A new set of Owls are ready to spread their wings in the real world.
On June 14, under a sunny sky, 532 graduates in the Bensalem High School class of 2023 received their diplomas during the 99th Annual Commencement ceremony.
The class will begin to write new chapters of their lives as they enter universities and colleges across the United States (Drexel, Temple, Holy Family), join the military or head to the workforce.
Class president Saige Zebrowski gave a heartfelt speech, expressing the bittersweet feeling of how fast her four years at BHS went by.
“It seems like only yesterday we were scared little freshmen, fighting with the locks of our lockers, trying to figure out where our next classroom was, and looking generally clueless to all the upperclassmen. Now, we’re the upperclassmen,” she said. “The seniors who sit here today are ready to move forward in the world, yet at this sentimental moment, we can’t help but to look back. We began high school as children, but now we’re leaving as adults. We’ve completed a basic education that will serve as a platform to launch our futures.”
Valedictorian Brian Olsen praised his peers for surviving quite the unorthodox high school experience, which included a global pandemic. He urged everyone to go out into the world on a mission to do good and make positive change.
“Remember that your influence extends far beyond your profession,” he said.
Superintendent Dr. Sam Lee also applauded the teens for persevering during the educational upheaval that the pandemic caused.
“Your four years here have been nothing close to traditional,” he said. “Through these remarkable times and related challenges, you have maintained focus, stayed connected, completed this part of your journey, and did it with class and distinction.”
Frank Flanagan was thrilled to experience his very first BHS graduation as principal, and shared some wise words from Dr. Seuss: “You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So … get on your way!”
He added that, although their BHS journey technically started four years ago when they walked through those halls for the first time, it actually goes further back.
“It really started on the first day of kindergarten,” he said. “During this journey, you have seen remarkable heights. You have encountered some trials along the way, but you continue to move forward and come out stronger because of them.”
Lee then officially proclaimed the students graduates of Bensalem High School.
Over 500 tassels were turned before the sky became scattered with flying caps, their owners rushing to enjoy one last laugh with friends at Bensalem Memorial Stadium.
Samantha Bambino can be reached at email@example.com