Over the last few weeks, every Lebanon County public school district has held in-person graduation ceremonies for their now-graduated seniors.
Last year’s graduation ceremonies looked a little different from usual, with some districts adopting major social distancing measures and others going fully remote.
Lebanon County school districts’ ceremonies were not fully back to normal, with some social distancing and optional masks. However, students could generally receive their diplomas in person, with family present.
Here’s a roundup of all Lebanon County school districts—Annville-Cleona, Cornwall-Lebanon, Eastern Lebanon, the City of Lebanon, Northern Lebanon, and Palmyra Area—and their graduation ceremonies this year (click the district name to skip to that section).
Annville-Cleona High School held its graduation ceremony at its stadium June 4. Video of the commencement is accessible online on the district’s website.
The Annville-Cleona Brass Ensemble—featuring Timothy Webster, Lauren Wolfe, Daniel Balsbaugh, Jared Hostetter, Jeremy Fortna, and Xavier Polite on trumpet; Kenneth Schaeffer, Connor Horning, and Zoie Moyer on horn; Paige Wagner and Miranda Pettice-Yarnall on trombone; Samantha Moran and Rachel Bohr on euphonium; and Henry Waldhausen and Max Liedtka on Tuba—performed during the processional.
2021 Class President Elizabeth Matusiak was the first to speak. She welcomed families and friends to the commencement and thanked those who helped her and other students both through the Covid-19 pandemic and outside of it.
She was followed up by Class Vice President Amelia Bucher, who recognized parents’ roles in getting to graduation.
Class Secretary Anna-Jean Craig introduced the featured speaker, Career Counselor Matthew Gross. Gross encouraged students to “learn from the past, prepare for the future, but live in the present.”
Next, students performed choral selections Leap Free of the Cage and If.
Superintendent Dr. Krista Antonis presented her remarks, before Principal Laurie Bowersox presented the Class of 2021 to the School Board. School Board President Cynthia Eby spoke next, before Bowersox performed the Draping of the Salutatorian.
Salutatorian Sydney Moore spoke her Salutatory Address before Bowersox draped the Valedictorian, Samantha MacMillan.
Diplomas were awarded and class names were read by Class Co-Advisors Mark Dimick and Denyse Mohn.
After all names were read and diplomas received, the Class Officers directed graduating seniors to change their tassels. Then, the school’s Alma Mater was performed.
Closing remarks were made by new-graduate Noelle Martin.
“You will discover that you are capable of conquering anything that life throws at you through a positive and a grateful outlook,” she said, encouraging graduates to keep working hard after graduation.
Cedar Crest High School (CCHS) also held its commencement at its stadium June 4.
The Class of 2021’s processional was accompanied by the CCHS Symphonic Band, directed by Scott Muenz.
After the singing of the national anthem, Ruth Ann Schlegel presented “Greetings from the Board of School Directors.”
Class of 2021 Class President Connor Aitken welcomed those in and near the bleachers (as the audience was spaced out due to social distancing). He lamented the effects of Covid-19 on the graduating class, but asserted that they had come up on top.
“We were thrown more curveballs than ever before, but we stayed positive–the good kind of positive, that is,” he said.
Then, the CCHS Concert Choir performed choral selections before Adelyn Ruth spoke the salutatory address.
Madelyn Meyer, class valedictorian, made an address as well.
Dr. Phillip Domencic and Christopher Groff both made remarks before the official presentation of the graduating class began.
Diplomas were presented by Bryan Smith, Dr. Philip Domencic, Dr. Barbara May, John Shaffer, Robert Snyder, and Richard Dissinger.
The alma mater was performed, sung by all and led by Hannah Seibert, before the newly graduated students threw their hats and left for the recessional.
ELCO High School held its commencement at its stadium June 10.
The graduating seniors’ processional into the stadium was accompanied by ELCO’s band.
After the Pledge of Allegiance, students stood for the chorus’ performance of the Star Spangled Banner.
The audience was welcomed by graduating senior Taylor Hauck.
“After a mostly hybrid school year, this is the first time the entire senior class is all in the same place, but it is also the last,” Hauck said, noting how their senior class changed due to the ongoing pandemic.
Next was new graduate and Salutatorian Grace Ginder’s student oration “Where We’re Going.” Valedictorian Georgia Martin’s oration, “The Mars Rover,” followed.
At this point, the ELCO chorus performed selections.
Jennifer Haas introduced Commencement Speaker Christopher Longstaff.
“If you see your time as precious and use it wisely, you will be the only hero you ever need,” said Longstaff.
Departmental Awards were presented by Barbara Davis. Then, Julia Vicente presented the Superintendent’s Message.
Tracy Gray-Hayes presented the Valedictorian and Salutatorian Awards to the two students ranking highest academically: Martin and Ginder, respectively.
After a few more speeches, students were called to the stage one by one to receive their diplomas, while their senior pictures and post-graduating plans were displayed on a large screen next to the stage.
Finally, new graduate Emily Baer spoke, giving a farewell to ELCO and the graduates’ time there.
The student recessional out of the stadium was accompanied by ELCO’s band.
The City of Lebanon High School (LHS) held its 149th commencement June 10 at the school’s auditorium. Video of the commencement was released in two parts on YouTube.
The LHS Symphonic Band performed Pomp and Circumstance as students entered the auditorium through its main entrance. Once students were in their places, the band performed the Star Spangled Banner.
Co-Valedictorian Michael Downs read his speech “What’s Past is Prologue” to the student body.
“This year has been challenging, but we should be proud that despite the many things out of our control, we persevered and made it here today, ready to take hold of our futures and step into the changing world,” said Downs.
Co-Valedictorian Jin-Song Cody Zheng then read his speech, “Stepping into the Future.”
“Follow your own road to success, wherever it may lead,” said Zheng. “There’s always a path that will open when you least expect it. Don’t waste the moments because they will make your life unforgettable. And finally, realize that your lives are just starting, because graduating from high school is not the end, but the beginning.
Next, LHS Principal William Giovino spoke, focusing on the struggles presented by Covid-19 and how the school overcame them.
School Board President Robert Okonak spoke next, followed by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Arthur Abrom.
The first diploma was presented to Class Co-President Solia Horn, who also spoke to the audience. Then, diplomas were presented to the LHS Class of 2021.
The school’s Alma Mater was performed by the LHS Symphonic Band & Choir, before the recessional and end of the ceremony.
Northern Lebanon High School (NLHS) held its 2021 commencement ceremony in its stadium June 10.
The processional of NLHS graduating seniors was accompanied by the school’s band.
Several students made speeches celebrating the graduating class and thanking those who came to see their commencement.
Then, the school’s choir performed before NLHS’s Class of 2021 was formally introduced.
Students then stepped up to the podium, one by one, to receive their diplomas as their names were called.
Please note that the graduation stream is missing some sections and has low base volume, if you are interested in watching.
Palmyra Area High School’s (PHS) 2021 graduation ceremony was held June 8 at its stadium.
PHS’s processional was accompanied by the band, as students walked the track before sitting on chairs set up on their field.
Those present then stood for the band’s performance of the Star Spangled Banner.
Students were congratulated and their families welcomed by an opening speech.
Several students from the class of 2021, including the Class President, made speeches to their peers. Several faculty also spoke.
Then, students were called up one by one to receive their diplomas. Their recessional was accompanied by music from the LHS band.
Congratulations from LebTown to all students who graduated this year!
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