Kennett High School graduates Class of 2016

A fond farewell to a class remembered as ‘family’


Kennett Consolidate School District Board of Education President Kendra LaCosta presents diplomas to graduates of Kennett High School, Friday night.

By Kelly O’Hara, Correspondent, The Times

KENNETT SQUARE — In keeping with the honored tradition, Kennett High School held it’s 125th graduation on the front steps of the school.

Class President, James Nolan Joyce, gave the opening address for the 285 members of the graduating class of 2016. He joked about how they had endured many fads during their years at KHS including the gangnam style dance, the whip nae nae and most notably, the invention of the “selfie” … and then turned and took a selfie of himself and his classmates behind him and was met with loud applause! He then spoke more seriously about how KHS has prepared the class for the future and said “we can go from Kennett Square to Anywhere!”

In the first of four commencement speeches, Julie E. Bates “Celebrated the Past,” and spoke about the many school experiences leading up to graduation and the moments, both big and small, that have prepared them for the “real world.”   In Hannah M. Sirusas’ speech, “Recognizing our Endurance,” she compared the different ways students have prepared for tests to being prepared for the next step after graduation. She talked about the highs and lows of high school and how all of these experiences have helped to “make us ready!”


In keeping with long tradition, Kennet High graduates entered the ceremony down the school’s front steps, as everyone enjoyed the perfect weather, Friday evening.

Alexander D. Mark gave the third speech, “Appreciating our Blessings.” He reminded the class how fortunate they were to have had the education provided to them at Kennett. He spoke of the schools that don’t have the same resources and even other countries where kids do not have opportunity to experience the education that they received. He asked his classmates to remember that no matter what the challenge or struggle, they earned a degree and are “torch bearers of education” with a responsibility to pass it on.

In the fourth speech, “Realizing our Potential,” Christian S. Beveridge spoke of optimism. He reminded his classmates to stay optimistic and recognize the amazing opportunity before them and, as they will be the next generation of scientists, engineers, surgeons and teachers. He ended by saying “Have a fun summer and then go change the world!”

Superintendent, Barry Tomasetti thanked the staff, parents, teachers and all others that had supported the graduates throughout their careers. He told the class of 2016 that he was “filled with pride knowing (they) would do great things.”

Before she awarded the diplomas, school board President, Kendra LaCosta, spoke about the “personality” of the class of 2016 and said the best word to describe this class was “kind.”

This sentiment was echoed by first year Principal Jeremy Hritz, who became emotional during his speech. He told the graduates that it was an honor and pleasure getting to know them. He witnessed their leadership, sincere support of each other and their coming together as both a team and a family and said that it was obvious that they sincerely want to see each other succeed. “That,” he said, “IS the Class of 2016.”

Hritz concluded by letting them know how proud he was of them and said “Without question…We are all better people and we are a better school because of you.”

During the ceremony, Jeffery J. Thomas, Assistant Principal, announced that as of May 23rd, the Class of 2016 collectively earned $10.1 million in scholarships, grants and awards.

Becca Shoemaker was awarded the high school’s highest honor, the W. Earle Rupert Memorial Cub, which is given to the senior member of the National Honor society who, in the judgment of the faculty, is deserving of the special honor by virtue of scholarship, school spirit and service to Kennett High School. Shoemaker’s name will be inscribed on the cup.

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