POMEROY —Meigs Local High School seniors took their victory lap Friday night as 108 students received their diplomas.
The 8 p.m. ceremony saw students, parents, teachers, administration and the school band gather to send off the Class of 2016.
Valedictorian Kelsie Powell and Salutatorian Lara Perrin delivered speeches before Meigs Local Board of Education President Larry Tucker awarded the all-important diplomas to the energetic students. The evening finished with the newly minted graduates rushing to meet happily assembled friends and family.
The faculty entered to ”Yankee Fan Fair” to open the night and were followed by the Class of 2016, who entered to the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance.” The Meigs High School Band played the National Anthem to precede the Pledge of Allegiance, which was led by Tyler Fields.
Devon Buffington gave an invocation, which concluded the introductory sections. Class President and Valedictorian Kelsie Powell welcomed the students, guests and staff to the Meigs High School auditorium. Jason Meadows, class treasurer, introduced the speakers and presenters in succession.
Following Meigs band musical selections, Superintendent of Meigs Local School District Rusty Bookman presented student honors and recognition. The time finally came for the student body representatives to speak.
Perrin spoke about considering graduation as part of a journey, rather than a conclusion. She rejected the common saying that “high school will be the best days of your life” and said she “finds it hard to believe that we already have our best days behind us. Our best days are ahead of us.”
She prompted the students to “go boldly forward with confidence” with the belief “we are all capable of achieving so much, much more that we sometimes give ourselves credit for.”
She thanked the teachers and families for their vital support to each student, but also congratulated her classmates on the group effort shown to get the senior class to that moment.
Imploring the audience to not take their education or youth for granted, “It is up to us to use the foundation we have been given and build upon it.”
She ended with a quote from screenwriter Eric Roth that said, in part, “It’s never too late or too early to be whoever you want to be.”
Powell delivered the valedictorian’s speech, advocating the complex but understated power of kindness.
She pointed out the trappings of high school fade quickly after graduation and “We will all start our future with a clean slate.” With this opportunity, she challenged her peers to counter an adversarial world with a conscious decision to be kind in all situations.
In the midst of doing “everything you can to reach your full potential,” she believes by exercising kindness “little by little and day by day, you will make a positive impact on the world.”
After the student speeches, Class Vice President Miranda Gillian presented the Symbol of Graduation, followed by a benediction from Kaitlyn Gilkey. At the conclusion of the ceremonies, the graduates finally made the recessional walk they had waited four years to take.
The Meigs Local High School Graduating Class of 2016 is as follows: Kristen Ashburn, Levi Asburn, Colton Atkinson, Halley Barnes, Brennna Bell, Alec Bissell, Brianna Bolton, Lauren Booth, Cassandra Braley, Miranda Braley, Devon Buffington, Kenna Burns, Breanna Butcher, Gino Casci, Casto, Dalton Casto, Hope Chapman, Eric Clark, Dalton Cleland, Jerod Coates, Zachary Coe, Justin Combs, Nicholas Cooper, Kaitlyn Cooper, Kayla Cooper, Kaylea Cox, Tiphanie Damon, Dylan Darst, Bruce Davis, Makayla Dexer, Kamryn Diddle, Davic Doefer, Haiden English, ReeseErvin, Marisela Espinoza-Cruz, James Fish, Sadie Fox, Amber Fryer, George Evan, Kaitlyn Gilkey, Miranda Gillilan, Adrianna Goheen, Madison Green, Colton Hannah, Matthew Harris, Roger Hart, Wyatt Hart, Trey Hayes, Austin Hendricks, Tracy Herman, Robert Hoffman, Jacob Hook, Alexandra Houdashelt, Mackenzi Hunter, Daniel Hysell, Andrew Johnson, Brandon Johnson, Jerrika Keesee, Wyatt King, Chelsie Knopp, Jake Korn, Aili’ana Large, Colton Lilly, Tzu-Chuan Liou, Katelynn Marioth, Austin McClintic, Dalton McCloud, Trey McWilliams, Jaxon Meadows, Shawn Molden, Colton Morris, James Morrison, Coltin Neutzling, Kacie Newsome, Holly. Osborne, Jarrett Otworth, Adriahna Patterson, Lara Perrin, Andrea Pheonix, Matthew Pierce, Brittany Powell, Kelsie Powell, Kathryn Priore, Austin Quillen, Shana Roush, Chase Scarberry, Cory Scarberry, Ciara Scholderer, Issaac Sheets, Kaileb Sheets, Christopher Simpson, Cody Smith, Jack Starcher, Madison Steward, Jacob Swindell, Aiden Tackett, Kelsey Taylor, Jeffery Teachout, Alexander Tillis, Krista VanNest, Evan. White, Haley Wilson, Megan Winchell, Jade Wolfe, Shawn Yeauger and Brandon Young.