CHESTER North Warren Central teacher and coach Poul Carstensen, guest speaker at the school’s graduation ceremonies, stepped to the lectern and looked at the graduates-to-be.
“I am the only thing that now stands between you and your diplomas — I haven’t felt this much power since keeping you in for recess,” he joked.
North Warren’s ceremonies Saturday June 23 featured quips and quirks that showcased the innovation, humor and spontaneity of the Class of 2012.
On the last class period of the final day of the school year, the Class of 2012 strolled through the school’s hallways and serenaded teachers and undergrads with a song.
At their commencement celebration, there were more surprises in store.
Class Valedictorian Jennifer Paris and Salutatorian Caitlyn Kenney gave a joint graduation speech rather than separate ones as is traditional.
In a back-and-forth dialogue delving in and out of comedy, Paris and Kenney described the attributes, foibles and adventures of the Class of 2012 through the years.
Paris said the class was academically inclined, noting that half of its members were on the school’s Honor Roll.
“My classmates have not only aimed high, but they’ve also achieved their goals,” she said. “They’re not afraid to work hard.”
Complimenting Kenney’s notebook doodling that resembled floating jellyfish, Paris said that her classmates’ achievements extended beyond academics into the artistic and musical realms.
“The flow of creativity never seems to stop,” she said.
School employees, parents and community members all offered vital support and guidance through the years, Paris added.
“Thanks to everyone who’s influenced our lives,” Paris said.
The duo recalled various highlights in the experiences of the Class of 2012, talking of nazi zombies, fractured fairy tales and school pranks.
For the traditional senior prank, their class had spelled out 2012 on the school’s glass entranceway with hundreds of Post-It notes, they observed.