High Point seniors graduate to next phase

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  • PHOTOS BY VERA OLINSKI Superintendent Scott D. Ripley addresses the High Point graduates.

  • Senior Members of Chamber Singers sing "The National Anthem," with Theresa Riccardi directing.

  • From right, Board of Education President William Kehoe presents the diploma to John Kappelmeier.

  • Salutatorian Zackary Kattermann addresses the crowd.

  • Zackary Kattermann receives his diploma.

  • Superintendent Scott D. Ripley addresses the High Point graduates.

  • Students throw their caps up into the air after graduating.

  • Valedictorian John Kappelmeier gives his student address.

“Pomp and Circumstance” greeted loved ones, June 18, as around 235 High Point Regional High School students progressed forward during commencement in silver and red robes.

Senior members of Chamber Singers sang “The Star Spangled Banner” a cappella, reverberating throughout the gym and directed by Theresa Riccardi. Later, Senior Members of Concert Choir powerfully sang, “No One Is Alone,” from into “The Woods,” also directed by Riccardi.

Student Body President Nicholas Thomas addressed the graduates, encouraging them to live in the present and continue learning.

Senior Class President Madison Cole encouraged everyone to remember their roots, [in Sussex County], regardless of their many unique pursuits.

On behalf of the 2019 class, Salutatorian Zackary Kattermann thanked parents, teachers, coaches, club advisers, and administration. He reminded graduates to ask themselves, “Who are you?” and “What do you want?” Kattermann also urged, “Push forward, High Point, into uncertain futures, into student debt – to audience laughter – into new adventures and opportunities; and don’t forget yourself.”

Valedictorian John Kappelmeier made an analogy between the Spacecraft Voyager I photograph of earth, “The Pale Blue Dot,” and their graduation, as they took a moment to look at the home they had known for the past four years.

Kappelmeier also thanked the administration, support staff, and teachers for their education, and the lessons they learned for the rest of their lives. Additionally, he emphasized thanking parents, who had made graduation possible with their love and support. He concluded, “Don’t forget to take a look back at where you came from and, most importantly, who helped you get there along the way.”

Nicholas Boyle, class of 2011 graduate and current Baltimore Raven, reminded the students to attack every day as its own and be humble. He also encouraged the students to “WIN – do What’s Important Now,” which allows attaining short term goals, resulting in something rewarding and meaningful.

Boyle added, “The only thing which defines who you are is how you treat others regardless of your status in life.” to claps. He concluded, “Remember the acronym WIN, when you may be feeling lost and discouraged.

High School Principal Jonathan Tallamy said his mom used to tell him, “The days go slow, but the years go fast.” He encouraged the students to thank parents and family, and “Tell them you love them, because the years will continue to go fast.”

As their principal, he gave them fatherly advice and told them how proud he was of them, encouraging them to, “Lead with character and integrity, and fail forward.”

Superintendent Scott Ripley thanked all the educators, who had poured out their lives into the young men and women. He encouraged the graduates to not compare public accolades to private honor, after overcoming hardships of which few were aware, but to be proud of their achievement. “Know that you are the masterpiece of creation,” he said, “unique, precious, beautiful, important, and valuable; and there are plans for your future — plans for good and not for disaster — plans for a future filled with a hope and success.”

Board of Education President William Kehoe and Ripley then presented the diplomas to the graduates.

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