By: Amy Wendt
On Sunday, May 28, thirty-four graduates from the Hilltop Class of 2023 received their diplomas at the 139th Hilltop High School Commencement.
Instead of prelude music, family and friends were treated to a slide show, showcasing memorable photos of the graduates throughout their growth and transformation.
The seniors then entered the high school gymnasium to the Cadet band performing the processional music.
Once the class was seated, the Senior Cadet Chorale members joined the rest of the chorale to perform the Star Spangled Banner and the Hilltop Alma Mater.
Class President Gabrielle Rodriguez welcomed all those in attendance before High School Principal Steven Riley took his turn at the podium to offer introductions of school board members and staff.
“Appalachian Morning” was then performed by the Cadet Band followed by a vocal performance by the Cadet Chorale entitled “I Lived.”
Following the performances, Amber Metzger, Hilltop Scholls K-12 Guidance Counselor, took a moment to recognize the Honor Students of the Senior Class. Honor Students James Bell, IV, and Mia Hancock then addressed the audience.
Principal Riley took a moment to offer Scholarship and Military Recognition.
Former Hilltop Teacher, Janie Rivera, was on hand to address the Class of 2023 and also offered well wishes from Hilltop Staff.
Following the presentation of the class by Principal Riley and acceptance by Superintendent Jim Wyse, the Millcreek-West Unity Board of Education presented diplomas to the Seniors.
The members of the Hilltop Class of 2023 are Keyin Altman, Abby Austin, Jayma Bailey, Gavin Bell, James Bell, IV, Jaden Bowers, Kyle Brown, Paige Burdine, Dylan Eisel, Trenton Funk, Aiden Funkhouser, Chelsea Gibson, Mia Hancock, Landon Heller, Jadyn Hoover, Destiny Kessinger, Chloe McAfee, Bailey Moreland, Jonathan Nelson, Tyzon Pelfrey, Elijah Perkins, Gabrielle Rodriguez, Ranie Roesch, Madisyn Routt, Quentin Runkel, Austin Skala, Colby Tyler, Matayvia Van Zile, Jasmine Varnado, Jaydin Verdin, Destiny Wilson, Annika Wright, Aubri Wyatt, and Kyla Zuver.
Class Vice-President Mia Hancock offered her fellow classmates and the audience closing remarks before the band played a musical selection for the recessional.
As they bid farewell to their high school years, the Hilltop Class of 2023 imparts invaluable advice to underclassmen: “Don’t take your high school experience for granted and be respectful toward others.”
The Hilltop’s Class of 2023 leaves a legacy that celebrates unity, perseverance, and the power of making a difference, inspiring admiration from all who have witnessed their journey.
Amy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org