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Pleasantville High School Class Of 2012 Graduates

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – The Pleasantville High School class of 2012 went out with a bang.

A booming thunderstorm forced the graduation ceremony indoors Friday evening but could not dampen the mood of the 140 outgoing seniors or be heard over the applause from their proud parents.

Throughout the ceremony, student speeches focused on finding success in the future and the various paths the students will take in getting there. While senior speaker Thomas Gilroy told his classmates that getting GPAs and good jobs are important, he said it’s equally important to have fun along the way.

“Never forget to give in to curiosity every once in a while, and don’t be afraid to break away from the beaten path,” he said. “You might just learn something.”

Salutatorian Alana Englebrecht shared similar sentiments and urged her classmates to eschew traditions and avoid “pencil-pushing” jobs they might take because they feel it is what they are supposed to do.

“Life is not about filling in the outline of the individual you think you should be. Create your own outline of individuality and it will fill itself with vibrant colors,” she said. “I’m not saying you should abandon what you’re good at, but maybe also try extreme yodeling, even if you can’t sing.”

Among those joining the school for the ceremony was Mayor Peter Scherer, Police Chief Richard Love and the Pleasantville High School Class of 1962, which was celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Principal Dawn Bartz and Superintendent Mary Fox-Alter were among the administrators who took to the auditorium lecturn to share their departing words of wisdom with the graduating seniors.

“When challenges present themselves, take these as opportunities to test your mettle and to become even better,” Bartz said. “Don’t ever forget that greatness always follows behind failure.”

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