Bethel Park High School held its 113th annual Commencement at Black Hawk Stadium on Friday, June 3, 2022, under a clear summer sky and began with a moment of silence to honor the late Jon Gentile, a history teacher at the school who tragically passed away just last week. The 320 members of the Bethel Park High School Class of 2022 included 108 students who graduated with the Highest Honors (QPA higher than 4.0); 46 students who graduated with High Honors (QPA of 3.75 to 4.0); and 34 students who graduated with Honors (QPA of 3.50 to 3.749).
Eighty-two graduates were members of the National Honor Society. Of this year's graduates, 81% will attend a four-year institution, 11% will attend a two-year institution, 5% will attend a trade or technical school; less than 1% will enter the military and approximately 1% will enter the workforce.
This year's Valedictorian was Julie Heh, who thanked her teachers for challenging her and her friends, family and classmates for motivating her to continue to work hard. “This four-year journey has taught us all that with perseverance and commitment, anything is possible,” she said.
Co-Salutatorian Keelan Donovan encouraged his classmates to let go of their regrets and to accept that they will make mistakes but that’s okay as long as they are continually learning from them so as not to repeat them. He also stressed the importance of continuing to work hard to ensure success. “Be all you can be, true; but the problem is a dream is only a dream if work don’t follow it,” he said, quoting rapper, songwriter and producer, Kendrick Lamar.
, the other co-Salutatorian, and a third-generation Bethel Park alum whose grandfather was a long-time history teacher at the high school encouraged his peers to face their fears and to embrace the prospect of failure as a means toward ultimate success. “Failure is the greatest teacher we have,” he chided.
During his remarks, Bethel Park High School Principal Mr. Joseph Villani
told the class they will always hold a special place in his heart for all they have been through together over the past four years. Villani encouraged the students to treasure the relationships they built during these most challenging of times and to remember that Bethel Park will always be home.
Superintendent Dr. James Walsh
lauded the Class of 2022 as a class that will “long be remembered for (its) resiliency and grit in the face of adversity.” He also congratulated the Class of ‘22 for sticking together during a really difficult period and for working collaboratively with their classmates and their teachers to solve problems never before faced by previous generations.
In keeping with the high school's tradition, diplomas were presented to the four students who will enter the military. Coordinating the presentation was 1974 graduate, retired Chief Master Sergeant (Ret.), Vic Guerra, whose distinguished 40-year military career led him to serve in the active-duty Air Force and in the Air National Guard as State Command Chief Master Sergeant of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard.
The Senior Farewell was given by Class President Kessid Wicker
, who told his fellow graduates to not forget their friendships, teachers and families as they go on to this next chapter of their lives.
Joining Kessid to lead the Tassel Ceremony was SGA President Victoria Hoffman
Best wishes to the Class of 2022. Thank you for the memories and continue to do great things!
Please click on the link below to see the event program, including the list of graduates from the Class of 2022. Also, you can see a slideshow of the program by clicking here