Wildcat Pride was bursting from the audience at Western Wayne’s Veterans Memorial Auditorium on the evening of Friday, June 9, for the graduation of the class of 2023.
Senior Evan Peirce, president of the class of 2023, gave the welcome address. He reminded his fellow classmates how unique they are.
“The 23 in 2023 is a prime number, meaning it’s a product of itself unable to be found anywhere else,” Peirce, who has joined the Navy, explained. “Always remember that each of you is a product of your own actions. I challenge you to remember where you came from, remember your definition of success, and enjoy the journey as well as the destination and, above all, once a Wildcat always a Wildcat.”
Later, Evan presented the Class Mantel to Taylor Maiocco, junior class president.
Following the presentation of the mantle, the class salutatorian and valedictorian gave speeches.
Senior Jenna Kwiatkowski, Waymart, was named the salutatorian of the class of 2023. Jenna is the daughter of Christine and Anthony Kwiatkowski.
Along with being an excellent academic student, Jenna was involved in many Western Wayne clubs and activities. She has been in FBLA for four years. She was in Nationals for FBLA last year and won States for FBLA in her junior and senior years as well as attending the state competition for four years. She also won an FBLA scholarship this year.
In addition, she has been on Envirothon for three years and placed second overall this year for the region with her group as well as placing first for forestry with her group. Also, she has done the Science Olympiad Team for two years. As well for her senior year she was a part of the Western Wayne Student Ambassador Program. She was on the Scholastic Team her junior year, NHS for three years, and NHAS for her senior year.
Jenna will attend Bucknell University to study cell biology and biochemistry. She aspires to be an epidemiologist and study infectious diseases. She also wishes to pursue a master’s degree.
Her favorite school memory is when her beloved science teacher Ms. Masankay allowed their AP Chem class to have funerals for their class fish who died. She also, of course, values all of the academic knowledge she has gained at Western Wayne, especially from her science classes.
“Western Wayne has taught me how to persevere and keep going through the hard times,” Jenna said. “I feel very ready to move on to college to study science more intensely due to the rigor of my courses at Western Wayne especially in my advanced classes with Ms. Masankay.”
In her salutatorian speech, Jenna reminded her classmates of the importance of never giving up. She quoted the poem “Keep Going” by Edgar Guest and ended her speech by saying the following.
“Always pick yourself back up and keep trudging along,” Jenna told her fellow 2023 graduates encouraging them to always pursue their dreams no matter what closed doors they may face in their lives.
Fellow classmate Kylie Merring, Lake Ariel, was named valedictorian of the class of 2023. Kylie is the daughter of Jacqueline and Ronald Merring.
Kylie also has done numerous activities both inside and outside of the classroom at Western Wayne. She has participated in FBLA, FCCLA, NHS, Spanish Club, Scholastic Team – Vice President, STEAM Program Volunteer, Breakfast with Santa Volunteer, and was a Breakfast with the Easter Bunny Volunteer.
Kylie’s favorite school memory is more than one singular moment.
“I would say it is a combination of each of the valuable friendships I have formed over the years,” Kylie explained. “I have multiple friendships that have lasted numerous years and hopefully will continue after graduation. These friendships hold a special place in my heart. I am eternally grateful for the memories that have been made throughout these friendships.”
She will attend The University of Scranton for a bachelor’s degree in business administration. She also has been accepted into an accelerated master’s degree program for health administration.
“My time at Western Wayne has already helped me plan my future,” she said. “It has helped me discover my passion for business and mathematics, allowing me to settle on my major of business administration. I have also been greatly inspired by numerous teachers. They have taught me to always pursue my dreams no matter how many challenges I have encountered along the way. My time at Western Wayne has been extremely valuable and will continue to assist me throughout the next journeys of my life.”
Kylie echoed her classmate Evan Peirce in her graduation speech saying, “We have made it this far and will continue to be successful; the Wildcat way is success nothing less.”
Following the speeches, all graduates received their diplomas and were presented as the Class of 2023 to the audience. They then sang the school’s alma mater one last time as a class on stage. The Western Wayne School District wishes all the graduates the best in their bright futures.