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Mountain Echo

Online newspaper of Altoona Area High School in Altoona, Pennsylvania
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The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

Valedictorian, salutatorian to speak at graduation

Seniors speak and sing National Anthem, Alma Mater
Ash Carini
Jacob Steinbugl delivers the benediction speech at graduation last school year. This year, the benediction will be delivered by senior Jake Yohn.

On May 31, graduation will be held at Mansion Park. The ceremony will begin with a welcome from superintendent Brad Hatch, followed by the National Anthem, sung by senior Leah St. Croix.

Ever since I found out that someone in the vocal ensemble sings the anthem, I hoped that I would be able to in my graduating year. I am ecstatic about singing it, and I hope that everyone will enjoy it,” St. Croix said. 

Following the National Anthem, opening remarks will be delivered by senior Aaliyah McGee. 

“I am so excited but also nervous. I know that I will be crying like a baby on stage, so I have to prepare myself for that. Overall I am excited,” McGee said.

Three student speeches will follow. Senior Madasin Garrison will deliver a speech as the GACTC Distinguished Student. Following her speech, salutatorian Laney Yost will speak. 

“I am a little nervous about delivering a speech, but I have done a fair share of public speaking so I am hoping it won’t be too bad,” Garrison said. 

“It’s an honor to be able to represent the class of 2024 at our graduation. I’m looking forward to seeing what life has in store for me after high school,” Yost said. 

Valedictorian Wyatt Young will be the last to deliver a speech before diplomas are presented. 

“I am extremely honored to be valedictorian of my class,” Young said. “Not only am I proud of my academic accomplishments, but the path it took me on has taught me so much. Taking advantage of all the opportunities at the school and having a genuine curiosity around learning has motivated me throughout high school. Similarly, the support of my family and teachers kept me motivated to allow me to work towards my academic goals.” 

Senior class president Julia Kline will give a message to the senior class, before receiving her diploma. 

“I am a little bit nervous about speaking at graduation but I’m also excited to have this unique opportunity,” Kline said. “It feels very exciting to graduate because I’m ready for the next step in my life, and I am sure everyone else is ready to start new adventures.” 

At the end of the ceremony, senior Jane Fox will sing the Alma Mater, before senior Jake Yohn delivers the closing remarks as the benediction speaker. 

“It feels really odd to be graduating,” Fox said. “I never thought this day would come but it got here in the blink of an eye. It feels kind of weird to be singing at graduation because it means I have to sing in front of everyone in my class, but I am also excited to show off my talent.” 

“I am incredibly nervous for the future, but I think that’s okay,” Yohn said. “With everything coming to an end, I’m sometimes reminded of all the good and bad times I’ve had here at school as I go about my day. Altoona has been a big part of my life and I can’t wait to see what comes next.”

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About the Contributors
Charlie Kephart
Charlie Kephart, Associate Editor
Hey everyone! My name is Charlie, I'm a junior and Associate Editor of the Mountain Echo. I was on the Livewire staff in Jr High and Mt Echo staff since 10th grade. I have had a passion for writing since 4th grade and even promised my 4th grade ELA teacher that I would publish a book some day. My main goals in life are to go into the medical field at Pitt. Whenever I am not at school, I enjoy watching Netflix, reading and hanging out with my boyfriend. I'm super excited to write stories to keep you guys updated on everything going on here at our school!
Ash Carini
Ash Carini, Reporter
Hey! I'm Ash! This is my second year on staff. My interests are photography, music, running, and drawing. My biggest goal for after I graduate is going to the Air Force. Besides being involved with Mountain Echo, I am a distance runner on the track team, I do silks, I am on the yearbook staff and I am in student council. I am excited to be on the Mountain Echo staff this year,and I can't wait to see what it brings me to:)

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