RIDLEY TOWNSHIP — Under the late afternoon’s blazing sun on Phil Marion Field, members of the Ridley High School Class of 2019 cheered as their names were called out individually, following a string of speeches focusing on the school year’s theme, “The Future is R’s (Ours).”

Valedictorian Emily La told her classmates, “Make your life a masterpiece. Imagine no limitations on what you can be, have, or do. We have the entire world at our hands, so make the most of it and shoot for the stars, Class of 2019!”

Salutatorian Khoa Hoang echoed the theme, as well as Principal Kenneth Acker who told the students, parents and bleachers packed-full of commencement attendees, “This year, our school-wide theme was The Future is R’s. We challenged our students to be future ready. We asked them to persevere, to push through adversity and rise to the challenges they find as they journey through life. We wanted them to look into their future and recognize their potential. We told them they must just put their heads down and keep moving forward.”

Students and all those in attendance applauded as Acker told them that the Class of 2019 set the bar high for those who come after them.

“Class of 2019, look around at your moment. Look at the future of Ridley. You have set the bar high for these future Raiders. You empowered a championship spirit that has defined a legacy of success and you will always have a home here at Ridley. If this class’ successes are any indication of the things to come here at Ridley High School, we are in for quite a ride.”

Acker spoke about the many success of this year’s graduates. The Class of 2019 earned over $135,000 in scholarships and other awards. Several wrestlers went on to compete at the district, regional and state tournaments. Football, baseball and softball teams made the playoffs. One student won two state swimming medals. Boys and girls track teams each had athletes who medaled at the State Track and Field Championships. Two vocalists qualified for the PMEA All-State Conference. Six members of the class earned the rank of Eagle Scout. The Indoor Drumline finished with a bronze medal in their championships.

As a school, Ridley raised over $30,000 to help Pediatric Cancer Research in its first-ever THON and established its first-ever Silver Medal Unified Bocce team. Ridley High School was ranked one of the Best Schools in the nation by US News and World Report.

“Great things really do happen when you wear green,” Acker said, referring to the school’s signature color.

Other highlights of the ceremony included the presentation of the Archive yearbook to school board President Michael Capozzoli to become part of the school’s record, the announcement of awards and scholarships, the passing of the stole to the Class of 2020 President Mario Costa, the presentation of the class gift by class Treasurer Emma Layden, and words by Ridley School District Superintendent Lee Ann Wentzel.

“As you look back at all of the accomplishments from your time with us, you have added to the legacy of us,” Wentzel told the graduates. “Wherever you go, take us with you and share Ridley with those you meet to welcome them as part of us. The archive title of 'We Are The Future' is perfect. Your persevering efforts with us this senior year show that you realize the future is yours.”

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