Cape High graduates celebrate commencement

Threat of storms moved ceremony inside
June 8, 2018

Cape High Principal Nikki Miller told the Class of 2018 they will always hold a special place in her heart.

“You were born the year I graduated high school, and you were the first class to enter my first year at Cape when you were freshmen,” she said. “Now, in my first year as principal, you are the first graduating class which I’ve had the pleasure of addressing.”

On June 5, 365 Cape High seniors took their last walk as high school students. The threat of evening storms moved the celebration inside; those with tickets watched the ceremony in the gymnasium, others via broadcast in the school theater. 

Class President Zach Gelof, fresh from Cape baseball’s state championship game the night before, reflected on the many people who helped the graduates throughout their school years.

“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our support system,” he said. “You make us all feel like family. You make Cape a special place to live and grow up. Let’s give back to our Cape community or any community that becomes your home.”

Valedictorian Emma Ballentine told classmates that as Cape alumni they will always have someone to talk to.

“We’re Vikings, each and every one of us,” she said. “That kind of camaraderie exists in all aspects of Cape, creating an atmosphere that is inclusive and supportive.”

As a gift to the school, the Class of 2018 purchased a light and timer to install on the school’s flagpole so the American flag will be illuminated, day or night.

Commencement speaker and Cape grad Carrie Lingo relayed to students a conversation she had with Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, when both Olympians had to take daily ice baths to aid their recoveries. 

“I brought up an event that was happening at home for me here in Sussex County,” she said. “The community was getting together to throw a party for me at the Rusty Rudder, where a bunch of the Cape athletes, parents and friends were getting together to celebrate and watch one of my games. He could not believe this was happening. His town was not doing anything of the nature.”

Lingo filled him in about the Cape Region’s well-known support of its community members.

“The community still shows the same love and support to its members on a daily basis,” she said. “You will go forward with that support behind you.”

Cape seniors received more than $2 million in scholarships. Among the 72 institutions of higher learning Cape graduates will attend are University of Virginia, Emerson College, Princeton University, Virginia Tech, Tulane University, Pace University and Pennsylvania State University.

This story has been updated.
Cape Gazette will publish a special booklet honoring the Cape Henlopen High School graduates in its Friday, June 15 edition.