POINT PLEASANT — This past weekend, Point Pleasant High School’s 125th commencement saw 153 graduates receive diplomas during a ceremony which offered a return to normal for both students and those who were in attendance to celebrate their achievements.
Commencement began with a performance of the National Anthem by Corey Wheeler, followed by the welcome delivered by Student Council President Avery Richardson.
Luke Blain, president of the National Honor Society, then introduced Summa Cum Laude Student Representatives Hannah Wood and Madilyn Keefer.
Class Salutatorian Keefer spoke about the “challenges” and “unprecedented circumstances” her classmates had faced.
“To say this class is resilient is an understatement,” Keefer said, going on to describe a not so “normal year” of high school and the difficulties and sacrifices which led them to that moment.
“But today we sit here, finally having made it,” she noted.
Keefer offered the following parting advice to her classmates: “Always do everything to the best of your ability because in real life there is no restart button. Once an action is made, it cannot be undone or taken back. So take every opportunity thrown your way and always put all of your effort. Don’t take anything for granted because if we have learned anything in this past year, it is that nothing is guaranteed.”
Keefer then introduced Class Valedictorian Hannah Wood.
Wood asked those gathered to picture a foggy, gray day with a drizzled forecast and how “everyone you meet comments on the gray appearance of the day.”
However, Wood described within that “gray atmosphere” certain other objects, which may otherwise be muted, become more noticeable and bright. Saying this experience would not be achieved on any other day.
“We (the class of 2021) are going into the world during a gray period, however, I do not intend this to be seen in a negative way,” Wood said. “I merely want to convey that this year is not what we imagined it would be four years ago. To me this should be seen as an opportunity. The color gray can hold many representations…”
Wood then spoke about a world where both failures and achievements will occur, then noting the attributes her classmates possessed to succeed.
Wood ended her remarks with: “This is what I would like to leave with the Class of 2020, the knowledge that each and every one of us is made up of countless colors and we are the artists who will color the future.”
Principal William Cottrill then gave remarks, noting the achievements of the Class of 2021 before presenting it to Superintendent Jack Cullen.
Senior Class President Kadann Bonecutter led the changing of the tassels to close out commencement.
A complete list of graduates and recognitions appears below:
In recognition of academic excellence, PPJSHS designated those students by colored cords: (*) Bronze- 3.5– 3.8 overall grade point average (Cum Laude); (^) Silver– 3.81– 4.0 overall grade point average (Magna Cum Laude); (+) Gold– 4.01 or better grade point average (Summa Cum Laude); F.E. – Foreign Exchange Student.
Jason Adams, Kenly Arbogast +, Brooklyn Athey *, Ethan Atkinson, Desiree Bailes, Nicholas Bailes, Nickloas Ball ^, Joel Beattie, Sophie Beattie, Michael Benson, III, Joshua Benson, Dayton Bevans, Luke Blain +, Olivia Boggess *, Kadann Bonecutter*, Abbigail Brown, Austin Brumfield *, Kaitlin Bryant ^, Joshua Burke, Eli Burn, Christopher Burris, Hunter Bush, Jeffrey Bush, Elijah Butler, Jaden Buttrick *, Caitlin Campbell +, Hailey Canterbury, Rachel Casey ^, Kylee Chapman, Glen Charles, Traeton Cheesebrew, Crimson Cochran +, Carter Corfee, William Corum, Isaac Craddock *, Connor Crump.
Hunter Dawson, Devon Deering, Christian Derenberger, Lilly DeWeese, Madisson DeWeese, Clover Donahue ^, Travis Donohew ^, Evan Dotson, Ryan Duff, Dorothy Duncan, Zoe Enos +, Lotte Edler F.E., Richard Fauver, Connor Fields, Daniel Fields, Mark Fowler, Mitchell Freeman ^, Makayla Gibbs, Bailey Gilbert ^, Morgan Gilley, Alexandria Greenlee, Wesley Grimes *, Lacey Grimm *, Madison Gritt ^, Skyla Hall, Chayston Handley, Lauryn Heib *, Kira Henderson +, Parker Henderson +, Kierra Henry ^, Braylon Higginbotham ^, Kelsie Hunt, William Hunt.
Love Jackson-Bryant, Taylor Jeffrey *, Madyson Jeffries, Kevin Jones ^, Jacob Juzkiw, Clairy Keefer ^, Madilyn Keefer +, Morgan Keefer +, Jack Kerwood *, Jasmine Kimble, Maggie Kincaid +, Michael King, McKenzie Leonard ^, Joel Lewis, Cody Litchfield, Grayce Livingston, Dillon Long, Laine Lovett +, Dawson Matherly, Trenton Mayes, Bryson McCoy, McKenzie McQueen +, Skylar Melton, Kayci Michaels, Kylie Midcap, Tanner Mitchell, Kaylee Morrow, Kyelar Morrow *, Dakota Moses.
Michael Nibert, Jr., Riley Oliver ^, Ashton Parsons, Breona Patterson, Logan Patterson, Cailey Payne +, Christian Phoenix, Michael Pinkerton *, Kennade Pridemore +, Havanah Queen, Cameron Ramsey, Avery Richardson +, Alan Riffle, Samuel Robertson +, Shaya Robinson *, Cadence Rollins, Cierra Rollins, David Rollins, Zachary Russell.
Jazmine Scarberry *, Ethan Searls ^, Richard See, II, Isaac Short, Jalisa Silva-Toney ^, Alexa Simpkins, Christopher Smith +, Breanna Stanley ^, Garrett Stewart, Alexis Swain, Jaden Swisher, Caleb Szramowski, Jillian Teichman +, Cody Terrell, Caitlyn Thomas, Michael Tippie, Kaelyn Topping +, Adison Utterback *, Adam Veroski.
Zane Wamsley, Kendrah Ward, Braxton Watkins-Lovejoy, Marcus Webb, Corey Wheeler +, Jaden Whittington, Jazmin Williams, Tristan Wilson *, Wyatt Wilson, Hannah Wood +, Nathan Woods, Katelyn Woomer *, Kortny Workman, Abigail Wray, Alexis Wray ^, Levi Wright, Owen Yonker ^.
Honor Cord designation were as follows:
Gold – Summa Cum Laude; Silver – Magna Cum Laude; Bronze – Cum Laude; Blue/Gold–National Honor Society; Light Blue/Yellow – MU Alpha Theta; Red/Black – Student Council; Green/White – 4-H; Red/Blue – Youth Leadership Association; Red/Black/Gold – Junior Civitan; Citrus Green – MCCC Completer; Red/White – SADD; Orange/White–FAFSA Completion; Pink – PPHS Choir.
Also at the ceremony to congratulate graduates were members of the Mason County Board of Education and staff from PPHS.
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Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.