VARDEN — Members of the Western Wayne Class of 2017 took the long walk across the stage Friday night to receive their diplomas.
“Honestly, where did the time go?” asked Class President Makayla Stone during her welcome address to the packed auditorium.
“It seems like just last month we were getting on the mini-bus full of excitement to start our first day of Pre-K.
“Now, it's our last day of high school and we are ecstatic to be done and ready for our future.”
The class of one-hundred and forty-six graduates - 49 earning their diplomas with honors – eagerly awaited to walk across the auditorium stage one last time.
Noting that this graduating class received in excess of $2 million in scholarships, Stone said what her class has accomplished is nothing short of extraordinary.
“I know that whatever this class puts their mind to, they're bound to achieve it.”
Salutatorian Kelly DeVito thanked her teachers for their support and guidance.
“They have challenged me beyond my limits and have encouraged me to constantly strive for my goals,” DeVito said.
After thanking her family for their support, DeVito noted academic honors run in her family.
Her grandmother was valedictorian of the Wayne Vocational School Class of 1948.
After her passing, DeVito said she wanted to fulfill her promise to continue working hard and striving for success.
“Grandma, if you're looking down and watching me right now, I did this for you,” DeVito said.
“I will never forget the impact you had on me.”
Valedictorian Jacob Karnick addressed his classmates with a message of hope and humor.
“So this is it, pretty much the end of our childhood,” he said.
“Together we achieved so much.”
Karnick highlighted the achievements of this class, both on and off the athletic field.
“All together, I feel this class has a lot of bright, promising futures as long as you all believe it too,” he said.
Superintendent Matthew Barrett wished the graduates well, adding that their “...hard work, dedication and determination brought you to this stage and will serve you well in your future endeavors.”