RACINE — “The end of this school year was unplanned. But life is, and always will be, like a roller coaster. In life we experience incredible highs and extreme lows. I encourage you to stay humble during the highs and hopeful during the lows,” said Southern High School Valedictorian Baylee Wolfe as she addressed her classmates during Southern’s graduation.
“This last challenge life has thrown at us is just another look at the rest of our lives. Life does not go as planned; it is unpredictable. But it is great too,” added Wolfe.
During her address, Wolfe looked that The Proportional Theory of time as studied by Janet Paul in 1897.
“Although we are far from understanding the fundamental concepts of time, there is one thing we all know and recognize; the more time you have lived, the shorter time feels.”
Wolfe continued, “The theory is based on the idea that each unit of time which passes now must be a smaller fraction of a person’s life that that same unit of time in the past. … According to the Proportional Theory, while our age still seems young, our relative amount of time is actually halfway over. This may seem scary, but it is important nevertheless. Time like money, loses value as we age.”
“Neither $100 nor 100 seconds will be work as much when we are 60 as it does now. The moral of this story is that time is subject to inflation. You need to invest your time now. So, don’t push away your dreams and desires no matter how wild or difficult they may seem,” said Wolfe. “Step outside of your comfort zone, educate yourself, and seek new and exciting experiences. Do what you want now, because life is too short, and time is running out.”
Wolfe concluded, “I cannot wait to see what the class of 2020 does with the second half of their time. So, remember, invest your time, because it has already started flying and will not stop anytime soon.”
In her Salutatorian Address, Reedy reflected on her time since coming to Southern Local in the sixth grade.
“I have only been at Southern since sixth grade, but it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the community here at the school. Each level of school brought on new challenges, however each challenge was an opportunity to grow, and I have watched my peers take advantage of this,” said Reedy.
Reedy recalled finding out where she fit in during her junior high years, and then the start of her high school days.
“I remember that while I was scheduling for freshman classes, I’d mark anything that had honors in the name. It was my dream to be where I am today,” said Reedy. Looking to sophomore and junior year, Reedy said, “I met amazing student teachers, and had teachers that encouraged me through every step of the way. The years felt shorter, the classes felt longer.”
“Senior year was here. … I spent more time with friends, and I stressed about school a little less. I wanted to make memories,” said Reedy. “Looking back, that’s what I should have been doing all along.”
Reedy concluded, “Even now as we graduate from Southern High School, I hope you make your memories, they’ll last forever. Cherish those who are around you, and appreciate the gifts in life. It took me 18 years of life, and 12 years of school to figure things out. Don’t let it take you that long.”
Due to COVID-19 and the resulting restrictions, the graduation ceremony for the Southern High School Class of 2020 was taped during a drive-through style event on May 8 by teacher Darren Jackson who put together the video released over the weekend in conjunction with the originally scheduled May 17 graduation date.
The video includes a welcome by Phoenix Cleland, President of the Class of 2020; invocation by Shelby Cleland, VP Class of 2020; Pledge of Allegiance lead by Parker Corbitt, Student Council President; the Salutatorian Address by Raeven Reedy; the Valedictorian Address by Baylee Wolfe; the presentation of diplomas; the singing of the Alma Mater; the benediction by Mickenzie Ferrell, Student Council Secretary; and a list of awards and scholarships for the graduates.
Diplomas were presented during a drive-in event on May 8, with the speeches taped separately. Students walked one by one across the stage as family looked on from a viewing area or from vehicles. The graduate exited the stage to receive a “2020 Quarantine Grad” sign. They then left and the next graduate and family arrived.
The graduation included a memorial set up for Chase Roush, who passed away at age 11. Chase would have been a graduate of the Class of 2020. His mother, Fallon Roush, carried a photo of Chase across the stage as she accepted his diploma. As graduates exited the stage, several placed their caps around the chair which had been set up for Chase. Members of the Class of 2020 were awarded scholarships in memory of Chase as were announced previously.
The Southern High School Class of 2020 included:
Sydney Cheyann Adams, Gage McGraw Eugene Barrett, Kasandra Brooke Barton, George Franklin Bunce, Gage Michael Carleton, Caitlin Marcella Carr, Phoenix Kyra Cleland, Shelby Layne Cleland, Parker Mark Corbitt, Nathaniel Lee Cottrell, Rhanda Michaela-Rae Cross, Haylee Nicole Currence, Mattea Ranee Deemer, Caitlynn Ilene DeLaCruz, Mark Allen Eblin, Nicole Marie Eblin, Alexis Rayann Ervin, Preston Hunter Ervin, Mickenzie Rileigh Ferrell, John David Ginther, Taylor Reanne Hardwick, Landen Jacob Hill, Hannah Kailie Holman, Hannah LeAnn Holmes,
Avery Madison King, Ethan Cole Knotts, Dristan Thomas Lamm, Addalynne Grace Matson, Vanessa Audrey Mattis, Trey Jordan McNickle, Savannah Reign Ayden Indigo Mills, Silas Jordan Nero, Coltin Paul Parker, Cameron Bryce Powell, Cody Allen Randolph, Raeven Irene Reedy, Valerie Jean Ritchhart, Austin Marcus Rose, Kelsey Nicole Rossiter, Darren Chase Roush, Sydney Jayne Roush, Gage Alexander Shuler, Hailey Marie Staats, Charles Matthias Stansberry, Cole Bradley Steele, JoeAnna Maria Taylor, Clayton Lee Wamsley, Josiah Patrick Weaver, Cheyenne Dawn Wehrung, and Baylee Ann Wolfe.
© 2020 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.