122nd Commencement ceremonies held at Tyrone Area High School

Family and friends gathered last night at the Tyrone Area High School auditorium to celebrate the school’s 122nd commencement ceremony.
Members of the TAHS Class of 2006 gathered together one more time to celebrate the end of one journey and the beginning of many to come.
Several students participated in last evening’s ceremony.
The commencement invocation prayer was given by Christopher Clark, offering reassurance from the wisdom of the words of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Salutatorian Tiffany Bradford offered the 2006 commencement greeting and introduced the guest speaker.
This year’s attendees heard some wisdom for living from a hometown speaker who has spent his life as a public servant.
For their 122nd commencement ceremonies, the Tyrone School Board invited one of the school’s most distinguished alumni to address the Class of 2006 – the honorable Samuel E. Hayes Jr.
As a student, soldier, high school teacher, legislator, agriculture secretary, college instructor and family man, Mr. Hayes has touched the lives of countless citizens in this state, this country and the world, as well as family and friends in his hometown.
Sam Hayes Jr. graduated from Tyrone High in 1958, when the high school stood on Lincoln Avenue, and when the school conducted commencement from the Wilson Theatre, now the home of Burger King.
Following high school, Hayes advanced his education at Penn State University and graduated from the university with a bachelor of science degree. Eventually, he earned a masters degree in education, along with his principal certification.
After his college graduation, Mr. Hayes joined the Army for five years and served his country as a soldier in the Vietnam War in Asia, where he earned the Bronze Star.
Upon his return to Tyrone from Southeast Asia, Mr. Hayes worked as teacher of history and geography at Tyrone Area High School from 1968 until 1970.
Beginning in 1970, and continuing for 22 years until 1992, Mr. Hayes served his town, state and country as a legislator and lawmaker in the House of Representatives.
In 1997, Republican Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge appointed Mr. Hayes to his cabinet as Secretary of Agriculture, until 2003, when he became a trustee at Penn State University.
Presently, Mr. Hayes volunteers as an instructor at Huntingdon’s Juniata College and Mexico’s University of Guanajuato.
The farewell speech was given by class Valedictorian, Kristen Gurekovich.
Gurekovich shared with students, “This is the last time we will be together as the class of 2006…but whether we go far away or stay close to home, our memories will tie us together. They will keep us grounded on our journey through life.”
Paige Black then gave the benediction prayer to end the ceremony, praying for guidance in the days ahead, and expressing gratitude for the journey so far.
She prayed, “Lord, give us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference. May we find the light and the way in our new day.”