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NL grads told each has chance to make an impact

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    Class Salutatorian Ivan Zheng entertains the Northern Lehigh High School Class of 2019 during commencement exercises on Friday. Visit for a photo gallery and video. TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS

Published June 15. 2019 05:46AM


They entered high school as an unwritten book, eager to fill the empty pages.

But, no matter what they wrote in their books, the diplomas that they received represent successes and achievements, members of the Northern Lehigh High School graduation Class of 2019 were told.

High school Principal Robert Vlasaty welcomed family members during commencement exercises Friday at Bulldog Community Stadium.

A total of 138 diplomas were handed out.

Class President Katie Ann Guelcher said her speech is about “what the next step is.”

“Tonight, I want to focus my speech on one simple word: Impact,” Guelcher said. “It is such a small word, yet, so powerful.”

Guelcher said that while not everyone will follow the same career paths and receive the same opportunities, “something that each one of us will always have on a daily basis is the chance to have an impact on the people that surround us.

“I have learned that smallest actions can have the largest impact and that it is the little aspects in life that really are the most valuable,” she said. “Something as simple as being kind to somebody else can have the potential to spark a revolution.”

Salutatorian Ivan Zheng took time to thank those around them who helped the graduates get to where they are today.

“Graduation is all about celebration and achievement, and none of us would be walking this stage today without the help of our amazing support systems,” Zheng said. “From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all of our friends, families, teachers, peers, staff, and faculty here at Northern Lehigh for the years of guidance and support.”

Valedictorian Zöe Rene Kondravy told her classmates that the class has a bond that can never be broken.

One of their classmates, Olivia Rodriguez, passed away on Dec. 29, 2016.

She said Rodriguez “was a friend to many, if not all.”

Kondravy added, “There is not an event that goes by where is she is forgotten, and she will most definitely not be tonight. A tragedy like this hits hard in a small town like us. Olivia had a beautiful soul and has impacted not only our school and community, but our class, greatly.”

Student Council President Jamie Lynn Knerr recognized the Slatington High School Class of 1969 attendees who were on hand to celebrate their 50th anniversary.

Vlasaty recognized several retirees with numerous years of experience in the district.

Superintendent Matthew J. Link presented the graduation class and praised them for their achievements.

School board President Gary Fedorcha then presented the diplomas to the graduates.


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