The Chillicothe High School graduation ceremony was held Sunday afternoon in the school's gymnasium where 129 seniors received their high school diplomas.
The Chillicothe High School graduation ceremony was held Sunday afternoon in the school’s gymnasium where 129 seniors received their high school diplomas. Class President Jaime Albertson led those who were in attendance in saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Brian Sherrow, Chillicothe High School principal, welcomed everyone to the ceremony and introduced the student speakers, Jaime Albertson, daughter of Denny and Margie Albertson, and Michelle and Matt Rardon; and Emma Leamer, daughter of Michael and Natalie Leamer. Jaime Albertson spoke first, and her speech was called, “Strong, Patient, and Passionate Dreamers.” She opened her remarks with a quote by Harriet Tubman: “Every dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” “I believe there are no better words to describe the class of 2017 than those of Tubman,” Albertson said. “We have worked through many obstacles to be standing here before our families and friends, ready to take the next step in our lives. Through our time at Chillicothe High School, we have used our strength, our patience, and our passion and will continue to do so to reach our dreams.” Albertson stated that she and her classmates have strength to pursue their dreams and that their dreams today are different than they were in kindergarten. “Back then, we all wanted to be super heroes or mommies, which I would say are synonymous, but as we have grown, we have learned that becoming what we want may not be that simple,” she said. “... We all have different dreams, and we are all searching for the strength to pursue them. Not only do we have individual dreams, but many that we have formed together.” She noted that the class of 2017 has “failed and fallen” but always got back up. She stated that members of the class of 2017 have the patience to pursue their dreams and have dealt with patience throughout high school. “Many of the problems we’ve all dealt with in our four years of high school have required an act of patience,” Albertson stated. “From waiting for the perfect homecoming date our freshman year to sitting through the never-ending day of ACT testing our junior year to waiting for this day, May 14th, 2017, we have all practiced patience. Patience with one another, and patience with ourselves.” Albertson also spoke about passion to pursue dreams. “Whether it be in athletics or music, FFA or FCCLA, drama or science club, or any of the other extracurriculars our school has to offer, each student has found the place where his or her passion belongs... I am glad to stand here and say that our class is overflowing with passion.” In closing her remarks, Albertson stated that she and her classmates have all the components to begin the next part of their lives. “We are strong. We are patient. We are passionate. We are forever red and black. We are hornet pride. We are a family. We are the Class of 2017, and like Harriet Tubman said, we will change the world.” Emma Leamer then addressed her fellow graduates and those in attendance at the ceremony. Her speech was “Yesterdays” and she based her remarks on the quote by Yolanda Mebenge: “As long as you have memories, yesterday remains. As long as you have hope, tomorrow awaits.” “There is a tremendous amount of power in yesterday, and in order to have a better tomorrow, we must first remember and accept our yesterdays,” Leamer said. “We don’t always like to reminisce about all of the memories of yesterday, but there is no denying that the awkward phase complete with braces and bad skin brought us closer without a doubt.” She reminisced about the time she and her classmates attended Dewey School – 5,018 yesterdays ago – and taking naps. “Today, we are doing our best to look awake while Mr. Stull lectures about psychology and how many neurons are in the brain,” she said. Leamer talked about more yesterdays: – being in first grade – 4,615 yesterdays ago – terrified of who their square dance partner would be. “Today, not much has changed,” she said. “I’m fairly certain that plenty of boys can attest that they get the same feeling as they try to put together an elaborate way to ask a girl to a dance.” – and attending Field School 4,254 yesterdays ago – and running around the playground and girls being chased by boys. “Today, we are all running around the commons: boys being chased by girls and those girls are most likely demanding details about a tuxedo coordinating with a prom dress.” – and being in fourth grade – 3,520 yesterdays ago – and playing kickball. “Today, we are hovering our fingers over the keyboard and frantically refreshing the screen to make sure our final grades will be up to standard.” “2,010 yesterdays ago,” Leamer stated, “we were roaming the halls of the middle school and we were all making bucket lists because we were certain that the world was going to end in 2012. Today, we are sitting in a gym with about 130 of our closest friends knowing that the rest of our lives are going to start today.” Leamer continued the countdown of “yesterdays” through high school years. “925 yesterdays ago we were just beginning to realize the types of people we wanted to be,” she said. “We learned if we wanted to be involved in FFA, CHS Players, Key Club or Student Council. Today, we have remained active in many of the same organizations and often, even more.” “One yesterday ago,” she continued, “we looked at each other and wondered how in the world we could be graduating. Today, we sit here with mixed emotions: excited for the future, but sad to be leaving a place so dear to our hearts.” Leamer concluded her remarks by stating that many in the graduating class have different plans or lack of plans about what tomorrow will hold, but that makes it no less of an adventure. “We can’t let ourselves believe that the good times are over just because they’re memories,” she said. “We must often remind ourselves that these foundational memories are helping us build a lifetime of new ones. “We all leave here today with hopes a little higher than being picked first to play kickball,” she said. “Today we leave with hopes of careers, families and successes. Each of us have been blessed with talents specific to us. Even though we are one in our memories of the Class of 2017, we are all individual in our hopes for the future. So, as today becomes a yesterday, appreciate the memories of the past, but conquer the moments of tomorrow for soon they will become one of our beloved yesterdays.” Also at the graduation ceremony, the senior class gift was presented by senior class president, Jaime Albertson, to CHS principal, Brian Sherrow. The class of 2017 contributed toward the electronic sign that has been placed at the corner of Highway 190 and Hornet Road. The funding was made possible through the dedication of the Class of 2017 and the classes of 2014, 2015, and 2016, along with contributions from individuals, businesses and community foundations. Chillicothe R-2 Superintendent, Dr. Roger Barnes, also spoke at the graduation ceremony. He shared some interesting numbers with those in attendance. He shared that out of the 129 students graduating on Sunday, 51 will attend a four-year college or university, 45 will attend a two-year college, seven will attend a vocational or trade school, six will enter the military, 13 will enter the workforce, and seven are undecided at this time. Of Sunday’s graduates, 67 maintained a B+ grade average for the four years of high school, 88 have achieved A+ honors, 29 completed requirements for College Preparatory Certificates. Two seniors received Bright Flight scholarship recognition (scoring a 31 or higher on the ACT): Dean Adkins and RyLee Stover. Fifty-six members of the graduating class have earned a total of 721 college credit hours and 45 received Tech Preparatory Certificates. In all, members of the graduating class received local scholarships amounting to $221,660, and college scholarships of $996,500, producing an overall amount exceeding $1.2 million in total scholarships. The valedictorian and salutatorian, the two students with the highest grade point averages, were announced during the ceremony as well. Dean Adkins III, son of Dean and Lanette Adkins, was named valedictorian. Kaili Ward, daughter of Darin and Kristen Ward, was named salutatorian. The Chillicothe High School Symphonic Band played for the processional and recessional. The class motto is: “Special times and special places, special friends together – the moments pass so quickly, but the memories last forever.” After seniors tossed their caps into the air, they exited the gym to greet family and friends. The list of 2017 graduates are as follows: Dean Ray Adkins III, Jaime Maree Albertson, Devanti Marcell Anderson, John Maxwell Anderson, Dallas Austin Arnold, Dylan Kade Askvig, Steven Michael Baker, Zachary Kane Blixt, Trevor Edwin Bowling, Alexander Elias Braymer, Derek Jewel Brown, Dakota William Buckley, Layla Ann Bundy, Kaitlin Nicole Burns, Kathryn Eileen Buss, Roger Dale Cain Jr., Brianna Marie Cairns, Clayton Scott Campbell, Chandler Lee Childs, Ashton Morgan Chowning, Todd Michael Christo, Whitney Marie Clampitt, Mikah Jo Clark, Rachel Oryan Clark, Kendra Leeann Cobb, Jaime Lynn Criner, Abbey Kay Daly, Mason Paul Daniel, Jordan Mitchell Duckworth, Nicholas Nathaniel Duncan, Audrey Rose Edmisson, Skylar Nicole Ewing, Caitlin Dawn Fechtig, Ty Colton Figg, Adria Jade Forck, Austin Scott Foster, Carly Rene Gardner, Graceland Kristine Greener, Sheridan Grace Guilford, William Cole Gutshall, Hunter Lee Haakonstad, Kristina Margaret Hamilton, Kyle Franklin Hansen, Cheyenne Marie Harkins, Taylor Michelle Harris, Cayla Nichole Harvey, Dalton Lee Hayes, Preston Wade Hayes, Clayton Leonard Hays, Sheniqua Dawn Helm, Jacob-Robert Jeremy Henington, Hunter Charles Hobbs, Tanner Lane Hobbs, Monica Anne Holland, Audra Lauren Hutchinson, Jacklyn Michelle Ireland, Aaron Thomas James, Benjamin George Shepard Jones, Hannah Elizabeth Jones, Karson Marae Keithley, Bryce Jordan Larson, Olivia Shea Lauhoff, Alexis Michelle Lavature, Nathan Gunnar Leach, Emma Catherine Leamer, Maggie Jean Leatherman, Tanner Jacob Lent, Haley Nicole Lewis, Magdalena Ann Lewis, Jared Madison Loney, Nicholas David Malloy, Kyler Andrew-Scott Manning, Elysha Ann Maples, Noelle Darlene Mattes, Jackson Charles McCullough, Jacob Michael McGary, Keyonna Michele McIntosh, David Andrew Meservey, Danielle LeShay Midgyett, Ryan Allen Milanovich, Joseph Alexander Miller, Chase Shawn Minnick, Julia Faye Minnis, Avery Nicole Moore, Peyton Lynn Moritz, Bradley Clayton Mosier, Skylar Eden Mullikin, Matthew Stephen Mumper, Sarah Ann Murphy, Austin Joseph Murray, Tarin Eugenia O'Dell, Katelyn Michelle Parkey, Kaylee Dawn Peel, Johnny Melvin Phillips III, Elijah Kade Plattner, CharlsieLee Cathrine Plummer, Danielle Kaye Rapp, David Francis Rapp, Cobie Joshua Reed, Jalynn Marie Reeter, Rylee Elizabeth Reeter, Mary Grace Rice, Dalton Ray Rosenbach, Kaylee Marie Rucker, Jacob David Sampsel, Tristen Charles Sewell, Taylar Lanai Simmer, William Spencer Simpson, Aaron Michael Smith, Andrew Vincent Smith, Cade Wyatt Snyder, Malik Rashad Steele, Hannah Jasa Stotts, Kevin Lee Stover, Lillian Marie Stover, RyLee Suzanne Stover, Levi Elliot Surber, Joseph Quintin Thompson, Zachary Ryan Trout, Maelaina Rose Vanfossen, Leam Robert Wagenknecht, Corbin Lee Walker, Kaili Varie Ward, Rachelle Marie Wedlock, Courtney Elizabeth White, Alexandria Lenee Willard, Timothy Dean Wimmer Jr., Blake Allen Winfrey, Layne Scott Worman. Several students graduated earlier in the school year. They are: Augustus Cody Ashford, Annabelle Elizabeth Baker, Kaylan Taylor Cashatt, Phillip Morgan Esposito, Lane Allan Fortner, Amber Lynn Grindstaff, Sara Ann Myquel Langfitt, Hannah Nadine Leeper, Tanner Steven Munson, Ayradynn Fayth Ortiz, Damion Eugene Victor and Bobbi Jo Zimmer.