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Montgomery Area High School held 107th commencement

By Staff | Jun 7, 2011

Montgomery graduates march to "Pomp and Circumstance" as they enter the front of the athletic complex building Friday night. Alec Galanti (L) is Salutatorian, Derek Russell is valedictorian (middle) with Junior Class President, John Goetz.

MONTGOMERY – Dressed in bright red and white cap and gowns, this year’s senior class held its commencement exercises on Friday evening 7 p.m. at the Montgomery Area Athletic and Community Center. It was the 107th year for the annual event, and the inside stadium was filled to capacity.

Followed by the National Anthem and the presentation of colors by the US Army, High School principal introduced Salutatorian, Alec Galanti and Valedictorian, Derek M. Russell.

Galanti who describes himself as quiet and shy, wants to major in finance and has been accepted at Penn State. “The way we confront things is what describes us as individuals,” he told his fellow classmates. “Never forget the past and the people in your life today,” he added explaining how coaches, parents, teachers and classmates have influenced him during his years in high school. “Our past allows us to welcome our future!”

Superintendent Daphne Ross welcomed everyone and encouraged the graduates to walk off the stage and become a productive citizen. “If you can believe, you can achieve,” she told them before introducing Valedictorian, Derek M. Russell who gave the commencement address. Russell encouraged his classmates to choose open doors to progress through life. “No matter what path you choose, nothing is set in stone. The world is full of opportunities,” said the senior who will be attending Shippensburg University in the fall as a math major.

Keynote speaker was Corey Mowrey from the class of 2001 and is now an attorney in Williamsport. “Make a difference,” the alumni said as he retold the story of a young woman he helped in a domestic violence situation. “She thanked me, and sent me a card with a special note on how I made a difference in her life. She no longer had to live in fear from her abusive husband. Go make an impact and don’t underestimate your abilities. Your job is only an extension of your talents. Learn to fail and fail to learn,” he advised.

After the diplomas were presented and the colors retired, the graduates marched out to John Philip Sousa’s “Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.” 61 scholarship awards sponsored by donations and community organizations were given to the students.