STEUBENVILLE - Friends, faculty and family gathered Sunday in Catholic Central High School's Lanman Hall to wish the graduating Class of 2013 the best in the future to come.
Graduates filed into the auditorium to the strains of "Pomp and Circumstance" and the national anthem as played by the school marching band, after which the invocation was presented and Steubenville Mayor Domenick Mucci welcomed those gathered.
"It gives me distinct honor and pride to welcome the Class of 2013," said Mucci, adding graduates should prepare for an exciting life. "You will always be fighting crusaders."
GUEST SPEAKER — David Irvin, retired lieutenant colonel of the U.S. Air Force, was keynote speaker during commencement exercises for the 2013 graduates of Steubenvillle Catholic Central High School Sunday in the school’s Lanman Hall. -- Mark Miller
Paul Ward, director of Christian formation and schools in the Diocese of Steubenville, also welcomed the gathering. He also reminded graduates to thank parents and the community "who supported this, making Catholic education possible for our graduates today."
Salutatorian Madeline Miller said she had remained a quiet observer during her years in high school, studying, having fun and playing in the band.
"It's a bit unbelievable high school is over now, but really we did have some fun," she said, adding the class was graduating from the school with distinction. "Everyone one of us is continuing onto higher education."
She also told fellow graduates they had "real potential to change the world," and entering into adulthood would mean "It's time for us to move on, with a new set of problems before us."
Valedictorian Jaylynn Buchmelter told graduates "The purpose of our lives is to change the world for the better," and that God had given each graduate a special talent or ability.
"Always do what you love, and cherish the present," she said.
Buchmelter also said graduates shouldn't be in too big of a hurry to grow up but enjoy their young lives while they can. She said it may seem to be an unhappy world "But we're all connected as humans." She added graduates should be kind to others, and "do small favors for each other.
"We should all make an effort to learn," she concluded.
Guest speaker David Irvin, retired lieutenant colonel of the U.S. Air Force, used humor in his address, joking most wouldn't remember what he said after his speech. He also quoted an individual who said that "No one is special because everyone is special."
Irvin went on to say "The best way to live a life worth living is to (get involved in) something bigger than yourself. We can find a way to service others by being members in our community or our family."
Irwin said his military career was all about working as a team rather than individualism, and the military even changed the way he talked. He asked graduates to take their values with them after they leave the school.
"Take Christian values you learned here with you, and you will be tested," he continued. "You are special because there is a God who created you. Welcome to the beginning of adulthood."
Diplomas were then presented to graduates.