123 graduate from Chillicothe High School

Angie Talken
Chillicothe High School Class of 2020 graduates faced an unprecedented school year, with the closing of schools on March 16 due to COVID-19. As a surprise to the class, area businesses and organizations donated funds for a fireworks show following the graduation ceremony on July 24.

The Class of 2020 graduated from Chillicothe High School on July 24 at Jerry Litton Memorial Stadium, 114 members of the class of 123 attended the ceremony with friends and family while practicing social distancing as COVID restrictions continue.

The class experienced unprecedented hurdles, especially during their senior year, amidst school closure due to COVID-19. Madelyn Wilford and Macy Gutshall, chosen, by their peers to give an address to students both spoke of the pandemic during their speeches and rallied their classmates by speaking about the hurdles they have overcome and how it has strengthened them as people, friends and made them more resilient for their futures.

“Each of us in the class of 2020 are bold in our own way and that is what makes us so unique,” Wilford said. “It is our courageousness that will lead us to be great.”

She reminded her peers of what they have overcome, and what good was to come.

“We were born during a national crisis and now graduate during a pandemic in July. COVID cut our senior year short,” she said. “Some think we had the ultimate senior skip day, but most of us were devastated not to have the last two months of our senior year. Hands down, she continued. “Class of 2020 is bold and courageous, we are the very best.”

Gutshall’s speech, titled, 2020 Vision, focused on the class moving forward from this point and continuing tho thrive and make the best at what life gives them.

“We finally made it,” she said. “While all classes can and do say this, for us it really means something different. We are finally here, at graduation, in July.”

She encouraged her classmates to continue to use what they have in front of them, and move forward from where they are.

“We, as a class and individuals, did what we could, used what we had and now start where we are. We all have in front of us, a fresh new start. We have what it takes to leave a mark because of the difficulties we have faced.”

Valedictorians were Callaway Chapman, William Kieffer and Westley Brandsgaard.

The Class of 2020 received $1,550,448 in scholarships; 34 students will attend a 4-year college or university; 36 students will attend a 2-year college; 14 students will attend a vocational or trade school; two students will enter the military; 24 students will enter the workforce; 13 students are undecided at this time. Seventy-five students received A+ designation, 20 students received the Chillicothe High School College Preparatory Certificate, 67 students received the Tech Prep Certificate; 40 members of the class earned 715 hours of college credit hours; and William Kieffer and Brenden Sharp received Bright Flight Scholarships.