MASON — Failure, motivation, hard work…
These were the three characteristics top Wahama High School senior Jacob Lloyd named to be successful in almost anything, when he addressed his classmates and those attending Wahama High School’s Commencement Ceremony Friday evening.
Diplomas were presented to the Class of 2019 by teacher advisors and others, while Dr. Kenny Bond, principal, read the senior quotes.
Lloyd said often times, you have to fail multiple times before you succeed once. He cited Abraham Lincoln’s failure eight times to get political positions he wanted. But it did not stop him from becoming President of the United States and putting an end to slavery.
“You also have to be motivated to accomplish your goals,” Lloyd said. “This can come from your failures, outside competition, or inner will. If you have no motivation, you will have nothing to push you to reach your goals.”
He added the willingness to work hard is most important in achieving success. Lloyd told his classmates to never let other people dictate who you are.
“We are each special, and capable of doing great things,” he stated. “If somebody ever does call you a nobody, use that as motivation to prove that you are a somebody who can do amazing things.”
Lloyd also thanked God for allowing him to be there, noting that two years ago, he nearly died from surgery complications.
“He (God) gave me a second chance at life, and He has been with me in everything I have done,” Lloyd said. “There have been so many times in life where I depended upon God to lead me down the right path, and He always has. It may have not seemed like the right path at the time, but each time I look back I see why He led me where He did. I thank God for allowing me to be here today, and for making me into the man I am.”
Lloyd is the son of J.T. and Heather Lloyd. He participated in basketball, track and field, and was president of the National Honor Society. A member of Rho Kappa, he was an AP Scholar with Honor, and is a member of First Baptist Church in Mason. He will attend Ohio University and major in chemical engineering with a minor in mathematics.
Also giving student addresses were Alexa Susan Layne and Hannah Jonell Billups.
Layne, who was second in her class, told fellow graduates to “chase every dream and take every opportunity that will bring you closer to being the person you wish to be.” She encouraged the seniors to reach out to new people, but never forget the relationships that helped them grow.
“… I have no fear in what the future holds,” Layne said. “So push the limits, and reach for the stars. It can feel scary to start over, to not know what comes next, but we have the opportunity to make something great out of ourselves.”
She encouraged the graduates to reach out to new people, and keep an open heart as they embark on a wonderful new adventure, an exciting new beginning.
Layne is the daughter of Brad and Amy Layne. A member of National Honor Society and Rho Kappa, she played basketball and volleyball, and was a member of choir. She plans to attend West Virginia University and major in biology.
Billups, third among the graduates, quoted the fictional character Meredith Grey, from the popular television series “Grey’s Anatomy: “We spend our whole lives worrying about the future, planning for the future, trying to predict the future, as if figuring it out will cushion the blow. But the future is always changing. The future is the home of our deepest fears and our wildest hopes.”
She encouraged her fellow graduates to draw their own map, and not fall into the shadow of someone else’s footsteps.
“It may be scary, but we have the power to create our own footsteps,” Billups said. “It is okay for us to sit back and wonder and worry, but what we need to realize is that the future isn’t something that just happens to us: it is up for us to create.”
Billups was a member of the National Honor Society and Rho Kappa. She played volleyball and softball, and is a member of Faith Baptist Church and Farmers Bank Junior Board. She will attend the University of Charleston to major in pre-physician assistant studies. Billups is the daughter of Mike and Kim Billups.
Both the band and choir presented musical selections, with senior members taking their place and participating for the final time. The class tribute of “You’re Gonna Miss This,” by Trace Adkins was played while memories of the seniors were shown on the overhead screen.
Senior class officers included Bryce Meadows, president; Grace Haddox, vice president; and Jackson Hall, secretary/treasurer. Teacher advisors were Tom Cullen, Heather Lloyd, Sarah McCann, and Mindy Tyree.
Receiving diplomas were:
(C) Kyrsten Skylar Baker, Ryan Treyce Beckner, Dakota Ray Belcher, (S) Hannah Jonell Billups, Brittany Marie Bonecutter, (S) Braedon Ross Bumgarner, Makinley Elaine Bumgarner, (C) Tyler Keith Bumgarner, Heaven Marie Bush, Charles Lee Buskirk,
Robert Jacob Buskirk, Alexis Autumn Dawn Chapman, Madison Danielle Council, (C) Christopher Lee Courtney, (C) Nathanial Xavier Day, (M) Brandon Christopher Duncan, Justin Ryan Durham, (C) Logan Mikayla Eades, (C) Noah Issac Eblin, (M) Jacob Austin Lemley Fisher,
Jonathan Michael Frye, (C) Kaitlyn Nicole Greene, Andrew Justin Grimm, Madison Ann Grinstead, (M) Grace Elizabeth Haddox, (S) Jackson Allen Hall, Hayley Evelyn Hazelwood, (S) David Robert Hendrick, (C) Brodee Samuel Howard, Allison Nicole Jewell,
(S) Aubree Lynn Johnson, Dana Lynn Justis, (S) Tanner Renee King, Jessica Nicole Lane, (S) Alexa Susan Layne, (M) Rebekah Jean-Cole Littlepage, (S) Jacob Tyler Lloyd, Ronin Paul Madill, Elijah Justice Mankin, Kyle Landon Marr, (M) Bryce Owen Meadows,
(C) Alexis Taylor Mick, (C) Robert Channon Miller, II, (C) Kennedy Kay Mills, (C) Alexander James Mitchell, Brycen Lee Patrick, (M) Cooper Blake Peters, Braden Lee Petry, (C) McKayla Dawn Phares, Sierra Marie Quillen, (C) Skylar Cierra Riffle,
(M) Nicholas Randolph Roe, Jacob Alexander Rollins, (M) Reese Makenna Roush, David Larry Runyon, Ashtyn Noelle Russell, Carl Thomas Sayre, (M) Antonio Dominic Serevicz, Asiaann Evette Shepard-Baer, (C) Brittany Brayden Smith, (C) Gage Samuel Smith,
Maria Dawn Smith, Tanner Lee Smith, Walker Reese Stanhope, (C) Ashleigh Nichole Stewart, Shawn Lee Taylor, Jr., (C) Camryn Eugenia Tyree, Emily Mae VanMatre, (C) Ethan Michael VanMatre, (S) Madelyne Mae VanMatre, Jacob Brenton Warth, Braden Jacob Weaver, (C) Sydnee Nicole Whaley, and (C) Michela Jade Williamson.
(A letter before the senior’s name denotes the following: “S” indicates Summa Cum Laude, “M” is Magna Cum Laude, and “C” is Cum Laude.)
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.