MOUNT GILEAD — Mount Gilead seniors entered a packed gym for their Commencement Program Saturday, June 8. Five seniors who participated in the program were class Salutatorians, and along with the Valedictorian, a total of 15 in the class receiving honors diplomas.
Class President Jadyn Shipman welcomed parents and friends following the class processional played by the Mount Gilead Concert band.
The student message was given by Noah Tuggle and Emily Knight led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Casey White introduced the school board members, district administrators and other guests.
The Senior Audition Choir directed by Randy Mann sang the Star Spangled Banner a cappella and the audition choir with seniors singing in their last performance, sang “For just a little while.”
Principal Deb Clauss introduced the seven salutatorians who all had a greater than a 4.0 verage. She also reported the university they will attend and their major. They are: Katherine “Katie” Seckel who plans to attend Ohio University, Jordan Levings to attend University of Akron, Noah Tuggle at The Ohio State University, Jayden Shipman also OSU, Emily Knight will take a year off and plans to enter early childhood education, and Casey White plans to enter Swarthmore College.
Nathan Johnson delivered the Salutatory address for the class. Johnson is a National Merit Scholar with plans to go to the University of Oklahoma and major in Mechanical Engineering. Clauss noted that Johnson has been active in many activities in addition to completing an engineering project at RAMTEC and being National Merit Scholar.
Clauss got a laugh from the audience when she said, “Nathan works on a dairy farm in his spare time.”
Johnson began his speech thanking teachers for teaching that “it is important to do what brings us happiness.” He also thanked parents and acknowledged the accomplishments of individual classmates.
Johnson ended with a quote by Dr. Seuss, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
Valedictorian Stephanie Smith plans to attend Ohio University and hopes to march in their band. Smith received honors in solo and ensemble contests, received the Ohio Honors Diploma and received college credit from Marion Technical College where she was Valedictorian and Graduated Summa Cum Laude.
“You choose your path in life, whether rich or poor,” Smith said. “There are no excuses.”
“Choose to be kind as well as successful,” Smith concluded.
Also receiving acknowledgement for Honors Diploma and National Honor Society were: Clair Alison Butcher, Indie Jones, Joslin McDonald, Morgan Murphy, Connor Page, Sy Shipman, Micah Tuggle and Kyle White. Receiving honors for National Technical Honor Society were: Hailey Nichole Dean, Makayla Hill and Meaghan McGill.
“This class is an academically enriched group,” said Clauss before diplomas were awarded. Sixty-three percent will go on to four-year and two-year colleges and universities, 17 percent will enter the armed services and 20 percent will enter the workforce.