Among the many graduates of the Class of 2012, one student in particular signified the depth of its spirit.
, who was prior to her graduation day in 2011, walked Tuesday evening with the class of 2012—one year after her true graduation date.
It was a moment that pulsed through the crowd. When Fowler received her diploma, she did so to a spontaneous and emotional ovation.
Tiara Washington opened the remarks with a student address that swung on her childhood predictions of a shiny, robotic future like The Jetsons. Although it has yet to occur, she has faith that someday it will.
“Go out and make the community proud,” Washington told her classmates. “One of us could design those shiny flying cars.”
said, “I’m excited for what’s in store for each one of us.
“We are the next generation," he told them. "This was our year and tonight is our night."
Student Council President Jenna Deets urged her peers to capitalize on their opportunities through their “ambition, talent and skill.”
Valedictorian Angela Bouton inspired her classmates to be “the authors of [their] own lives.
“Go out and follow your dreams, and good night and good luck,” she concluded.
Principal Edward Hill quickly grabbed the audience with a quip about senioritis, and his good humor drew them in for a serious thank-you.
“Parents are unsung heroes in every child’s life,” said Hill.
Hill singled out for special recognition : Kimberly Stokes (Army), Nathan Raingvirtz (Marines), and Dominique Parsons (Marines).
He then welcomed all the graduating students into "" and explained how they are a “special part of the Collingswood tradition.
“For the rest of your lives, there are no more hall passes,” Hill said.
Walking off the football field, diploma in hand, indicates a new start for every graduate. Samantha Wahl, who is headed to Rowan University this fall, said she felt "like I'm starting over completely.
“It’s crazy thinking about how different my life is going to be now," she said.