By Mike McClure

The Delmar class of 2023 marked the end of their high school journey with the school’s 121st commencement last Thursday at the Wicomico Civic Center in Salisbury. According to the Principal Matt Marine, 63 percent of the 134 graduates will be going to a 2 or 4 year school, 31 percent will join the workforce, and six percent will serve in the military.

“As you move on to the next step, you control your own destiny,” said Marine. “Your name has meaning. People are here to hear your name announced. You shape and mold your name. Who you are will be shaped by the decisions you make. As you reach for your purpose, find time to serve others.”

The Delmar class of 2023 members throw their caps in the air following the completion of last Thursday’s commencement at the Wicomico Civic Center. Photo by Mike McClure

Lillian Grace Frazier led a moment of silence and the high school band performed “Rhythm of the Spheres” before Salutatorian Emma Byrnes spoke.

“Today is a milestone. Making it here has shown how far you have come,” Byrnes said.“You have so much ahead of you, so remember the good and the bad that this school taught you and leave with your head held high because you made it.”

Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Mike Bleile served as the keynote speaker. Bleile, a 2002 Seaford graduate, came to Delmar in 2009. He was the school’s 2016 Teacher of the Year before becoming an assistant principal then the high school principal before his recent promotion. He will receive his doctorate in the coming months.

Bleile said his plan when he was in ninth grade was to play Major League Baseball. During his senior year he searched for plan b.

“I had no idea what I wanted to do in my life,” Bleile said.

He received early acceptance at Salisbury University. During his freshman year he considered becoming a doctor, marine biologist, and an FBI agent. He ran into a former coach and teacher after his freshman year and mentioned that he did not have a major. When asked what he was passionate about, Bleile said he wanted to help people and make a difference. The teacher suggested he pursue teaching and the rest is history.

“It’s ok not to know what you want to do in this moment. It is ok if college is not for you,” said Bleile.

Valedictorian Sarah Mary-Jeanne Lopatofsky said of her parents, “I would not be the individual I am without their unwavering care and compassion.”

“We must remember the impact and mark we made on this school,” said Lopatofsky. “As you pursue the next chapter in your lives, stay true to yourselves and stand up for what you believe in.”