MASON — Listing accomplishments in academics and sports, both student speakers at the Wahama High School Commencement ceremony Friday evening spoke of the special class of which they were a part.
A total of 70 seniors graduated in the 7 p.m. service. Class President Thomas Wyatt Zuspan opened the ceremony with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Michael Alex MacKnight was the top graduating senior of the Class of 2014. He told fellow classmates that their achievement in graduating was just the beginning; the first step into the journeys of their future lives.
“Most of us have been together since grade school, and teachers have always told us along the way that there was something special about our class; that we were one of the best classes to have ever gone through school here in the area,” MacKnight said. “And they are absolutely right. Think about all of the incredible things we’ve accomplished throughout our years in school.”
MacKnight listed a number of assets held by the graduates. He told of the closeness the class members have always had.
“We are truly something special,” MacKnight stated. “But why stop there? Do we only want to be remembered as one of the best classes during high school, or do we want to be remembered as one of the best classes both in high school and in the lives we led after graduation? We all have the potential to have great success in whatever field we pursue, and that is something that is truly special about our class.”
Fellow student speaker Hollie Danielle Greene, second in the class, concurred with MacKnight’s feelings. Stating she wrote and re-wrote her speech many times, Greene said, “So, finally, I decided that I would leave the advice and jokes to someone else and just write about something really special: us.”
Greene cited various incidents that occurred during their high school years, and pointed out what she would remember about certain classmates. Adding she didn’t have time to mention everyone, Greene said she felt extremely blessed to stand before the class and share the special day.
“Though we may not be the most organized class that has passed through these halls, I have no doubt that we are the closest,” she stated. “Though we fight and we have our disagreements, at the end of the day, we always pull together and have each other’s backs. Though it may seem cliche, I think everyone sitting here would agree that we aren’t just a group of classmates, but also a family.”
Greene concluded by saying, “No matter where our lives lead us or what the future holds in store, of one thing I am certain. We will always have these memories and we will always have this class; this family.”
Principal Kenny Bond gave the welcome and made introductions, including Superintendent Suzanne Dickens, who gave her acceptance of the class. The presentation of diplomas was carried out by Melissa VanMeter, assistant principal. Musical selections were presented by both the school choir and band.
Several seniors graduated with honors on three levels. They included summa cum laude; magna cum laude; and cum laude.
Graduating summa cum laude were Benjamin David Foreman, Hollie Danielle Greene, Wesley Ryan Harrison, Bailey Anne Hicks, Michael Alex MacKnight, Morgan Faith Nottingham, Kylie Marie Oliver, Logan Nicole Raynes, and Paige Nichole Stanhope.
Magna cum laude graduates were Sarah Elizabeth Bumgarner, Emily Joe Casto, Jessica Dawn Duncan, Racheal Marie Gordon, Joshua Blaine Haddox, Michael Frederick Hendricks, Derek Seth Hysell, Bunni Raquel Peters, Leah Marie Roach, and Faith Anna Zuspan.
Cum laude graduates were Melissa Kate Boston Presley, NaKisha Marie Hill, Kaylee Morgan Howard, Peyton Christina Humphreys, MacKenzie Lashae McClure, Savannah Nicole McDaniel, Josiah Mark Roach, and Cheyenne Nicole Thacker.
Other graduates included Pedro Arellano, Jr., Salena Brooke Atkinson, Dakota Shae Baker, Emmitt Troy Barton, Jacob Bretton Bennett, Hunter Jordan Bradley, Jacob David Bumgarner, Sierra Nichole Carmichael, Shelby Michael Curtis, Earl Randall Edwards, Clayton Brody Gibbs, Steven Franklin Gibbs, Victoria Ann Gilland, Jessica Jean Gleason, Erik Delmar Grueser, Morgen Nathaniel Harrah, Macey Amber Henry, James David Holley, Ian Grant Kapp, Candy Ann Lane.
Katie Jo Lee, Christian B. Eugene Leming, Andrew Curtis Markins, Joshua Alan Meadows, Colton Lee Neal, Rocky Joe Nelson, II, Tyler Ray Nutter, Kayla Dawn Oldaker, Paul Nicholas Pearson, Dylan Anthony Perkins, Austin Michael Robie, Randall Eugene Robie, Casin Robert William Roush, Jess Carson Roush, Kane McKinley Roush, Joshua Daniel Runyon, Weldon Lane Sparks, Brandon Andrew Stewart, Rebecca Lynn Tucker, Darian Alexis Weaver, Brittney Selene Wingrove, Valerie Abigail Nicole Wolfe, and Thomas Wyatt Zuspan.
Senor class officers, in addition to President Zuspan, were Benjamin David Foreman, vice president; Michael Frederick Hendricks, secretary; and Derek Seth Hysell, treasurer. Class advisors were Walter Raynes, Charlotte Oshel, Ronald Bradley, Joseph Johnson and Judy Camden.