On Sunday, June 3, 128 Whitehall-Yearling High School seniors will bid farewell to their alma mater, accepting a ticket that will take them to a new life beyond the hallowed halls of high school.

On Sunday, June 3, 128 Whitehall-Yearling High School seniors will bid farewell to their alma mater, accepting a ticket that will take them to a new life beyond the hallowed halls of high school.

For some, it is a ticket to college. For others, it's a military career that awaits.

For others still, it's direct passage into the workforce and the beginning of a new life as they know it.

"I am very excited about our upcoming graduation," said Carl Svagerko, who is completing his third year as principal of Whitehall-Yearling High School. "It is going to be an emotional time for all of us.

"This has been an exciting class to work with for the past three years. They had a very special challenge this year and will hold a unique spot in the great traditions of this great learning community."

For more than 30 years, Whitehall-Yearling seniors have walked down the center aisle of the Aladdin Shrine Center at Easton, where they have received their diplomas, stopped for a quick photo and then accepted a congratulatory hug from a hand-picked mentor -- someone who served as a special inspiration throughout their educational career.

It's a day of tears, whoops, hollers, applause and praise.

Svagerko said it follows a rather unusual year in which seniors were moved to the old Rosemore Middle School while the new high school is being built.

"I asked them to bring all of the great traditions of Whitehall-Yearling High School with us to our temporary site at Old Rosemore," Svagerko said.

Some students also attended classes in the old Kae Avenue Elementary School.

This year's graduation ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. June 3, with a procession of the graduates followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Brittany Morgan Gallagher, senior class vice president. She then will lead those in attendance in the national anthem.

After a brief welcome by senior class president Selam Admassu-Worku, Svagerko and Superintendent Judyth Dobbert-Meloy will stand to make their own remarks and address the graduating class of 2012.

The ceremony will continue with remarks by this year's salutatorian, Tiffany Michelle Smith, and the class valedictorian, Rachel Leah Young.

Following a short performance by the symphonic choir and an inspirational reading by Larenta Montize Pickett and Surafel Ejigu, the recognition of this year's graduating class will begin.

First, honor students graduating with a 3.5 grade-point average or above will be recognized, followed by the presentation of diplomas.

Walter Armes, president of the Whitehall school board, will award the diplomas, followed by the presentation of the graduates to the audience by Ronda Howard, board vice president.

Finally, following the school's alma mater, the class of 2012 will begin its recessional, led by the school's symphonic band -- a symbolic walk into their new lives as high school graduates.

This year's graduating class netted around $261,200 in scholarships (excluding federal need-based grants and loans). Numerous awards and accolades will be announced during this year's senior awards ceremony and lunch, planned for Thursday, May 31.

Some 16 seniors will graduate with a 3.5 GPA or above; five will receive honors diplomas; 17 will receive an Award of Merit; eight will receive the Presidential Award for Excellence; and two will receive the Presidential Award for Achievement.

This year's commencement exercises are expected to last about an hour.