The 263 graduating seniors at Solanco High School were told at Friday’s commencement that while they may leave after graduation, they will always have a place in Quarryville.
The ceremony, which took place at the high school’s football field, sent the high school graduates out into the world with the reminder that Solanco High School would always be a place of refuge and nostalgia.
U.S. Air Force Capt. Joseph Bledsoe III, a 2007 Solanco graduate, returned to his high school and shared his experience of serving in the Middle East in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and the many things he learned during that time.
Bledsoe told the Class of 2019 to “be proud of your roots.”
“As your thoughts are focused in the future, I advise you to keep them rooted in the past,” he said.
Bledsoe, who joined the Air Force 20 days after he graduated in 2007, said that while he has lived in numerous states and countries, Quarryville will forever be his “home.”
Bledsoe told the students that it’s OK to feel as if they need to escape Quarryville. He said that it wasn’t until he left that he realized the value of his home community.
“I simply want you to remember where you started, so then you can truly measure how far you’ve come,” Bledsoe said.
Class valedictorian David Harvey echoed a similar thought and reminded his peers to be positive community members wherever they settle.
“I hope you remember Solanco and make this community proud by going and improving yours,” he said.
And while there will be struggles, Harvey said, the Solanco school community will always be available for support, and the only way to grow stronger is through friends and family.
“We have a community to support us and a community to contribute to that can be a sturdy foundation for us,” he said.
Salutatorian Faith Rineer also spoke.