FACTORYVILLE — As 88 Lackawanna Trail graduating seniors assembled on the Factoryville school’s football field to prepare for the culmination of their high school education, members of the schools concert band played “Pomp and Circumstance.”
Meanwhile, the bleachers were packed with family and friends who gathered to honor the class of 2015 at the 59th commencement ceremony on Friday, June 5.
The concert band played the national anthem and senior members of Madrigal and Chrysalis performed the alma mater. The program included remarks by Mark D. Murphy, principal; Matthew Rakauskas, superintendent; and David Thorne, school board president; department awards by faculty members; addresses by commended student Aiden Holmes, salutatorian Amanda Stutzman, valedictorian Grace Wetzel, and a senior farewell by Kerrigan L. Buck, president of the Class of 2015.
Wetzel is the daughter of Jill and Gehred Wetzel, Factoryville and will attend St. Lawrence University where she will major in biology and psychology.
“Getting to represent my class as valedictorian was a huge honor. It was so amazing to see all of my hard work that I put in throughout high school, hours spent studying and stressing over tests, finally pay off,” said Wetzel.
She was president of Student Council, vice president of the class of 2015, a member of the national and French honor societies, the Interact and Drama clubs, basketball and Envirothon.
Wetzel said she’s glad she graduated from Trail because “the intimate setting creates a very personalized education and an abundance of opportunity to stand out and succeed.”
“Our amazing teachers and staff taught me so much more about life than one can learn from a textbook. I couldn’t be more proud to be LTHS (Lackawanna Trail High School) alumni. My biggest goals for the future are to follow my passions and to spread kindness and positivity. I want to make an impact everywhere that I go, and I am excited to see what that will mean for me at St. Lawrence University.”
Stutzman is the daughter of Susan and Bruce Stutzman, Dalton. She will attend Penn State University for Chemical Engineering. Her activities while in school were Envirothon, Concert Band, Jazz Band, Kane Physics Competition, District Band, County Band, Regional Band, Marywood Wind Band Ensemble, National Honor Society, National French Honor Society, and Interact.
Commended Student, Aidan Holmes, the son of Doni and Todd Holmes, Fleetville, has plans to attend Temple University School of Business for Actual Science. He was a member of the Spanish Honor Society, National Honor Society, Basketball, Volleyball, Envirothon and Concert Band.
Classmate Alyssa Walker of Dalton was involved in all musical activities Lackawanna Trail had to offer and she plans to continue working and keeping up with her music until she has made a final decision about college.
“Band really impacted my life. It taught me team work and responsibility. Our band was like a family and I am going to miss it so much. Kevin Dikeman is the bands director,” said Walker.
One of the lessons she said she learned throughout her time at Trail: “High school taught me to take chances and to learn from my experiences, good and bad. I made lifelong friendships and I will never forget the memories I made.”