Senior year is a rite of passage for high school students and is typically filled with special memories like prom, celebrations with friends, and of course, that walk across the stage signifying the culmination of 12 years of hard work. For the 2020 graduates, though, this year has been anything but typical.
Front yards are filled with signs congratulating graduates. Social media is stuffed with pictures of graduates in their cap and gowns donning masks. And even graduations are being held virtually. I’m sure we’ve all seen the advertisements selling special mementos to commemorate the unusual times we are currently in. My personal favorite is the t-shirt crowning the graduating class of 2020 as Senior Skip Day Champions. That they are!
Russell, Krafft & Gruber is proud to celebrate five very special seniors in the firm’s family.
Mataya Chap is the daughter of Kathleen Krafft Miller, an associate attorney at Russell, Krafft & Gruber. Mataya is graduating from Hempfield High School and will be moving to North Carolina, where she will attend Cape Fear for a year and then the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. She plans to study Physical Therapy and hopes to focus on sports medicine.
Jimmy Hickey is the son of Nancy Hickey, a paralegal at Russell, Krafft & Gruber. Jimmy is graduating from Gettysburg College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics and Spanish. He is currently relocating to Boulder, Colorado to secure employment.
Ben Marines is the son of Aaron Marines, a partner of Russell, Krafft & Gruber. Ben is graduating from Hempfield High School and was a National Merit Scholarship Finalist. He will be attending Penn State University, where he will be majoring in Engineering.
Gabriella Peiffer is the daughter of Doug Peiffer, a paralegal at Russell, Krafft & Gruber. Gabriella is graduating from Donegal High School. She will be attending Millersville University, where she will majoring in Respiratory Therapy.
Elizabeth Vanasse is the daughter of Julie Vanasse, an attorney at Russell, Krafft & Gruber. Elizabeth graduated summa cum laude from the College of William and Mary with a dual degree in English and French and Francophone Studies. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and will be attending the University of Richmond School of Law in the Fall.
A Graduation Story
We all have a special memory from our own graduations. I’ll share a unique tidbit from mine. As the President of the School Board for Ephrata Area School District, my dad and Russell, Krafft & Gruber attorney, Gary Krafft, would give a speech and hand out diplomas at graduation.
Each year, he embedded a few inspirational lines from Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin songs into his speech. Not many knew he did this, but I did, and it made it all the more special to listen to the message he was relaying to me and my classmates.
The year of my graduation (and I won’t tell you what year that was!), his message was to not just be “another brick in the wall.” “There are two paths you can go by,” he continued, “but in the long run, there’s still time to change the road you are on.” Having gone back to law school in my thirties, I am proud to say that I have lived by these words!
We at Russell, Krafft & Gruber, LLP, would like to take this opportunity to send a special message to all the 2020 graduates. While you have been faced with obstacles and have been deprived of so many special memories during your senior year, you have persevered and handled these unusual times with grace and determination. Best of luck to all the graduating seniors of 2020! We wish you all success and happiness as you start this next phase of your life.
To follow in my dad’s footsteps, Led Zeppelin says it best,
though the course may change sometimes, rivers always lead to the sea
Despite the obstacles and curveballs you encounter along the way, keep moving forward and never give up!