WEIRTON - Parents, friends and educators gathered at the Carl Hamill Field House on Thursday to watch and celebrate the 96th graduating class of Weir High School.
Approximately 140 students took that traditional walk in their caps and gowns to receive diplomas. Allison Viakley opened the ceremony with the national anthem before the Class of 2012 was greeted by several students and staff members, including students with the highest honors.
Michael Mastromichalis, who graduated at the top of the class, addressed the audience. He said there was no need for the Class of 2012 to heed what the critics would say and encouraged his fellow classmates to put forth their best efforts. He said students will get out of life what they put into it and that may mean coming up short before achieving successes.
"If we fail, at least we will know we did our best and can improve our mistakes," he said. "That is how we measure victory and defeat."
Mastromichalis said there may be many obstacles and trials ahead, but if those obstacles are overcome in the end the reward will be worth it. He encouraged students to step out into their new lives with joy and strive for prosperity.
Principal Dan Enich presented the students to Superintendent Suzan Smith.
Smith said she was pleased to be in attendance and accept the Class of 2012 for graduation.
"We have indeed come to celebrate your educational achievements but this is only the beginning and there are many challenges ahead," she said. "Go forward and pursue your dreams with confidence and happiness."
Each graduate was called to receive their diplomas before engaging in the traditional tossing of the caps.
"Congratulations and the best of luck," added Smith.