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Class of 2021 Walks Across the Commencement Stage on June 10
On Thursday, June 10, the Upper Perkiomen School District held its 2021 high school graduation. The 243 graduating seniors walked across the stage during a 7 p.m. ceremony in Upper Perkiomen High School’s Keeny Stadium. Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the event was ticketed to allow for seniors’ families to attend while remaining as socially distanced as possible.
As part of his remarks, high school principal Dr. Rob Carpenter introduced the graduating class to the audience. Of the 243 graduates, 58% of students are enrolled in four, five or six year baccalaureate or master degree programs, 16% of students are enrolled in a two year associate degree and/or technical program, 14% of students will be entering the workforce, and five students will be serving their country by entering military service.
He also shared that the Class of 2021 included 54 students who attended Western Montgomery Career and Technology Center. Of those 54, 36 received a Certificate of Completion and 18 received a Certificate of Participation. A total of 21 awards were given to 19 students at the WMCTC senior ceremonies.
Additionally, 49 UPHS students received 58 scholarships donated by local companies, agencies and families at the Senior Awards Ceremony. The total amount of award money earned was $45,500.00.
In his address to the class, Dr. Allyn J. Roche, UPSD Superintendent of Schools, admired the Class of 2021’s resiliency and agility, especially during the final two years of their high school careers, which were littered with challenges and changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Albert Einstein once said, ‘The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.’ You have the skills and experiences to be an expert in your chosen field. You have the opportunity to make meaningful change in our world – including changes that may impact the Upper Perkiomen Valley community,” Roche said.
Valedictorian Lucas Carpenter was one of the graduates to address the class, also acknowledging the challenges he and his peers have faced, but also embracing a hopeful view of the future.
“So tonight we face a new challenge. Not those that happened in our past or that the future holds. But those of the present. Because nothing ever happened in the past or will happen in the future, it will happen in the now. So Class of 2021, as we turn the page on high school, stand poised for a new chapter in your life’s story,” Carpenter said.
Salutatorian Sarah Halteman also had the opportunity to speak. She encouraged her classmates to do something great with their lives through kindness.
“This concept of greatness does not necessarily mean working at NASA or owning a mansion with a ten-car garage,” Halteman said. “Instead, greatness is defined by your actions and how you positively impact the world and those around you.”
Senior class president Ethan Wambold also addressed the running theme of adversity and challenges faced by the graduates. He expressed gratitude that Upper Perk continued to be a safe and nurturing place to learn, even in tough times.
“Once you cross this stage, Upper Perk is your alma mater. The phrase alma mater originally comes from Latin, meaning nourishing mother, signifying that a school provides intellectual nourishment to its students. When looking back at the past 12 years in the world and in our small valley, Upper Perk has been nothing short of this,” Wambold said. “In our time at Upper Perk, the world has seen its fair share of turmoil, and we have lived through the thick of it. Our country has endured natural disasters, tragedies of violence, economic depression and of course a global pandemic. All of this would be a good reason for our education to be rudely interrupted or affected in some way...it was not.”
Other highlights of UPHS’ 2021 graduation included music by the UPHS band and the UPHS Uptones, as well as a group rendition of the alma mater. Others in attendance included members of the UPSD Board of School Directors and administration, as well as the family and friends of the graduates.
While the UPSD Comprehensive Planning Steering Committee, with assistance from the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit, has already established goals within three areas of focus, the input of staff, students’ families and members of the broader Upper Perk community is vital to solidifying our goals and establishing the direction of the strategic planning process (as well as the direction of the district) moving forward.
As such, we are asking all UPSD employees, parents of current students, and community members who live within district boundaries to complete our community survey by October 29, 2021. The survey should take most individuals less than 10 minutes to complete.