CENTENARY — The faculty and staff of Gallia Academy High School bid farewell to a successful class of 2012 during a commencement ceremony held on Friday evening in the high school gymnasium.
The class, which received approximately $1.63 million in academic and athletic scholarships — a possible school record — overcame early adversity, according to Boeing Smith, one of the four representatives of the top 10 percent of the class.
Smith addressed his classmates and recognized their achievements in the academic, musical and athletic realms, encouraging them to continue on with this success and they venture out into the world.
“To all those people who thought of us as the second best and to Nostradamus who said that our class would be so bad that the world would end in 2012, and to my fellow classmates, if you work as hard as you did up there and out there,” Smith said while gesturing the classrooms located in the high school and the athletic fields outside, “the world isn’t going to beat us, we’ll just be taking over.”
Fellow student representative Daniel Snyder spoke of the adversity that he has overcome in his own life and that of each graduates as they made their journey toward graduation.
Snyder asked his peers to maintain his or her preserving spirit as they continue their journeys through life.
“Now we will be going onto bigger things and testing [our perseverance] even further. I ask you to do this: persevere; because no matter how difficult life gets, continue to hang in there and it will pay off as it has paid off today,” Snyder said.
Also delivering a student address on Friday evening was Alyssa Lucas who also commented on the fighting spirit of the class of 2012 as they look forward to their “best years.”
“We will not let anyone or anything hold us back from doing what we are supposed to do and becoming what who we are supposed to become. We all have dreams in our hearts and may God grant us the courage to chase them all,” Lucas said. “So, do not be sad or melancholy or cry on this momentous day, because your high school years are not the best years of your life, contrary to popular belief. No, I promise you, class of 2012, that the best for us is yet to come. We will discover it as we make it down our individual and winding paths.
“We need to consciously decide that we will not settle for anything less than what we dream and that we are not going to stray from the right path once we have chosen it,” she said.
Jessica Ward told her fellow graduates to “dream the impossible” while being conscious of their present decisions and to make those actions something to take pride in.
“Your life will be what you make it, so make it worth living and make it something you can be proud of remembering. The past and present are not just bricks in the wall, they help make you who you are, so therefore make your present worth living so your past is worth remembering,” Ward said. “Dream the impossible, because even if you fail you will still accomplish great things. Don’t ever believe you aren’t enough and refuse to hear anyone tell you, ‘you can’t.’”
At his first graduation ceremony as the Gallipolis City Schools Superintendent, Roger Mace delivered an inspirational speech to the Gallia Academy High School class of 2012, providing them with the advice that has proven true in his own life about friendship, tolerance and finding the right purpose in one’s life.
“Understand that everyone you meet or you have contact with throughout life has a story of their own. Do not judge others on just their actions, the way they dress or the mood they are in at that moment. Be understanding, patient, and engage in conversation to get to know their story. Understand that we all have a purpose. It’s so important that you make that purpose in life be productive and positive,” Mace told the graduates while further stating that learning to maintain passion and enthusiasm for one’s work and life is not a lesson that can be taught in academia.
“If you are not passionate about what you want in life, don’t pursue it. You need that passion. You have to be enthusiastic what ever you go after. Show that enthusiasm. Never, and I mean never, sell yourself short, you are important to someone,” he said.
“As you begin writing your story, some of you are on chapter 17, 18 — as each chapter represents your age — I encourage all of you to write the best story you can write and at the end of your life, make your story a best seller.”
The following is a list of the graduates of the GAHS class of 2012: Peyton Adkins, Bryce Amos, Bill Angell, Cory Angell, Corey Arthur, James Atkins, Stephen Atkins, Karly Atkinson, Nick Bailey, Cassandra Baird, Bransen Barr, Jasmine Beach, Darian Bennett, Bryant Bokovitz, Ethan Bostic, Chase Caldwell, Andrew Calvert, David Campbell, Chadd Carpenter, Kierstein Casto, Tara Clickenger, Alexandria Clonch, Travis Clonch, Natalie Close, Chase Coen, Mitchell Coleman, Sierra Conklin, Garrett Counts, Caleb Craft, Kelle Craft, Kari Crance, Megan Cremeans, Jaymee Cremeens, Tiffany Delaney, Tori Dillon, Jessica Dotson, Austin Dovenbarger, Christine Dray, Nicole Edge, Kayla Facemire, Michael Fahmy, Jayla Ferrell, Kassie Feustel, Zachary Feustel, Shaina Fillinger, Lauren Fisher, Anthony Forgey, Daniel Fraser, Haleigh Fulks, Alexander Gagucas, Nikki Garrett, William Gibson, Jakob Gilbert, Corey Gillenwater, Derrick Gilmore, Frank Goff, Hannah Graham, Mariah Green, Aaron Guisinger;
Jenna Haft, Rachel Hannon, Chris Hill, Dustin Hill, Travis Hill, Victoria Howell, Adrienne Hurlow, Ciara Jackson, Kayla Jackson, Kaysey Jamison, Gary Jarvis, Joe Jeffers II, Ashley Johnson, Chelsea Johnson, Joel Johnston, Lee Kerr II, Jeremy Kincaid, Brandon Kirby, Haley Kyle, Ashley Lane, Mattie Lanham, Andrew Lawrence, Jordan Lear, Sarah Lear, Alistair Lee, Jessica Lemley, Brandon Leonard, Jared Lester, Brittany Lloyd, Sean Long, Alyssa Lucas, Alex Lyles, Nathan Lynn, Krista Martin, Kristen Massingo, McKaela Maynard, Samantha McClure, Jessica McGhee, Zach McKinney, Matthew McKitrick, Jordan Merry, Dustin Milanos, Erin Mitchell, Desiree Montgomery, Courtney Mooney, Madison Moritz, Rachel Morris, Dallas Moss, Matthew Muncy, Kelsey Myers, Rachel Myers, MacKenzie Newberry, Robert Newell, Jessica Northup, Breanna Pinson, Brooklynn Plantz, Trey Porter, Adriannah Powell, Kayla Purdum;
Ray Rediger, Daniel Rees, Justin Rhodes, Mariah Richardson, Cody Riffle, Lane Roberts, Zach Roberts, Krista Rocchi, Kristen Rollins, Haley Rosier, Cory Rubbins, Annie Saum, Joe Saunders, Kyle Saunders, Nick Saunders, Sidney Saunders, Daniel Schneider, Michael Scott, Joseph Sexton, Michael Shank, Chobee Sheets, Dustin Sheets, Andrew Shong, Haley Simpson, Evans Smalley, Boeing Smith, Molly Smith, Julia Snow, Kanessa Snyder, Sabryna Strauss, Sarah Sydnor, Zack Tackett, Coby Tawney, Brandon Taylor, Jessica Taylor, Kyle Taylor, Geneva Thacker, Emily Thomas, Zachary Thomas, Olivia Trout, Brooke Turley, Cassandra Vironet, Andrew Voss, Samantha Walker, Alison Wandling, Heather Ward, Jason Ward, Jessica Ward, McKenna Warner, Tim Warner, Christian Watson, Jordan Watson, Shayne White, Misha Wilson, Francis Woods II, David Young II, Drew Young, Sarah Young.