BY ROBERT L. BAKER
Wyoming County Press Examiner
Tunkhannock Area High School took a chance on an outdoor graduation Saturday at noon and the sprinkles held off until after the 213 graduates had crossed the stage.
But there wasn’t a dry eye in the place after senior class president Nick Ide shared his sense of awe for his classmates for being there for him when his mother – Sandy Ide – passed away from cancer 10 weeks ago.
“I felt like someone had taken my heart out and smashed it into 1,000 pieces,” Ide said, while noting he’s often wanted to know why bad things happen to good people.
“Some have said, ‘life’s unfair. It sucks,” Ide told those gathered.
But, he disagreed with that philosophy.
“Our world is actually quite amazing. For every act of terror we just need to make sure that acts of goodness stand louder,” he said.
He modified the lyrics of “All you need is love” to “All you need is hope.”
“When you’re train has derailed, all you need is hope to get you back on track,” Ide said in a tough lesson he learned this spring. “I could not have dreamed of a class better than you for being there for me. You’ve been hardworking, beautiful and perfect in your own way.”
He received a standing ovation, and the keynote speaker for the day, teacher Robert Kuschke noted about Ide, “How many class presidents have you known to hold the office for four years?”
Salutatorian Carly Heck said that through years of hurdling on the track team, “I realized what it meant to literally jump over my obstacles,” and she now knows that with falling comes getting back up and going faster.
She said there were other lofty goals she didn’t achieve as well but never saw them as failures.
“Always look to the bright side,” she said, “when you do you will be able to realize that there is a purpose behind everything.”
Valedictorian Colby Rome admitted to his classmates that he was “much more of a math person than an English person” and decided to talk about a number.
“If you were to go back in time; if you were to spin the earth backwards 4,700 rotations, most of us would be stepping onto a school bus for the first time in our lives, thus beginning a 13-year journey that eventually leads us to this day,” Rome said
And he acknowledged his classmates needed to keep in mind that they are infinitely fortunate to be able to grow up in the freest, most prosperous nation this earth has ever witnesses.
But, he also noted there were times for pessimism, “especially in light of the many tragedies that have adversely affected this class, this town, and this nation.”
Rome invoked the name of Martin Luther King Jr. who said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
His final advice: “Try to find the time to enjoy the infinite happiness on this finite planet. Live like you’ll die today, but dream like you’ll live forever.”
2013 GRADUATES INCLUDE:
Gabrielle Christine Alguire, Joseph Brian Allen, Matthew Andres, Ryan Patrick Aulisio, Dylan Edward Barber, Tammy Ann Belcher, Gabriella Amara Belt, Si Kenneth Bernosky, Anna Elizabeth Boecker, Kanesha Gene Bonner, Timothy Patrick Breen, Jessica Lynn Brennan, Ashley A. Brong, Heidi M. Brown, Mark Roland Brown, Tyler Joshua Brown, Austin Joseph Brozusky, Rachel Lynn Brozusky, Tessa Marie Bucciarelli, Michael Aaron Bullock, Cameron E. Bunavage, Dana Lynn Carey, Joshua E. Carfi, Kyle Hale Caudell, Marlena Adeline Chesner, Brent James Christy, Richard John Clark, Daniel J. Clemens, Jacob Edward Cole, Joshua Griffith Colley, Christopher Lee Connell, Jr., Hannah Lee Cook, Rita Lynn Cook, Colton James Coolbaugh, Megan Elizabeth Corbly, JoeAnthony Cordero, Alexis Davania Cunningham, Kristen Leigh Darling, Paige Nicole Deininger, Jacob M. DeRoberto, James Wayne DeWitt, Stefanos Andreas Diakatos, Adam Michael Dodge, Mackenzie Blair Drungell, Morgan Gail Drungell, Victoria M. Dudock, Corey Kenneth Dulsky, Mary Elena Dziadosz, Angelina Joann Eddy, Shayne Michael Ely, Raven Lynn Evans, David Eric Farrar, Jordan Joseph Faux, David John Fetzko, Caitlyn Marie Fiorentino, Elizabeth Tyler Franko, Amy Patrice Getts, Bionca Sydney Giannetti, Alicia May Giberson, Kirsten Marie Gilpin, Jennifer Rose Grasso, Christina Lynn Green, Jeffrey Klement Green, Katie Ellen Greene, Austin R. Gregory, Amanda Rose Grundman, Seth Allen Gulich, Kaitlin Taylor Hall, Daniel Scott Harmon, Joshua Daniel Harris, Lindsey Elizabeth Harris, Jonathan Duane Headman, Jr., Jensen Kyle Healey, Carly C. Heck, Gabrielle Ann Marie Herron, Justin Douglas Hill, Rachel A. Hines, Kiley Louise Holdren, Aaron Richard Holton, Christopher M. Homa, Austin K. Hoskins, Michael Anthony Hoskins, Jacob Scott Hughes, Cheyenne Nicole Hunsinger, Kalee Bea Ide, Nicholas C. Ide, Lucas L. Jackson-Bennett, Katelyn Marie Jacques, Sean P. Jenkins, Sarah Elizabeth Jewell, Ian Evan Jones, Breanna Lucielle Keiper, Aaron Robert Kern, Andrew James King, Brittany Patricia Knight, Briana Michele Knowles, Kaitlyn Marie Kolodzieski, Jeremy Wade Kosak, Dakota Taylor Kresge, Stephanie Lynn Kridlo, Katie Lynn Kuzma, Krystal Marie Kwiatkowski, Benjamin Howard Labs, Bianca Rose Latniak, Stefan La’renz Mikal Lawson, Malcolm Edward Layaou, Jeremy Joseph Lee, Christopher J. Leonard, Jade Lynn Levi, Charlotte Elly Linz, Natalie Danielle Lizza, Alicia Lynne Lomascolo, Ian J. Manglaviti, Alexandra Anne Martenson, Douglas James McCarty, Joshua Michael McClain, Kyonna Rae McClain, Liam Sasha McClurg, Taylor Briane McCormick, Nolan Charles McMahon,,Erik Joseph Milliron, Rebekah Nicole Mills, Dean Martin Mirabelli, Kaitlin Marie Morgan, Sean Patrick Morrison, Darian Taylor Mosluk, Kenneth Harold Moss, Andrew James Muckin, Hope Mariah Murray, Ashleigh Erin Nafus, Timothy Harley Nerozzi, Austin Skylar Neves, Steven Frances Nogick, Alexander Nole, Taylor Mackenzie Nowels, Nathan Todd Nystrand, Rebecca Lynn O’Neill, Cory Daniel Otto, Sarah Louise Parkhurst, Jaimin J. Patel, Prutha B. Patel, Jonathan William-Jesse Perez, Brendan Michael Price, James Thomas Proulx, Katelyn Marie Proulx, Logan Robert Quick, Jonathan Nicholas Radakovich, Shawn Tyler Ramey, Mark D. Reeves, Raymond Tyler Reeves, Rachel Claire Reichle, Jessica Kamaray Reyes, Joshua Robinson, Savannah Leigh Ann Robinson, Colby Donald Rome, Brandon Philip Ropraz, Kalyn Louise Rosengrant, Janie G. Ruddell, Scott Salus, Colin Jacob Schaefer, Stefan Schlachter, Kyle Joshua Scholl, Kayla Ann Schoonover, Lucas Ryan Schoonover, Mark Andrew Schork, Elizabeth Jane Sechrist, Bradley Charles Seward, John Edward Shaffer, Kelcie Marie Shaw, Jeffrey David Shefler, Diandra Lynn Sherman, Lance Thomas Sherry, Justin Tyler Shotwell, Race Jasper Sick, Jacob Harrison Sickler, Katie Ann Smith, Stephen M. Smith, Walter John Solt, Benjamin Wayne Spencer, Samantha Amber Stare, Brian Joseph Stephenson, Thomas William Storm, Jr., Jessica L. Sturgis, Todd Michael Tetlock, Gabriel Quinton Traver, Mark Robert Trexler, Cory Lee Valvano, Kelsey Brown Van Horn, Jeffrey John Vaow, Craig Andrew Veety, Kandis Elizabeth Margaret Venn, Madonna Louise Veronica Venson, Larissa Brianne VonOhlen, Tice Patrick-Burke Waardenburg, Johnathon T. Ward, Desiree Shirene Ware, Marissa Lynn Waters, Wade Donald Weber, Owen R. Weisenfluh, Tyler John Weiss, Quinn Alexander Wells, Jason C. Whitney, Zachary David Wilbur, Breana Jo Wilde, Cory Scott Wolbers, Mikayla Marie Wright, Jessica Naomi Yagloski, Lindley Brett Yerg, Anna Marie Zavrotny, Chantel Summer Zionkowski.
VALEDICTORIAN COLBY ROME
Parents: son of Eric and Robin Rome, Tunkhannock.
Achievements, honors, activities: helped to reestablish the Key Club and participated in FIRST Robotics, Tennis Team, Indian Lake Ski Club, Gifted, and National Honor Society. Part of Tunkhannock’s TSA TEAMS (engineering) competition at Penn State WilkesBarre; WVIA’s Scholastic Scrimmage; 2013 Times-Tribune Scholastic Superstar.
Plans: Attend Bucknell University and major in engineering.
SALUTATORIAN CARLY HECK
Parents: Cheryl Heck, Tunkhannock, and Carl Heck, Destin, Fla.
Achievements, honors, activities: Member of National Honor Society, Senior Steering Committee, Track Team and Performing Arts Club.
Plans: Attend New York University and major in CORE program.