LIBERTY - Members of the Liberty Junior Senior High School Class of 2012 closed the books on their high school careers Saturday evening during a commencement in the school auditorium honoring 33 graduates.
The ceremony not only marked a landmark in the lives of the students, but also the school's. It was the school's 100th graduating class, according to keynote speaker Benjamin Zeafla, a member of the school's Class of 1962.
Zeafla, who was introduced by Melissa Vollman, class salutatorian, gave a brief history of the school, from which 10 students graduated in 1913.
Brooke Scott-Knecht, president of the Liberty High School Class of 2012, speaks Saturday during the school’s commencement ceremony.
He focused most of his remarks on comments and words of advice provided by nine former students - one from each decade the school has existed - and one current student, Brian J. Heyd, who received his diploma a short time later.
To represent the school's first decade, he read a poem written by Ruby Bastian Beck, Class of 1918, then the other comments in chronological order, by decade.
The advice of Dorothy Persun Watkins, Class of 1942, was "Pay attention," while Larry Mase, Class of 1952, said, "Go for it."
David Raker, Class of 1972, remembered a teacher who predicted the widespread use of computers and told students to learn typing to increase proficiency on the keyboard.
Zeafla himself remembered a teacher whose effective cure for inattentiveness was an "aggressive slap on the back of the head," but said his education at the school laid the foundation for his success in life.
His advice to the Class of 2012: "If it's worth doing, its worth doing right."
The ceremony included the singing of the National Anthem by seniors Jessica Fizzano and Mark Munford, an invocation by Fizzano, and greeting by Brooke Scott-Knecht, class president.
During her address to her classmates, Kathryn Moyer, valedictorian, encouraged them to "dream big but stay firmly rooted in what you believe."
"One person can make a difference," she said. "That person is you."
School Board President Barbara Shull and Brian Litzelman, class co-adviser, presented diplomas to the graduates, while high school Principal Francis M. Jaquish, who is retiring this year, and Erin Litzelman, class co-adviser, presented student awards.