Commencement programs for the Dover Area High School Class of 2013 went to the printer missing two key names: those of valedictorian and salutatorian. In both lines of the program, the words "To Be Announced" were printed.
Class president Devan Barker explained why in her commencement speech: The places of honor couldn't be determined until after finals grades were in, because of how close the valedictorian and salutatorian were in grade-point averages.
In the end, Delaney Williams edged out Alec Wolfe for the top spot. In her speech, however, Williams cautioned that, although she was the top of the class, she was not necessarily the member of her class who was going to make the biggest impact.
"It's not the strongest who survive it's the most adaptable," Williams said, quoting a line attributed to Charles Darwin. Her generation, she said, would deal with consequences brought on by "the short-sightedness of previous generations."
"We can use our education to make a difference in life. This is the end of the beginning," she added.
Wolfe, in his salutatory speech, also talked about the problems his generation was inheriting, saying that Social Security wouldn't be an option for his class, so they should choose careers they like.
"If you're going to have to work for a long time, might as well enjoy it," he said.
Larissa Miller, class vice president, took the time to single out by name her 11 classmates who will be joining the armed forces, and then asked current servicemen and women to stand, as well as veterans, National Guard members and EMTs and first responders.
"Godspeed," she said to all of them, to resounding applause in the Utz Arena.
Bree Link, class historian, gave the Class of 2013 a list of 13 things to remember, including following their dreams, not accepting limits, living life to the fullest, remembering where they came from and remembering their 13 years together.
Douglas Hoover, high school social studies teacher, who was chosen by the class to give the faculty farewell, encouraged the students to learn from their mistakes.
High school principal H.W. Rickard Jr., new to Dover this year, reminded the students of their first steps as toddlers, their first steps into elementary school, their first steps into high school, and now, their first steps into the adult world.
"I'm going to quote that great philosopher Dr. Seuss, in a book I think was written for graduations. 'You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go,'" he said.
Dover Area High School Class of 2013
Number of graduates: 261
Graduation ceremony held: June 8 in the Utz Arena, York Fairgrounds
Valedictorian: Delaney Williams
Salutatorian: Alec Wolfe
Other speakers: Larissa Miller, class vice president; Courtney Wilt, student council president; Bree Link, class historian; Raizel Cheng, class secretary; Rachel Thomas, class treasurer; Douglas Hoover, high school social studies teacher; Devan Barker, class president; H.W. Rickard Jr., high school principal.