SPARTA — Dark, heavy clouds hung over the football field at Highland High School where chairs were set out for senior graduation Sunday, June 2.
Parents and friends of the graduates drifted into the stands with umbrellas, worried they would be caught in a downpour. Just before the program began, the clouds were blown away and sunshine flooded the field.
Honor student Ben Rinehart welcomed parents, faculty, friends and school board members, following the National Anthem.
Student speeches were given by Brock Veley and Mary Schwartz. Veley reminisced about class shenanigans from fifth grade through high school. He recalled the times they argued about whether Chesterville or Marengo were better schools.
He concluded expressing confidence that the members of the class of 2019 would be successful in whatever endeavor they would choose.
Schwartz thanked parents, faculty and her classmates for their support and encouragement through the years. She encouraged classmates not to be afraid to take risks and quoted Babe Ruth.
Ruth said, “Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.” There will be ups and downs and failures in finding success.
Schwartz ended with a quote from Dr. Seuss, “Kid, you will move mountains.”
“Let’s go move some mountains,” Schwartz said as she wrapped up her speech.
Seventeen seniors were recognized for honor diplomas and Ohio Scholars Association membership. Larry Hickman of Tri-Rivers Career Center recognized Tri-Rivers graduates and gave special honors to the top five Career Center seniors.
Science teacher Scott Pauley gave recognition for academic accomplishments. More than half of the class of 137 students plans to attend colleges and universities with others attending technical and trade schools. Several will join the military and some have jobs in the workforce.
Quite a few will attend The Ohio State University and Marion Technical College where many have received college credit already. Others will attend Kent State, Bowling Green University, University of Toledo and a variety of private colleges including Kenyon, Ashland, Clemson and Mount Vernon Nazarene University.
Highland High School Principal Nathan Huffman presented the class before each was presented their diploma by mathematics teacher Shawn Wilhelm. Honor student Chris Lott lead the class in the changing of the tassels and counted down before caps were thrown in the air.
The Highland High School Concert Band under the direction of Amy Tomasek played the Processional “Pomp and Circumstance,” “Loch Lomond,” and the Recessional “The Great Highland Pipes.”