YATESVILLE — Friday marked the end of a long journey for the Pittston Area class of 2018, and also the beginning of a new one as over 240 students received their high school diplomas.
Hundreds of friends and family packed into Charley Trippi Stadium — some with smiles on their faces, others with tears of joy rolling down their cheeks.
Students donned their red, white and blue graduation robes, girls wearing white and boys wearing blue and red.
Class president Tyler Ferlick kicked off the celebrations and offered his own personal reflections on the past four years, telling his classmates not to be defined.
“To my fellow classmates, I tell you to not let anyone define who you are,” he said. “You have the power to choose and, if you conceive it in your mind and believe it in your heart, you can achieve it.”
Ferlick concluded his speech with three simple words to describe his emotions — “We nailed it.”
Superintendent Kevin Booth then addressed members of the class of 2018, telling them achievement is everything and it’s okay to fail.
He passed along the Latin phrase Carpe Diem which translates to “Seize the Day.”
“I implore you to not only seize the day, but devour the day,” Booth said. “Don’t sit back and wait for life to happen, but make it happen.”
After Booth, class valedictorians Nicholas Barbieri, Philip Cocco, Matthew Costello, Gianna DeSanto, Vito Quaglia and Andrea Ruby took turns speaking.
Each shared their thoughts on the last four years and how things changed, whether with friends, academics or sports.
Quaglia gave the final speech, saying graduation was the culmination of a journey that began the first day of freshman year.
“Our Pittston Area chapter is closing, but the next chapter is there for our taking,” he said. “As we take the legacy we have made with us here into the future, wear it proudly. We have made a profound impact on Pittston Area and there’s no doubt in my mind that we will make an impact whereever our abilities take us.”
After the reading of the class poem called “Seasons” by Angelica Signer and a performance of the class song, “Five More Minutes” by Emilee DeMarco, Pittston Area School Board President Rosanna Riccota took the podium to offer remarks.
Riccota was a member of the graduating class of 1968, and reflected on where the last 50 years have gone while also asking the students to reflect on where their last four years have gone.
“To the class of 2018, I congratulate you and wish you the very best of what life and time have to offer,” she said. Congratulations!”
After the awarding of diplomas, students, faculty and audience members sang the Pittston Area Alma Mater before the graduates threw their caps into the air.
Their journey at Pittston Area had reached its conclusion.
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher