REEDSVILLE — Balance, respect and the connections you make with people.
Eastern High School Class of 2017 Valedictorian Katelynn Nicole Edwards told her fellow graduates that those were three of the most important things in life.
“Whether it’s a job, sports, or just some sort of plans; we have had to schedule and plan out every day for quite some time,” said Edwards. She noted that whether it is extra curricular activities, a job or other responsibilities, it is the balancing of it all that is important.
“We have learned how to balance our lives without even trying,” said Edwards, noting that it may be studying for a test while taking orders at work, or finishing up homework at 1 a.m. due to a late night sporting event that makes the balancing necessary.
Edwards said, “We have developed plans to fit everything in. These plans will be very important in the future for college, your job, or just deadlines in general.”
Moving on to the second point, respect, Edwards said, “Respect is always earned; you can’t just automatically receive it. Whether you earn it by your actions or your reputation, it is always something you have to work for.”
In order to respect others, it is important to have self-respect, noted Edwards.
“Having self-respect on even the worst days is how you are able to respect others….Always respect yourself so that you can respect others,” said Edwards.
“Forming connections or relationships, with people can help you with many things,” said Edwards of the third important thing.
“Our first connections should be our biggest thank yous. I know I speak for the whole class when I tell our parents thank you for helping us get to graduation. It sure was a long ride,” said Edwards.
Edwards added, “A friend will always be there for you, so make everyone a friend.”
“Just know that after we graduate, even though we are all going separate ways, you have touched my life,” said Edwards.
“To my classmates, let us strive to win in life just as we have for the past four years in homecoming Olympics,” said Edwards.
The valedictorian concluded, “Let me be the first of us to say it, ‘welcome to the real world.’”
Salutatorian Laura Elizabeth Pullins spoke to her fellow graduates about being ready to begin the next chapter of their lives as they move beyond high school.
“Being an athlete I have come to learn that it’s not always about how you finish, it’s about how you got there and who helped you along the way,” said Pullins.
While Pullins said she hoped her classmates would remain as close to one another as they are now, she added not to be afraid of what the future may hold.
“Don’t be so stuck in the past where you miss out on the opportunity to make new friends and take on experiences you never imagined would come your way.”
“Even if something completely unexpected happens and it seems like the end of the world, always remember that whatever is meant to be will find a way,” added Pullins.
“Everyone in this room has made a mistake or two in their life, some of us have made more than we can count, but it’s how we have recovered from them that matters,” said Pullins. “Our mistakes are what have shaped us to be the individuals we are today.”
“Dear past, thank you for the mistakes and lessons learned. Dear future, I think we are ready,” concluded Pullins.
Graduates of the Eastern High School Class of 2017 are, Grace Ranae Adams, Hannah Dawn Bailey, Katlyn Marie Barber, Brooke Ashley Bearhs, Gary Michael Blankenship, Cody William Brooks, McKenzie Kory Browning, Danielle Rose Burrelli, Kaytlin Renee Carl, Corbett James Catlett, Jordan Wyatt Chadwell, Katelynn Ann Chevalier, Charles Bret Cleland, Jessica Sharon Coleman, Katelyn Nicole Edwards, Jett Pratt Facemyer, Matthew Kyle Frank, Abbie Nicole Hawley, Alia Grace Hayes, Austin Michael Heater, Amber Lee Holland, Jeffrey Hunter Kauff, Kelsey Jo Kimes, Jacob Aaron Laudermilt, Sabrina Rose Lauer, John Casten Little, Jeremiah Lyman Martindale, Makenna Rose McGrath, Tyler James Misner, Austin Trever Murphy, Jeremy Taylor Nelson, Taylor Dawn Parker, Laura Elizabeth Pullins, Hunter Colton Reed, Clayton Wayne Ritchie, Taylynn Faith Rockhold, Gracie Ellen Roush, Hannah Morgan Sharp, Meghan Hope Short, Mickayla Marie Starcher, Amber Bree Sturgeon, Ashley Nicole Tolliver, Jonathan Dory Wolfe and Brody Warren Wood.