Montrose Area graduates 102

Amanda Rucker is awarded her diploma at Montrose graduation on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO/PAT FARNELLI

Amanda Rucker is awarded her diploma at Montrose graduation on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO/PAT FARNELLI

BY PAT FARNELLI

Principal James Tallarico said that more than any other class in Montrose Area High School history, the one gathered Saturday was dedicated to service, and had overcome its share of adversity.

“One thing that defines this class is service,” he said, noting that senior projects and other endeavors by the class of 2013 have involved serving others, both nearby, in other states, and in some cases even abroad.

Salutatorian David Koloski told his classmates “never let the bitter taste of failure dull your appetite for success.”

Koloski, who as student technical worker for the past four years has been called “integral” to the school district, had also been individually selected for the Scholastic Bowl’s National Hall of Fame.
Valedictorian Mollie Host used an analogy of a twin compass from John Donne’s poem, “A Valediction Forbidding Mourning.”

She compared the fixed leg of the compass to the knowledge, confidence, service and character of the students’ families, teachers, and other school figures.

The movable leg represents the students, she said, who will swing gradually outward, but remain connected to their anchor.

“It is no secret that I have had a difficult medical adversity,” Host continued.

“Two years ago, I was re-diagnosed with Lyme disease, which in turn caused me to have Tourette’s like symptoms,” she said.

Host described the strange vocalizations her symptoms caused.

These outbursts caused her some embarrassment and missed opportunities during her high school years, but she earned a first chair ranking in the PMEA State Band her senior year.

“I do not reveal this information because I’m looking for others to treat me differently or to feel sorry for me, but rather to let all of you know how deeply grateful I am to the entire senior class, student body, faculty, staff and administration for adjusting so quickly, for acting so compassionately and kindly, for coming up alongside of me, for continuing to expect excellence for me and for never seeing me as the girl who has Tourette’s,” she said.

Host concluded, “Each of you will leave here and continue to bless others. I commend you and I congratulate each one of you of the class of 2013. God bless you!”