Included in the graduating class we 117 who graduated with highest honors (QPA of at least 4.0). 54 who graduated with high honors (QPA of at least 3.75), and 38 students who graduated with honors (QPA of at least 3.50). Ninety-two were members of the National Honor Society.
This year's Valedictorian was Tanush Bahl lauded his classmates for their efforts during a global pandemic and encouraged them to continue to look ahead going forward. “As Michael Scott said in Season Three, Episode 8 of ‘The Office,’ ‘I am always thinking one step ahead, like a carpenter that builds stairs,’” joked Bahl.
Salutatorian Christian McClaine reminded his peers of the value of a clean slate and encouraged them to embrace that opportunity and to forge a new identity.
In his remarks, Principal Joe Villani praised the Class of ‘21’s resilience during what he called, “One of the most challenging years any of us has ever experienced. Whether learning in-person or remotely, you continued to perform at the highest levels,” he said. “You also worked within the ever-changing restrictions and guidelines in order to participate in the musical, sports and other extracurricular activities, when other districts in the area did not.”
“You reminded us all what makes the students at Bethel Park High School so special,” said Villani.
Superintendent, Dr. James Walsh, who began in March, rattled off an impressive list of achievements from the Class of ’21, just in the short time he has been here. “No one, ever, in the history of Bethel Park, has experienced a senior year like you,” said Walsh. “This class of 21 will be long-remembered for your resiliency and grit against the forces of adversity. You showed us that social distancing does not prevent us from making and keeping strong connections from those important influences in our lives.”
As is the High School's tradition, diplomas were presented to the 17 students who will enter the military. Coordinating the presentation was Bethel Park alum and retired Brigadier General Mark Bellini.
The Senior Farewell was given by Class President Jackson Banes, who told his fellow graduates to that they were no longer classmates and were on their own now. “Take the pride of being a Black Hawk and put that into everything you do,” said Banes.
Student Government President Lucia Coccagno led the Tassel Ceremony, who reminded her classmates, “If you ever forget where to place your tassel, you wear it on the left side, over your heart, to remind you of your alma mater.”