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Lower Dauphin grads lauded for strength, confidence

By David Barr davidbarr@pressandjournal.com
Posted 6/14/17

HERSHEY — Members of Lower Dauphin High School’s Class of 2017 said farewell on the evening of June 8 at the Giant Center.

The 286 graduates accepted their diplomas from school board …

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Lower Dauphin grads lauded for strength, confidence

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HERSHEY — Members of Lower Dauphin High School’s Class of 2017 said farewell on the evening of June 8 at the Giant Center.

The 286 graduates accepted their diplomas from school board President Todd Kreiser and Superintendent Dr. Sherri Smith.

Smith described the characteristics of the 2017 class as strength, confidence and leadership.

“Possession of these qualities speaks well of this class and indeed will serve you well in life. Tonight celebrates the end of one journey and the beginning of another,” Smith said.

Smith went on to reference retired Navy Admiral William McRaven’s speech at the 2014 graduation of the University of Texas and how his basic training taught him 10 principles for life. Some of the lessons learned include:

• Making your bed is a good way to encourage one to perform larger tasks throughout the day.

• You can’t change the world alone, you need help to do so.

• As you’re swimming through life, there will be a lot of sharks, and if you want to do well in life, you’ll have to deal with them.

“Failure can make you stronger. We all make mistakes in life, and there are times, even when we try really hard, that we fail at what we are trying to accomplish. Realize that failure is an opportunity to strengthen yourself. True leaders learn from their failures and use the lessons to motivate themselves and are not afraid to try again or move on,” Smith said.

Finally, Smith encouraged graduates to never give up if they wish to change the world.

“If you want to change the world, never, ever quit. Life is too short. I know that you may not see that at your age now, but time has a way of flying by. Give your life your all. Enjoy your life you have been given and never ever quit.”

Valedictorian Samuel Rothermel told of how people he has known shaped his life by encouraging productivity, perseverance, purpose and prestige in everything one does.

He then shared a fictitious story of two people who are skilled in glass-making and joyful in their work. One passes away in the middle of telling a story, the other when he loses his passion for the art of glass-making. Rothermel revealed that he has known people in his life like the two characters in his story.

“In my mind, finding inspiration is nothing more than finding a will to live, and that is my hope to all of you. That we might all find inspiration and use it to serve others,” Rothermel said.

During her speech, salutatorian Emma Durantine produced a T-shirt she had received in fifth grade that had the names of all her classmates on the back and recalled how she thought 2017 was a long ways away from 2010.

“When I pulled out that shirt a few days ago, it was extremely hard to believe that time has passed by that quickly and that we are sitting here today graduating,” Durantine said.

Whether or not they all could believe it, they were graduating thanks to the help of their parents, teachers, and each other. Durantine thanked them all for helping the graduates reach that pivotal moment.

“As the saying goes, ‘All good things must come to an end.’ And though we don’t know what happens after this, we know we always have Instagram to stalk old high school friends. I wish you all the best,” Durantine said.

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