Over the next two weekends, the Valley will send a new batch of high school graduates into the real world. From Turbotville to Freeburg to Mandata and Mayberry, our young adults will mark a great milestone in their lives.
We will undoubtedly hear during graduation speeches this step marks both a beginning and an end for the students. Some will start working for a living, while others head off to college or into the military. There is no wrong step forward; everybody's path is different, with different forks.
So, it is a good time to reflect on this milestone and to put this accomplishment into perspective. During their rambunctious year, we heard of the kids, our kids, getting in trouble at a post-prom party or driving too fast or staying out too late. We heard about bomb threats and bully clubs.
All those things happened. But they happen everywhere. For the most part, we live in a wonderful place with good people and the latest generation waiting to make its mark is off to a very good start.
These are students who have spent 13 years taking standardized tests to prove how well educated they are. No one is the sum of his or her test scores. Our students have made considerable impact in and out of the classrooms.
Many soon-to-be graduates have already received scholarships to some of the nation's top universities. Others will learn at awards ceremonies that they too have been honored for their work as students, citizens and athletes.
Outside of the classroom there have been significant accomplishments that represent the Valley in a glowing light, sometimes in a spotlight for our renown musicians, chorus groups, speech, debate and drama teams.
More than 50 students represented their schools at the PIAA Track & Field Championships recently, where one of the youngest -- Selinsgrove sophomore Courtney McCartney -- became her schools' first track & field champion in more than a decade.
At Shikellamy, Joselle DeRemer's seventh grade Communication Arts classes raised nearly $5,000 for cystic fibrosis. Students from Milton, Danville and Northumberland Christian are heading to the Future Business Leaders of America championships next month and others are taking part in Future Farmers of America plant sales or volunteering at a local park to get it ready for summer.
Thank you, graduates, and your parents for the energy, exuberance, accomplishment and renewal you gave this Valley. All the best.