On a Clear Day You Can See Forever is a 1970 American musical comedy that could’ve been the theme for the commencement ceremony at the Woodbridge High School football field last Friday night. The event began at 6 p.m. at the Greenwood school. With a picture perfect day, and the temperature hovering around 70 degrees, the excited senior class and their families could see the future very clearly.
Woodbridge School District Superintendent Heath Chasanov offered a message of hope to the class. “Find a way to serve others, whether it is through your profession as a teacher, nurse, or soldier, or during your spare time, there is no better life lived than one that looks to help others in need.”
Woodbridge seniors pose for one last photograph before the start of the graduation ceremony which took place last Friday evening. Photo by Bernard W. Carr
Principal Kelley J. Kirkland welcomed the audience and reminded the class, “Regardless of where you go, you will always be a Woodbridge Raider.”
Kirkland has served as principal approximately three years. She had all kinds of useful advice for the seniors. “I will not be the first, nor the last, to tell you the road ahead is not an easy one,” she said.
Kirkland then proceeded to recognize two individuals who were participating in their last Woodbridge graduations. School board member Mike Breeding who has served for 17 years, with 16 years as board president, has elected not to run for another term. Graduation Coordinator Tiffany Short has accepted another position in the district after serving for 17 years.
Kirkland ended her comments saying, “To the class of 2022, I leave you with this final word. The only meaningful measure of success in life is the quality of your character and integrity, no one else can create it, no one can take it away.”
School Librarian Harry Brake introduced Salutatorian Anjolie J. Suberro. Her comments were filled with a plethora of thank-you’s to her parents, aunt, grandma, teachers, coaches, church family, and God. “Thank you Woodbridge teachers, staff, and board members for the amazing job that you did to assist me and my peers in making it this far. Each of you were essential in our journey and have made the strong impact that we needed to grow academically and personally,” Suberro said.
Suberro served as the student representative for the Woodbridge School Board, Class Vice President, Woodbridge Secretary of State, President of the Spanish National Honors Society, and varsity captain for the cross-country and soccer teams. She graduated from the Academic Challenge Program, and was a volunteer Sunday School Youth teacher at Miracles in Christ Church in Milford, and a volunteer at the Greenwood Public and Woodbridge High School library.
She will attend Penn State University in the fall on a full-ride scholarship, majoring in biobehavioral health. Her plans are to become an osteopathic pediatrician.
Suberro later returned to the podium to announce the class gift to improve the school scenery with six new trees that will be planted around campus.
Teacher James Weiler introduced Valedictorian Bethany L. Knutsen. She advised her classmates, “Don’t let fear, or failure stop you. Cherish every moment, live your life to the fullest, find a way to enjoy each day, keep pushing, and never give up.”
Knutsen was involved in 4-H, FFA, National Honors Society, cross country, field hockey, and soccer. In addition, she served as Delaware Dairy Princess, and Delaware Farm Bureau Youth Ambassador. She will attend the University of Delaware and major in plant science with a minor in soil science. Her plan is to become an agronomist and eventually be a business owner.
In her farewell address, Class President Alyssa B. Anthony urged her senior classmates to “Embrace the moment, look around, most likely this will be the very last time class 2022 will be together, ever.”
After the presentation of diplomas, Anthony led the soon-to-be graduates in the tassel ceremony of switching from the right to the left.
As the anticipation of graduation was coming to its conclusion, Superintendent Chasanov approached the podium to confer the diplomas. He had several requests of the class, “Thank all of the people that have helped make today possible, do not forget that the most important thing in life is the relationships that you build with others, and do not lose sight of the fact that no matter what you do, the most important part of your life will be the people that share your journey, and continue to make our community proud.”
The Woodbridge High School Class of 2022, which graduated 116 seniors, earned $676,000 in scholarships and financial awards. Some of the colleges and universities they will attend include: Kentucky, Penn State University, Delaware State University, University of Delaware, Delaware Tech, and Salisbury University. Five graduates have enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.
Class Officers were Alyssa B. Anthony, President; Anjolie J. Suberro, Vice-President; Brooklyn A. Heppner, Secretary; Briana J. Taylor Gelzer, Treasurer; Nathaniel I. Nowell, Parliamentarian; and Laura E. Tatman, Reporter. Woodbridge High School’s first graduation class was in 1970. The new high school opened in 2014.