ECC Class of 2017 honored at graduation ceremony

Photo by Amy Cherry - The 48-members of the ECCHS Class of 2017 sing the school Alma Mater at the conclusion of Sunday's commencement ceremony.
Amy Cherry
Staff Writer

Members of the Elk County Catholic High School Class of 2017 gathered alongside family and friends Sunday afternoon as part of the school's 55th commencement ceremony.
The 48 members of the senior class, clad in maroon and gold gowns, processed into the auditorium to the traditional graduation hymn of "Pomp and Circumstance," performed by the Elk County Catholic High School Band under the direction of Ray Knight, followed by the playing of the national anthem.
The school's traditional Baccalaureate Mass was held prior to the commencement ceremony.
The ceremony began with a brief welcome from Elk County Catholic School System President Sam MacDonald.
Senior Class President Justin Johnson acted as emcee for the ceremony, introducing student speakers Jared Braun, valedictorian and Rachel Herbstritt, salutatorian, who offered nostalgic and optimistic speeches.
The Most Reverend Lawrence Persico, bishop of the Erie Diocese, took to the podium stating he was "delighted to be here to witness this moment of transition in the lives of these students."