On June 4, 365 seniors took their last walk as high school students as the 50th graduating class of Cape Henlopen High School entered Legends Stadium.
Cape High Principal Nikki Miller said this year’s class earned millions in scholarships and grants. She told the Class of 2019 they were caring, spirited and fun. “You are everything we would want in a graduating class,” Miller said.
Miller told students the negative marks they make are as important as the positive ones. “Learn from others’ mistakes so you don’t make the same ones,” she said. “Always make a positive impact.”
Cape Superintendent Bob Fulton said the Class of 2019 was the first graduating class to have attended all-day kindergarten in the district. “So you must be smarter,” he joked. “You’ve had 240 more hours and 80 more days of instruction.”
Fulton told students to be happy, to be safe and to enjoy the exciting times ahead. “Make the most of every opportunity that comes your way,” he said. “I wish you a life of success and happiness.”
Class President Claire Raisin thanked all of the staff members who helped students succeed. “There’s something special about this class,” she said. “Together, we are stronger. We chose to accept and love each other.”
Claire called her classmates pioneers who will better humanity. “Grab your surfboards and join me on the beach,” she said. “I love this class.”
Valedictorian Maryann Tietbohl told classmates to give back to the community that has supported them. “Discover who you are and what you want to be,” she said. “I can’t wait to see what all our futures bring.”
Commencement speaker Sen. Ernie Lopez, R-Lewes, asked students to stand, turn toward the bleachers and give their families and loved ones a standing ovation. “They have all helped you arrive at this moment,” he said.
Lopez spoke about spending summers in Puerto Rico with his grandmother, who loved to tell the story of how his parents met. After his father tried to get his mother’s attention by hurling an orange at the back of her head, his grandmother collared his dad, and dragged him by the shirt to his mother and made him apologize.
“She was always intentional about making time for the most important people in her life,” he said. “Her loving presence and perseverance paid off with the richest of rewards: beautifully shared moments which became memories lasting a lifetime. Friends, it is by the deliberate act of crafting time, not finding time that makes a moment. Individually, each graduate here tonight has brought all of us together in one place in a great union of celebration honoring one fantastic graduating class.”
Among the institutions of higher learning Cape graduates will attend are Penn State University, Pace University, Princeton University, Tulane University and Virginia Tech.