REEDSVILLE — “This is the moment we’ve been waiting for since kindergarten. Some may have been dreading this moment and others excited for what’s to come, but one thing is certain — each one of us should be proud,” said Eastern High School Class of 2021 Valedictorian Jenna Chadwell in her address during Sunday afternoon’s graduation and commencement ceremony.
Chadwell recalled some of her favorite memories with the Class of 2021 including on the eighth grade trip, winning homecoming Olympics and classmate Olivia Barber tackling someone playing powder puff football. “We all cried laughing,” said Chadwell.
She thanked the staff of Eastern Local, particularly teachers Sam Thompson and Chad Griffith, her family and her friends.
“Like everyone in high school, we had our ups and downs, but I definitely would not have made it without you,” said Chadwell to her friends and classmates.
“To Layna (Catlett), flashback to the good old days when we would pretend to be SpongeBob or Patrick. We were always side-by-side and still are. Look at us now, salutatorian and valedictorian,” added Chadwell.
Concluding with one final thought for her classmates, Chadwell said, “We may part ways but we will always have this connection. Remember, pain is temporary but swag is forever.”
In her Salutatorian address, Layna Catlett stated, “I remember being in kindergarten in 2008 and thinking that 2021 was so far away and that we would never graduate, but now in the blink of an eye, here we are today turning the tassels.”
“All of the hard work, homework, studying, and occasionally even drama; We’ve been through it all together and I wouldn’t trade our time together for the world,” added Catlett.
Catlett recalled all of the changes the class has been through, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, including remote learning, masks and four day school weeks.
“As Albert Einstein once said, ‘the measure of intelligence is the ability to change,’” said Catlett. “So though it may seem scary, change is the key to all great things in life, and you will never move forward if no changes are made.”
Catlett concluded, “It will feel strange not coming back to EHS this August and seeing all of you again, but we are all off to bigger and better things. Out of everything that we have accomplished, the best is yet to come.”
Ashton Guthrie served as the Master of Ceremonies for the event, welcoming those in attendance and introducing the speakers. The turning of the tassel was led by class officers Blake Newland, Avary Mugrage, Matthew Blanchard and Whitney Durst. Newland led the Pledge of Allegiance. Durst also gave the invocation and benediction.
The ceremony also included a tribute to classmate Hunter Cline-Corwin who passed away earlier this year. Graduates Hannah Blanchard and Matthew Blanchard took part in the tribute, which included the placement of Cline-Corwin’s diploma on a display which was set up for him on the stage.
The graduates descended the steps to the track and football field to the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance”, while the recessional march was to the song “You’re Gonna Miss This” by Trace Adkins.
Honors Diploma recipients were Jake Barber, Olivia Barber, Layna Catlett, Jenna Chadwell, Whitney Durst, Jonna Epple, Ashton Guthrie, Skylar Honaker, Alysa Howard, McKenzie Long, Brianna Nutter, Alisa Ord, Kelsey Roberts, Kennadi Rockhold, Tessa Rockhold, KayCee Schreckengost.
National Honor Society gold cord recipients included Jake Barber, Matthew Blanchard, Layna Catlett, Whitney Durst, Jonna Epple, Ashton Guthrie, Skylar Honaker, Alysa Howard, Blake Newland, Brianna Nutter, and Kelsey Roberts.
Class of 2021 Honorarians were Olivia Barber, Layna Catlett, Jenna Chadwell, Whitney Durst, Jonna Epple, Skylar Honaker, ALysa Howard, Alisa Ord, Kelsey Roberts and Tessa Rockhold.
The Eastern High School Class of 2021 includes:
Haley Dawn Arix, Tia Mariah Arix, Jake Andrew Barber, Olivia Karol Barber, Ayden Paul Barringer, Josesph Peter Bartee II, Rebekah Jane Bearhs, Hannah Nicole Blanchard, Matthew Riley Blanchard, Skylar Alexis Bledsoe, Derissa Shawntel Brewer Johnson, Natalie Storm Browning, Isaac Cole Card, Layna Mary Catlett, Jenna Lorrayne Chadwell, Hunter Allen Cline-Corwin,
Whitney Leigh Durst, Jonna Nichole Epple, Steven Michael Fitzgerald, Ashton Brooke Guthrie, Bradley Allen Hawk, Bruce Ryan Hawley II, Eiona Grace Higgenbotham, Brogan Lee Holter, Skylar Isabelle Honaker, Alysa Faith Howard, Zoie Paige Jackson, Owen Frederick Johnson,
Katlyn Marie Lynn Lawson, McKenzie Mae Long, Nora Irene Lopez, Jacey Rae Martin, Avary Mae Mugrage, Blake Alan Newland, Brianna Nichole Nutter, William Hunter Oldaker, Alisa Lynn Ord, Kelsey Marie Reed, Jason Walter Reynolds, Conner Darren Ridenour, Peyton Tyler Rigsby, Karlee Nicole Roberts,
Kelsey Laine Roberts, Kennadi Dawn Rockhold, Tessa Grace Rockhold, Dalton Lee Wayne Roush, Sydney Nichole Sanders, KayCee Rae Schreckengost, Joshua Michael Schuler, Haley Dawn Shaffer, Hunter Chase Sisson, Karlee Jaden Small, Faith Ann Smeeks, Preston Chase Thorla, and Alexis Mkenzi Wilhelm.
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Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.