Press "Enter" to skip to content

121 graduate from Oley Valley High School

Oley Valley High School senior class vice president Mahlon Weidner opened commencement on June 4 thanking all who helped the class of 2024 grow and learn, succeed and become their best selves.

“Over the past 13 years together, our class has faced many challenges and jumped many hurdles; however, what builds our character most are the challenges that we have faced individually,” said Weidner.

What shines most about Oley Valley’s Class of 2024 is that they support each other, he said.

“We would not have been able to tackle these individual problems if it were not for our friends and peers who push us to fight through our struggles and hike that path toward our futures,” said Weidner.

This is the value that embodies their class most and is the cornerstone of the Oley Valley since its settlement, he continued.

“Our class has consistently shown the ability to push aside our differences and help boost each other to accomplish our goals,” he said.

Weidner encouraged the 121 graduates to continue to use this community support as it will bring them success in the future.

“The extraordinary class of 2024 is bound to do incredible things,” Weidner said.

The Oley Valley High School Class of 2024 celebrated their graduation during commencement on June 4. (Photo courtesy of Oley Valley High School Office Staff)
The Oley Valley High School Class of 2024 celebrated their graduation during commencement on June 4. (Photo courtesy of Oley Valley High School Office Staff)

Student speaker Griffen Freed said graduation is what the last 13 years of their lives have been leading up to.

“Time really has that strange property of moving so slowly and yet flying by. Two weeks off of school in 8th grade turns into graduation just like that,” said Freed.

“Feels like just yesterday I was that dumb kindergartener heading to the wrong class. I went from that weird kid reading at recess to the guy who won’t shut up or stop yelling about his water at lunch.”

Freed said a lot has changed since those days in elementary school; they have made and lost friends, found love and heartbreak.

“These years have been amazing and I couldn’t have asked for better friends.”

School taught them many things over those years, or at least it tried to. Most importantly, he learned to stop fearing failure.

“Failure is just part of the journey to success … You have to achieve failure because the only place to go from failure is to win,” he said. “Nobody is going to hit as hard as life. You have to take responsibility for your failures and losses and get right back into the saddle and keep moving forward no matter what.”

Freed told the graduates to find their wildest dream, the one they think is impossible, and go out and do it. He advised them to live their own life, not care about what anybody else thinks nor compare themselves to others.

“This is your life, your story so tell it how you want,” Freed advised. “Don’t apologize for being you and don’t regret anything, no matter what it was, it made you into who you are.”

Every experience, every high and low, every failure and success made them who they are today.

“Always strive to improve, to better yourself and to better the world,” he said.

In his final words, Freed said: “Dream big and work hard. Remember, the best is yet to come. Thank you for all of these incredible years. I can’t wait to see where you guys go.”

The Oley Valley High School Class of 2024 celebrated their graduation during commencement on June 4. (Photo courtesy of Oley Valley High School Office Staff)
The Oley Valley High School Class of 2024 celebrated their graduation during commencement on June 4. (Photo courtesy of Oley Valley High School Office Staff)

Student speaker Victoria Grim reflected on their elementary through high school years when graduation seemed so far away. Even on their first day of senior year, gathering to watch the sunrise together, their graduation was so far away.

Senior year went by in an instant, and now they gather to celebrate this momentous occasion together, graduation. This date was not so far away, after all, she said.

Grim asked the graduates to realize that nothing is truly that far away. She hopes they reflect on all of the obstacles as well as the highlights that helped form the tight-knit bond the class of 2024 shares.

“As we stand on the threshold of our future, may we embrace the endless possibilities that lie ahead, as well as appreciate the qualities instilled in us Lynx that will contribute to our indefinite accomplishments in the future,” she said.

In conclusion, Grim said: “May our paths be filled with success, fulfillment and endless possibilities.”

The Oley Valley High School score board honored the graduation of the class of 2024. (Photo courtesy of Oley Valley High School Office Staff)
The Oley Valley High School scoreboard honored the graduation of the class of 2024. (Photo courtesy of Oley Valley High School Office Staff)

Student speaker Dezahyni Melendez-Perez said the most anticipated day of senior year has finally come.

“Today is such a bittersweet day, signifying the ending of an old chapter and the beginning of another in our lives,” she said.

Counting down the days until graduation, Melendez-Perez even downloaded an app that counted down to the seconds.

“I now realize I was so focused on the future that I wasn’t truly living in the moment,” she said. “I want you to think about how you feel at this exact moment, how excited and anxious you are.”

Even though she knew exactly what she wanted to do, throughout senior year she hated the question: “What are you going to do after high school?”

“It caused me to think too far ahead in the future,” said Melendez-Perez. “Instead of thinking about our future, let’s live in the moment and reflect on how far we have come.”

This once-known scary place is not so frightening anymore and instead became a second home to many, where they built unbreakable bonds with faculty and peers, and built friendships that will last a lifetime, she said.

“High school has challenged us in ways we never imagined. Yet these challenges have made us all the people we are today and proved that we could accomplish our goals,” she continued.

Melendez-Perez thanked the Oley Valley teachers and staff for making their high school experience highly memorable, as well as families and friends for their support.

To the class of 2024, she said: “As you begin a new chapter of your life, you must live every day as your last. Make as many memories as possible and always stay optimistic, especially about new opportunities.”

The Oley Valley High School Class of 2024 toss their caps in celebration of their graduation during commencement on June 4. (Photo courtesy of Oley Valley High School Office Staff)
The Oley Valley High School Class of 2024 toss their caps in celebration of their graduation during commencement on June 4. (Photo courtesy of Oley Valley High School Office Staff)

Oley Valley High School Principal William S. Harrison said in a statement that it was a great night celebrating the class of 2024.

“I am so proud of the young adults they have become and they are one of the most talented classes I have had the pleasure of knowing in my time at Oley.”


Source: Berkshire mont

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply