Shawn Devine, Jaclyn Dick, Melissa Eichenberger, Nathan Elliott, Jessica Everingham, Colleen Ferrilli, Natasha Fitzsimmons, James Fomba, Hayley Granacher, Sharee Grant, Alfonso Grier, Ryan Grubb, Shaun Haines, David Harper, Jason Hickey, Dennis Himes, Jr., Mark Johnson, Michele King, Douglas Korzec, Sean Krivulka, Gerald Krupiewski, Laura Krzywicki, Edel Lima, Mitchell Little, E. Zachary Lucas, Jeremy Luzesky, Ashley Mandrusiak, Mark Mangan, Jr., David Mayberry, Erik Maziarz, Christine McCampbell, Crystal McCampbell, Jonathan Montanez, Stephen Moore, Ronald Moser, Elizabeth Myambo, Matthew Peto, Brian Pierce, John Pierson, Douglas Plummer, Jr., Jay Rogers, Jonathan Schoenfeld, Daniel Schwartz, Jessica Setzler, Derek Shelton, Nicholas Silvano, April Sinquett, Martina Sisson, John Smith, James T. Smith, Derek Smith, Christopher Speese, Jason Spiese, Pamela Steele, Jeremy Stepnowski, Robert Stoke, Jr., Shanelle Tannehill, Robert Tulish, Jr., Robert Twaddell, David Umpierre, James Valerio, Jr, Merlin Van Brunt, Rochelle Vitabile, Joseph Volante, Brian Volz, Jeni Warner, Alise Washington, Ashley Washington, Jacob Weeks, Joshua White, Amanda Williams, Rashad Wilson, James Winslow, Michelle Wright and Keeonna Wright.