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Canner commencement welcomes Class of 2022

Rainstorms may have driven the Upper Adams High School graduation ceremony indoors, but applause for the Class of 2022 was as loud as thunder Thursday.

The Biglerville High School auditorium packed with enthusiastic families and friends as the Canner seniors received their high school graduation diplomas.

Principal Beth Graham recognized the graduates as anything but the stereotype of lazy teenagers, facing unheard of challenges with resilience. Celebrating the different accomplishments, the graduates were recognized for their lives that will forever be altered. 

Noting a turbulent time of the global pandemic that through their high school experience forced the students to adapt and overcome, the graduates came through the experiences stronger than ever and ready to face what comes next.

Class Vice President Kalani Crum welcomed esteemed guests and the UASD community to celebrate the above and beyond achievements of the graduating seniors.

Noting the incomprehensible journey the seniors have gone through to get where they are now, Crum asked everyone to remember how far they have come and how much farther they will continue.

“We have shown up and we have excelled and that is why we are here, and we should all be extremely proud of that,” Crum said.

“We are about to start a story, our story,” he said.

Although a common saying in the face of uncertainty is “The world will keep on spinning,” Valedictorian Gabriella Corson mused that the Canners will soon be starting their own whole new worlds to start spinning.

“We have proven our capability to survive and overcome the circumstances we’ve been given,” she said.

Corson encouraged her fellow classmates to remember the personal victories.  

Graduates should present gratitude to the scaffolding of support that brought them the stage, but also focus on the individual “you” who made it this far, she said.

Amongst the regular challenges that accompany high school, “we have been forced to march through extraordinary circumstances,” Corson said.

If the turbulent time of the pandemic taught Salutatorian and Class President Jackalynn Miller anything it is that values fluctuate and urged her departing classmates to “Be confident in your values and understand they may change,” she said.  

Acknowledging the Class of 2022’s perseverance and empathy to join together through the uncertainty, “That is where the magic happens, when we can find common values and figure out how to begin from that place,” she said.

Superintendent Dr Wesley Doll asked the graduates to remember their support systems that helped place them on the stage that night.

By receiving their diplomas, Doll informed graduates that they were opening a brand-new door.

“And the rest of your life is on the other side of it,” he said.

A moment of silence was held in memory of classmates Ethan Slaybaugh and Destiny Eckenrode.

Outdoor furniture for the school courtyard  was presented in Eckenrode’s name on behalf of the graduating class as well as a plaque of honor for Slaybaugh presented by the graduating class. Honorary degrees were presented to the families.

The UASD Class of 2022 graduates commemorated an end of a season, and looked forward to the new one on the horizon.

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A.L. Grabenstein, reporter, is a graduate of Philadelphia's La Salle University with a B.A in Communication and has been a journalist since 2016. She has reported for the Gettysburg Times and the Times Herald in Norristown, PA. Grabenstein moved to Gettysburg from Montgomery County in 2019. She was born in San Antonio, TX., and previously lived in Virginia, and North Carolina. Grabenstein is actively involved in the borough of Gettysburg and loves giving voices to the local community.

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