On a beautiful evening at Bob Dowd Stadium, Seaford High School graduated the Class of 2019. School board president Mike Kraft welcomed the class and the audience. “Job well done,” Kraft told the students. “I want to thank all you for your commitment and success to make Seaford a better community. I welcome you to the family of proud Seaford graduates.”
The ceremonies opened with Shamaya Young singing the National Anthem and Tatiana Albino-Santiago singing the Seaford High School Alma Mater.
Teacher and class advisor Rob Schumacher introduced the Salutatorian George “Ged” Pearson. Ged has many accomplishments over the last four years. He has been involved with 18 clubs and teams with an excellent academic record. His involvement has also been in the community where he has served with many organizations. He is a very accomplished musician, earned all-state honors and played at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
“I am truly honored to be the salutatorian of the class. We all need to be proud of the hard work we have put in over the last four years and I know we will achieve more in the future. Tonight, marks the end of our childhood and opens the door to our adulthood. It has been 4,700 days since we entered kindergarten. I want to thank everyone who put up with us over the years. Go out into the world and do things that make you happy. I have had an amazing support system with my family and friends. Find something to look forward too. We have been through out last meetings, last musicals, last games and many other lasts and now we graduated. We can’t change the past; we can give motivation for the future. Every person in this class has influenced the other. I leave you with three thoughts. One, find something to do, second, find someone to love and third, find something to be happy for. We must tear down any barriers. I want to come back to our reunions and hear about our many adventures.”
The class Valedictorian was introduced by teacher and class advisor Virginia Hastings. “Ronny Oropeza-Alcantara has traveled through our school system from start to finish. He did everything with a smile. He has been involved in many activities and did it all while remaining happy.”
“Commencement is a day of new adventures to come, but first a speech. You all are an inspiration to someone who helped you. They did their best to get you where you are today. They inspired you to be your best and by doing your best inspired them. People who smile, makes everyone happy. There are days when everything goes bad, but there will be a rainbow at the end of the day. Tonight, one adventure ends and another begins. I want to thank my family for everything. I am getting choked up talking about them. It is ok, they have inspired me to be the best.”
Superintendent David Perrington addressed the class. “Congratulation to the Class of 2019. You probably will never get tired to hearing that comment. This is a time to celebrate. Hit the pause button. You did not get here alone. I was in Washington, D.C. at a conference in an Uber car and was watching a large family trying to across a busy street. The driver stated that it will be 15 more years at least before that father is free of those children. I told him he has a lifetime of support to give. I want the class to stand and give your families a round of applause for all they have done for you.”
After speaking to the class, Perrington introduced the guest speaker of the evening. “Our speaker tonight did something which has not happened since 1965 in our district. Dana Bowe was named the Delaware State Teacher of the Year, for the first time since Nancy Harper in 1965. She was selected from a large group of teachers. She is the voice of a can doer. She has high expectations and unlimited compassion for every one of her students.”
“My inspiration for tonight’s speech came to me today as you walked through our school,” Bowe told the class. “As you walked through the school in your gowns showing the students with hard work they will be walking through here in the future. Our district is proud. Several of your former teacher offered thoughts for you. Mrs. Myers hopes all the graduates will raise expectations for others. Mr. D.J. Williams of the middle school hopes you further your education and returns to Seaford to start a family to help make the community better. Mr. Cummings: Never be afraid to fail and wishes you all the best.”
Bowe continued, “my message tonight, as a 1994 graduate, I have felt the same excitement you are feeling tonight. I am still learning. The singer Bruce Springsteen, someone you probably don’t know, but your parents do, has a song which talked about life is full of blank pages. Your pages have started right here in this community. All the teachers have pushed you and left impressions on those pages. Mrs. Ryan pushed me and Mr. Hastings, who called on me when I did not want to be called on. If you did not know the answer, he would push you until you got the answer. All of this has made up the pages so far in your life. Friends have helped you; floats, bonfires, your lifetime friends will be there. You have something special. Your family will inspire to. Be grateful as they are a part of your pages. You can hold your head high as a Seaford Blue Jay. New blank pages will start tomorrow with your future.”
“My father once told me to always go in the right direction. Always know where you are going. I have traveled all over the country before returning to Seaford to start my career. Not all pages will be the best. There are tough times and they will be part of the book you are building. As you look to fill your blank pages, what will you do to fill them. I wish you the best.”
Principal Jason Cameron addressed the class before the diplomas were handed out. “Thirteen years ago, you came from all over Seaford to start your journey. Tonight, is not an ending, but a moment in time. Do all with a purpose. Life is full of change. I hope you have learned from me as I have learned from you. I encourage you to exceed by doing more to get better at everything you do in life. One final request, thank your parents.”
Class president Caden Dickerson gave the farewell address. “I want to thank my family and my grandfather. As you leave school, look back over the years and the friends you have made and take it all in. Most of the people you have interacted with will move away. I cried all day my first day but found a friend I have to this day. At that young age all we talked about was baseball and lunch and today as we graduate, all we talk about is ball and lunch. As I leave you go back to a great moment and remember it. You will find many more memories as you go forward.”