Susquehanna grads told of the ‘hero’s journey’

David Armitage receives his diploma from Board President Steve Stanford. STAFF PHOTO/STACI WILSON


A 2013 Susquehanna Community High School graduate returned to his alma mater’s commencement ceremony on Saturday, June 9, as the guest speaker just two weeks after his graduation from West Point.

Andrzej Tomczyk, commissioned as a 2nd. Lieutenant and heading off to US Army Ranger school, is also a founder of two companies.

“Today would be a great day to ask for money,” he told the 54 graduates on stage.

He also asked the graduates and the audience to think about the people who had the greatest impact on their lives. “Tell them ‘thank you’,” he advised.

“The real world is no more scary and no more real than you are already used to,” Tomczyk said and offered a message about the “hero’s journey.”

He said the hero’s journey is often portrayed as a movement from a position of weakness to one of strength. “But a real hero is born in a move from strength to weakness,” Tomczyk offered.

Citing accomplishments already achieved by the graduates, Tomczyk said, “This class is obviously full of strength.”

He urged them to move forward with humility as they are forced to “start over” as the new person at a workplace, a freshman in college, or someone entering the military’s basic training.

“To be stronger, I had to accept the weakness,” he said. “It requires humility and patience. It requires a hero.”

Salutatorian Emily Frye reflected on memorable class moments and told her fellow graduates that it was “okay to not be perfect.”

Valedictorian Skyla Wilson said that following the ceremony, “Our paths will split in 54 distinct and different directions.”

She said that although the newfound independence would be at times “daunting,” the graduates should keep their high school memories and the lessons that they learned.


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