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State College High School Graduates 561 Students at the Bryce Jordan Center

by on June 07, 2015 12:00 PM

Sir Edward Elgar's unmistakable "Pomp and Circumstance" was played at the Bryce Jordan Center on Saturday morning.

Graduation caps were thrown into the air and hundreds of students moved on from State College High School, ready to go to the next level and for many that means heading to college.

The graduating senior class was comprised of 561 students who received their diplomas, officially marking the end of their time at State High. 

At the top of the class is Enrique Del Castillo, who was born in Texas and has lived the vast majority of his life in State College. Del Castillo, whose parents hail from Mexico City, was the senior class valedictorian, graduating with a 4.9 GPA.

"For me, having the honor of being the valedictorian is a reflection of the hard work I put in to accomplish this goal I had set in my mind," he says. "My main motivation in school was to learn as much as I could and to prepare me for further studies in college by gaining as wide of a knowledge base as possible."

Del Castillo will attend Princeton University in the fall. And while he isn't entirely sure what he wants to study, he has his sights set on geoscience and applied mathematics. As he moves on to the next step in life, Del Castillo will surely miss his hometown. 

"I'll miss my family, some of my friends who live here, and the tranquility of the town," he says.

And for his fellow graduating seniors, Del Castillo has some succinct words of advice. 

"To work as hard as possible and to never settle for complacency," he says.

At the graduation ceremony, superintendent Bob O'Donnell addressed the students, poking some fun at their love of snow delays. But on a more serious note, O'Donnell imparted some words of wisdom on the high school graduates.

He gave the class three pieces of advice. The first was to work toward creating a life they enjoy and appreciate, not just a resume that looks good on a piece of paper. The second is to emphasize education and put their all into their studies at the collegiate level. And lastly, O'Donnell reminded the students to stay in touch with their parents and call home once a week. 

The touching ceremony also included a speech from class president Jimmy Steff, who reminded his fellow graduating seniors to keep their childhood in mind no matter where they go next.

"Don't forget to stay young," he says. "Use that enthusiasm you had when you were a child in your new life."

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Zach Berger is the managing editor of StateCollege.com. He graduated from Penn State University in 2014 with a degree in print journalism. Zach enjoys writing about a variety of topics ranging from football to government, music, and everything in between.
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