Seaford High School graduation ceremony held for class of 2018

By Lynn Schofer

The Seaford High School commencement for the 2018 graduating class was held last Friday evening. The resonating theme throughout the night was pursuing a passion in life through knowing your truth, living strong values, and staying strong through adversity.

Keynote speaker State Representative and Seaford High Alum Daniel Short shared his story of a lost dream changing to a personal and professional blessing.I have come full circle standing on these grounds 50 years ago this month to receive my high school diploma in this very building. Ive experienced life challenges and survived and 50 years later I stand before you.

Representative Short who is respected for his service work to the state and our community shared personal stories of his life, There are many paths you can take and none of them necessarily are wrong but you may end up in a totally different place than you planned.

Through each of his stories a moral was developed that Representative Short shared, Always have a backup plan no matter what; take a chance in life, you have nothing to lose; build relationships along the way, be nice and receptive to those you meet and youll never go wrong; Always show love and tell your loved ones how you feel.

Seaford High School Principal Terry Carson presented a Blue Jay high school football jersey (# 84) to Representative Short representing the number he wore while a football player at Seaford.

Carson, in her fourth year as principal, expressed excitement as she congratulated the 168 graduates that she began her leadership with at Seaford High School. You are my Blue Jay family and I love each of you just like you are my own child.We care about each other and it feels good to come in this building, Carson said.

Mrs. Carson introduced the local dignitaries attending the graduation: school board members Rebecca Adams, David Tull, Jeffrey Benson, Mike Kraft, Kim Hopkins; State Senator Bryant Richardson; Seaford Mayor David Genshaw; Sussex County Council President Michael Vincent; Seaford City Manager Charles Anderson; and City Council members Orlando Holland, Dan Henderson, and James King.

Seaford School District Superintendent David Perrington journeyed the class back to August 29, 2005, their first day of school, 111,826 hours ago it was your first day of school, walking into a building you were not sure what was going to happen. Mr. Perringtons message encouraged the graduates to build a future on strong values and service, May your choice be wise, your decisions be strong, your friendships be many. Know the power and impact your words.

School Board president Rebecca Adams spoke to the class, You are in charge of what you will be or not be as an adult. Be an active participant, keep moving forward. Decide what is important to you.

Class president Dylan Norman, who also served in the National Honor Society, honor Key, and as Commanding Officer of the NJROTC spoke to his classmates, We not only possess academic prowess, but artistic ability and unique character as well. It is important to thank those who have made our four years successful.

Norman thanked the class advisors Shari Cannon and Richard Norman.He also thanked Carson, Our principal is great because of her professionalism and pride that make her the best principal this school has had in decades.

Salutatorian Elizabeth Cataldi, who will attend Nova South Eastern University and study Political Science is the class Salutatorian, excelled while participating in the University of Delaware Academic Challenge and Advancement Placement, graduating with a GPA of 1.0246.Cataldi also participated in student government, Key Club, Pathways to Success, National Honor Society, Talent Search. She travelled to Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia as part of the Student Ambassador Program.She played softball, volleyball, and indoor track.

The class Valedictorian, Kaitlyn McKinney, is the class Vice-president and was involved with Key Club, Student Government,

Future Health Professionals, All-State Chorus, and a plethora of other clubs.She is a nationally recognized state leader and will attend the University of Delaware with a double major in Medical diagnostics and molecular biology.McKinney finished high school with a 1.3347 GPA.Addressing the audience and classmates their valedictorian said, In order to be standing here today we all had to move forward through individual obstacles and personal battles where perseverance can determine failure or success.

Kaitlyn honored her mother who fought three battles of cancer in the last 14 years and triumphed with a five-year clean health record, My father worked to support our family and my mother pushed through keeping our family life as normal as possible, she said.

She shared the valuable lessons she learned from her parents, Education is the most important because knowledge is the one thing no one can take away from you; do everything to the best of your ability, always go after every opportunity because you never know when it will be your last.

Recognizing that everyone will fall on difficult times, McKinney encouraged her class, Happiness can be found in the darkest of times if you simply remember to turn on the lights. Build from your roots and never allow pride and ego destroy your opportunities. Dont quit at just being good, because good is not good enough until you are better and better is not good enough until you are your best, and with her infectious smile she added, We did it!

Carson encouraged the class, Find your truth, find out what your core values and live true to your values. Mrs. Carson also told the class, Step back, relax, and learn how to breath when going through lifes struggles. In closing she added, I honor you class of 2018 in peace and love and I want you to find your truth.You will always be my special class.

Carson spoke of two great losses to the Seaford school family, Two people who should have been with us tonight Mr. Phil Livingston and classmate Makala Byrd. Carson showed everyone a rock that had been painted by Makala Byrd, This rock sat on my desk and every day I touch the rock. She added, Mr. Livingston was a permanent fixture in SHS.He loved us and we loved him very much.

Norman presented flowers to the families in attendance.

Class honors and awards were recognized as well as students who enlisted and are going into the military to serve our country. After the presentation of diplomas and change of tassels the class exploded with cheers and confetti to celebrate its commencement.

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