ASHTON — Seniors from Hannan High School’s Class of 2017 walked into the school’s gymnasium, and their futures, on Saturday during the school’s 88th commencement ceremony.
Leading students in the Pledge of Allegiance was Taylor Scarbrough, followed by Nicholas Hughes delivering the prayer.
Then, Dr. Karen Oldham, principal, welcomed guests and introduced the student speakers.
Valedictorian Maggie Waugh began her speech by addressing the impossible: “People say things are impossible but we serve a God who will make them possible.”
Waugh went on to ask her classmates to challenge themselves to overcome the impossible.
“Maybe you were told you wouldn’t make an ‘A’ in that class but then you did. As a member of the Class of 2017, I want to be able to look back on our class 10 years from now and be able to say ‘Wow, we all really made something our ourselves.’ I want each of you to strive to do your best and follow your hearts in all you do. I know I wasn’t personally close to some of you but each and every one of you have touched my life in some sort of way.”
Waugh also thanked God, her family, her church family and her Hannan family, for their support.
Waugh then challenged underclassmen to work hard and have fun.
“I know it’s hard but don’t sweat the small stuff,” she said. “Enjoy your times here at Hannan because before you know it, it will be over.”
Waugh closed by saying, though she was going away to college, she hoped one day to have children who would get to experience Hannan High School as she had, and her parents before her.
“We may be small, but we are mighty. When I leave these doors today, I will never be able to forget these times at Hannan High School.”
Following Waugh, was Joshua McCoy who addressed his classmates with the salutatorian address.
McCoy joked that leading up to today there was no possible way he would cry, but just in case he got emotional, he said he would “appreciate if everyone else could start crying as well so I don’t look bad.”
Like Waugh, McCoy thanked his family and Hannan staff for their support over the years.
“I’ve learned that coming from a small community means you have people you can count on to help you in your time of need,” he said. “I’ve learned that coming from a small school means the teachers know who you are, you’re not just a face in the crowd. They know what you want to be when you get out of high school, they know what college or trade school you want to attend, they know you on a personal level and are there for you anytime you need them. I’ve learned coming from a small school doesn’t make you any less important or valuable than someone who graduates from a big school. Some people talk bad about our little school and our small community, but I am truly grateful to come from a school where the teachers treat me like I matter and my community supports each other. I’m also glad to say that as I look out at my fellow graduates, there isn’t a single person I don’t recognize.”
Following the student speeches, Guidance Counselor Jessy Scott presented the honor graduates as follows:
Summa Cum Laude: (4.01+ GPA): Maggie Elizabeth Waugh, Joshua Aaron McCoy, Kelsey Lenee DeVries, Makayla Cheyenne Adkins.
Magna Cum Laude: (3.81-4.00 GPA): Shelby Lynn Long.
Cum Laude (3.50-3.80): Tyler Ray Connor, Samantha Elaine Graley, Timothy James Parsons, Zachary Grant Parsons.
Oldham then presented the class to Superintendent Jack Cullen who accepted the class. The presentation of diplomas then took place with members of the Mason County Board of Education on hand to help congratulate each graduate.
Makayla Cheyenne Adkins, Shelby Lynn Long and Kelsey Lenee DeVries then lead the crossing of the tassels.
A complete list of graduates is as follows with *** denoting Summa Cum Laude (4.01+ GPA); ** denoting Magna Cum Laude (3.81-4.00 GPA); * denoting Cum Laude (3.50-3.80 GPA):
Makayla Cheyenne Adkins***, Timothy William Akins, Mackenzie Christine Barker, James Carl Bledsoe, Nicole Ann Byrd, Justin Louie Michael Call, Tyler Ray Connor*, Kelsey Lenee DeVries***, William Charles Fielder II, Alex Daniel Ford, Jonathan Ray Graley, Samantha Elaine Graley*, Bailey Elizabeth Harless, Corey Thomas Hudnall, Nicholas Lee Hughes, Darien Cole Janicker, Brittany Nicole Lane, Kelsie Yvonne Lee, Hunter Levi Lemaster, Shelby Lynn Long**, Robert Douglas Mask, Desire Dakota Kate Mayes, Adrianna Dawn McBride, Joshua Aaron McCoy***, Connor James Miller, Aletha Hope Moore, Bailey Cree Oldaker, Timothy James Parsons*, Zachary Grant Parsons*, Michael David Peak, Michael Anthony Powell, Joseph Allen Rollins, Sidney Parker Ross, Stephen Gabriel Runyon, Taylor Brooke Scarbrough, Zachary Calvin Smith, Madison Elizabeth Staggs, Tanner Bryce Stover, Maggie Elizabeth Waugh***, Jarod Matthew Weikle, Isaiah Samuel White.
Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at email@example.com.