Cocalico grads bid adieu to high school

By on June 11, 2014

A speech by Alexander McCollom during Cocalico High School’s commencement at Calvary Church Friday asked graduates to put down their phones and enjoy the moment.

(From right) Kali Ansel, Kristen Carpenter, Sarah Stover, Kearsten Mellinger, and  Jennifer Ruffner sport vintage Converse sneakers in honor of deceased classmate Alex Marks.

(From right) Kali Ansel, Kristen Carpenter, Sarah Stover, Kearsten Mellinger, and Jennifer Ruffner sport vintage Converse sneakers in honor of deceased classmate Alex Marks.

The speech complemented the choir’s beautiful dedication to the memory of Alex Marks, a popular 17-year-old senior who passed away Oct. 9. The song gave praise to the music that was a passion for Alex who had played the drums with his band.

Students dotted the commencement area with various colors of vintage Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star high top sneakers as a tribute to Marks.

Cocalico Principal Christopher Irvine said the graduating class touched and inspired him by “the way you took care of each other and the Marks family.”

McCollom, whose speech was entitled “Living Outside the Box,” followed the evening’s theme from speakers who asked not to take life for granite.

“Look up already,” he said. “What if Sir Isaac Newton had been too busy playing 2048 on his Apple device to see the apple fall from the tree?”

Class president Justis Lorah spoke after the choral tribute to Marks. In his speech entitled “Life Expectancy,” He noted that in the average life expectancy of 80 years, 20 are spent sleeping, four are spent in a car, two go by tinkering on social media – and three are spent on the toilet.

Lorah summed up his game with numbers: “Let’s make the most of our time on this earth and make the most of the time we share with one another.”

In a speech entitled “Million Things to be,” Dylan Fox cited a Cat Stevens’ song.

“Whether you’re entering the workforce, going off to college, joining the armed forces, or becoming a professional actor on Broadway, try and do one thing – maybe two,” he said.  “Sing out…and be free…”

Valedictorian Rachel Young’s speech, “Impossibilities” advised that “fears are infinite.” But she asked that the class embrace their fears. “Why not hug change? Even the things that scare you the most?” she said. “Scare the world. Be exactly who you are. By accepting all the fears among us, we become impossibilities.”

Co-salutatorian Tabitha Derr offered a speech called “Walk on the Grass,” explained how straying from what society deems as normal or appropriate is not necessarily a bad idea.

“Be the unique and talented individual that you know you can be.”

Tyler Hurst received the  greatest  applause from the audience.

Tyler Hurst received the greatest applause from the audience.

Carrie Sensenig’s speech, “The Lucky 13 in the Nest,” described the challenge in going from “baby chicks” to “eagles” &tstr; for both students or parents. In the end, leaving the nest, however is something that is necessary &tstr; and something the class is ready for despite the obligatory “doubters,” she said.

“Whatever your journey is, you are going into a world full of doubters,” co-salutatorian Hannah Hartman said in her speech entitled “Certainty and Doubt.” “The key is to remain certain. Be certain you will succeed and that you will do so victoriously.”

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