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Valley School Stories


Last Wednesday, June 5, twenty eighth-graders graduated from Valley School of Ligonier. The ceremony began with music played by the Upper School orchestra led by Mrs. Debbie Mewherter and a procession of all Valley School faculty and staff, followed by the school administration and, finally, the graduates filed into the auditorium. Dr. Jon Strecker greeted the graduates, their families, current students, and the community to the Vasu Gutti Performing Arts Stage for commencement. Rev. Bryan Jarrell from Epiphany Anglican Fellowship in Ligonier gave a blessing. The classmates sang “Count On Me” by Bruno Mars accompanied on the piano by Mr. Brian Jinks. Three students performed a song that they composed and wrote lyrics for as a wish for their classmates’ future life journeys.

Dr. Strecker shared his fond memories of the Class of 2024. Four classmates took to the microphone to share words written to their fellow eighth-graders, reminiscing about the times they shared as a class and reminding each other of their peers’ positive attributes. The eighth-grade advisors Mr. Mark McNeil, Mrs. Cassie Nolfi, and Mr. Brandon Snyder shared three wishes with the graduates: to be kind, to be resilient, and to have the courage to follow their passions. Next, Dr. Strecker and Mr. David Kirkland presented the School Prize to the highest academic achieving student. Dr. Strecker and Mr. Ralph Artuso ‘71 (Board of Trustees Vice President) then gave the Founders’ Award to the student who best carried out the founders’ mission and vision for Valley School, including the four Valley Core Values. Next, Ms. Allie Arendas honored the students who completed over 50 hours of community service with the Rosemary Smith Award. Finally, the graduates received their diplomas and cords from Dr. Strecker, Mr. Artuso, Mr. Kirkland, and Ms. Arendas. The ceremony concluded with another blessing from Rev. Bryan Jarrell and the orchestra playing “Pomp and Circumstance” as the newly graduated students processed out of the auditorium, ready for the next step in their educational careers.

Valley School of Ligonier

Address: 153 Lupine Lane, Rector PA 15677
Mail: PO Box 616 Ligonier, PA 15658
Phone: (724) 238-6652  Fax: (724) 238-6838
In an environment that is safe, challenging, nurturing, and disciplined, Valley School provides a balanced and strong program of study for a diverse group of children. Our goal is to stimulate in each young person lifelong habits of moral behavior, seeking wisdom, and doing good works for others.
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