ECCHS co-valedictorians recollect high school journey

Elk County Catholic High School Class of 2011 co-valedictorians Kylie Auman and Michelle Pistner addressed their classmates for the final time on Sunday during the school's annual commencement program.Auman said the senior class epitomizes the importance of love and support which they have received from one another, school faculty and the community."We have generated a genuine sense of caring for each other over the past four years," Auman said.She added that the class has faced many trials and tribulations over the past year. "Our senior class is very unique," Auman noted, explaining how they sang songs during lunch and did the wave at various events, and describing the familiarity of chicken in the school lunches and their ever-exciting school dances.She continued by describing the class' togetherness and explaining the "abundance of support we showed at sporting events," including students painting themselves in the school colors of maroon and gold. In addition, Auman recognized the parental support the students have received and the "endless sacrifices" their parents have made to send them to a Catholic school."Our teachers also showed us love and compassion, as their doors were always open," Auman said. "I am certain the bond our class will only strengthen in the future. This bond will not disintegrate due to distance or a lack of time."Auman concluded her speech with lyrics from Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline", stating, "good times never seemed so good," with her classmates responding with a chant of "so good, so good, so good."During Pistner's speech, she noted how the class has traveled through their journey together since fourth grade."It's important to remember these moments as we embark on our life," Pistner said. "These past years belong to us and no one can take away these memories."Pistner, known for her love of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Penguins sporting teams, said it would seem odd not to mention them somehow during her speech.In keeping with her black and gold dedication, Pistner offered a quote from Penguins standout icon Mario Lemieux as a piece of advice to her classmates: "Enjoy every moment of it.""Thanks for the memories, Class of 2011, and for shaping who I am today," Pistner concluded.