POMEROY — “Our community is built on a single dream: that a small spark can start a flame.”
Savannah Hope Diehl, Meigs High School (MHS) Salutatorian, said in her address as she and her fellow graduates prepared to receive their diplomas.
Diehl, along with Co-Valedictorians David Cole Hoffman, Bradley Paul Logan, Bryce Steven Swatzel, and Gregory Charles Sheets II spoke to their classmates as part of the commencement ceremony held in the Meigs High School Gymnasium.
Diehl continued, “Even though this place is small, the people that come from it are kind hearted, strong, and bright and that includes us. Meigs is not only a county, it’s a home.”
Hoffman walked his fellow graduates and the those in attendance through his time of trials during his senior year.
“This year was by far the toughest year of my life. We all experience difficulties, that’s life for you,” said Hoffman.
He explained his father got a job requiring the family to relocate, Hoffman stayed with his grandparents to finish his time at MHS.
“But even after all of this, the toughest time for me and my family was trying to restore the happiness and laughter in our home after dealing with an immense loss,” said Hoffman.
He explained the difficulties of dealing with the pain and sadness of the tragedy, but with time the, “burden lessened.”
“Don’t get me wrong, there are still some really tough days, but when you open your heart to being happy again, it’s easier to move forward. In short, I want you all to understand that hard times come and go like tides. Sometimes you’ll have a bad day, a week, or long, but you must remember to look ahead in life. And…remember, even the worst day is only a matter of hours,” said Hoffman.
Logan explained the importance of finding one’s track of life.
“Whether you plan on going to college, the military, or going straight to work, we must apply the necessary dedication and effort to earn success and achieve our goals,” said Logan.
He said now is the time for he and his fellow graduates to not only find, but follow their own track.
“No matter how daunting a challenge may seem at the time, persevere. Set goals for yourself. Today doesn’t symbolize a new beginning in our lives, this simply is the commencement of a new chapter, in our stories, that we have written and will continue to write. Make your story one that someone would like to read,” said Logan.
Swatzel encouraged his fellow classmates to find a source that motivates them.
”‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ – Philippians 4:13…’ I say this verse anytime that I need motivation, inspiration, or a boost in self-confidence,” said Swatzel.
He explained how referring to this phrase before certain activities made him feel, “capable of greatness.”
“Beyond this day, we are stepping into the next chapter in our lives, whether that be college, the military, or straight into the work force. We will run into problems and situations that are much different and more difficult than a basketball game or test or anything we may have experienced thus far, but you must know that you can do it. Maybe you can find something that motivates you to be your best, such as my phrase,” said Swatzel.
Sheets focused on the importance of crowning one’s work and achievements.
“Tonight, we crown all the hard work that each and everyone of you has put in over the past 13 years,” said Sheets.
He explained the work and dedication of each students’ parents, guardians, brothers, sisters, teachers, and any other strong support system is a crowning achievement as well.
Sheets went on to explain the importance of embracing one’s passion and pursuing that passion.
”Everyone in this room has a talent with something. It is up to you to use that talent to create something truly amazing in this world. A mentor once told me ‘hard work without talent is a shame, but talent without hard work is a tragedy’ and this really resonated with me, so I challenge each and every one of you, not to rest on your success, but to channel your passions and to achieve what you truly want to be in life.”
Trenton Timothy Durst led the Pledge of Allegiance, Lane Ashton Cullums gave the invocation and Morgan Renee Michael gave the benediction, Senior Class President Sydney Rene’ Kennedy gave the welcome and Senior Class Treasurer Isaiah Blake Ash introduced the speakers, Senior Class Secretary Mariah Dawn Haley did the roll call and Senior Class Vice President Trevor John Smith presented the symbol of graduation.
The Meigs High School band performed the National Anthem, Alma Mater, Processional, and Recessional.
Meigs High School Class of 2018 graduates include (names as listed by the school):
David Cole Hoffman, Bradley Paul Logan, Bryce Steven Swatzel, Gregory Charles Sheets II, Savannah Hope Diehl, Zachary Austin Helton, Sydney Rene’ Kennedy, Trenton Timothy Durst, Madison Danielle Hendricks, Paige Elizabeth Denney, Madison Nichole Ackerman, Isaiah Blake Ash, Leila Ashirova, Hanna Lee Barnette, Bethany Morgan Barrett, Alexander Keldon Booth, Candace Michelle Brockert, Matthew Todd Brown Jr., Bailey Michael Caruthers, William Levi Chapman, Harley Arlene Clark, Kali Jo Cleland, Lane Ashton Cullums,
Olivia Grace Davis, Paige Renee Dill, Morgan Riese Doczi, Carmen Elizabeth Doherty, Andrew Michael Douglas, Mica Haley Drehel, Issac John Kenneth Dunkle, Tiana Marie Frechette, Keegan Reese Gilbert, Zack Wesley Gorslene, Mariah Dawn Haley, MacKenzie Joshua Shane Hall, Aubrey Ann Hart, Devon Michael Hawley, Devin Paige Humphreys, Marrisa Gabbrial Keesee, Rachel Renee Kesterson, MaKayla Danielle Kimes, Hanna Rose King, Amanda Christine Landaker, Kyle Everett Lawson, Raymond Wesley Lawson, Christopher William Leach, Trystin William Lee, Kayla Deann Lemley, Domineke Donyel Lyons,
Courtney Lee Mather, Isabella Jade McDaniel, Theodore Scott McElroy, Morgan Renee Michael, Thelma Michelle Denise Morgan, Beau Michael Wiliam Morris, Trevor Mikhail Neal, Makayla Magnolia Candis Marie Nitz, Riley Blaine Ogdin, McKenzie Marie Ohlinger, Mitchel Akinyi Otieno, Chelsea Chyanne Pierce, Michael David Plumm, Dusty Michael Pooler, James Paul Porter II, Cheyanne Davanne Priddy, Chelsey Renea Pullins, Christopher Wyane Queen, Wayland Edward Wayne Ramage III, Caitlyn Frances Rest, Trey Allen Robinson, Makayla Marie Rose, Jessica Dawn Rowe, Peyton Ashley Rowe,
Trenton Jacob Scarbury, James Issac Scherfel, Kaleigh Lynne Scott, Justin Edward Searls, Alyssa Dawn Shaffer, Isabella Marie Shockey, Ariann Jo-lyn Sizemore, Brady Allen Smith, Tiffany Marie Smith, Trevor John Smith, Wesley Mitchell Snodgrass, Caleb Elijah Stanley, Kayley Annette Stewart, Lauren Hope Stewart, Shayla Rochelle Taylor, Dane Michael Monroe Thomas, Destiny Jolynn Vining, James Lahmarr White Jr., Courtnee Nicole Williams, Wyatt Wallace Wilson, Cierra LeShawn Antionette Wolfe, Zayne Douglas Wolfe, Madison Tyler Wood, Brian James Wright, Kristen Ann Wright, Brentten Ashton Young, Zach Thomas Barton Young, and December Dawn Zeigler.
Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.