The River Valley Band opened with the traditional processional, “Pomp and Circumstance”, and the River Valley Show Choir recited the National Anthem.
Salutatorian Matthew Harvey reminded the class to remember each other in his opening address.
“This is the end of a 13-year journey,” said Harvey. “Since most of us are only 18, this is all we know.”
Principal J. Michael Jacobs introduced honored guests, staff and members of the board. He commended the class for passing all parts of the Ohio proficiency exams and garnering the largest amount of scholarship money recorded at River Valley.
“Graduation is a time for change, whether you're ready for it or not,” said Jacobs. “The past is a time for reflection, and cherished memories. The future is a time for your hopes, your dreams, and your inspirations.”
“You are the Raiders, and you are the baddest in the county!” said Jacobs.
Gallia County Local Schools Superintendent Dr. Charla Evans thanked students for their dedication, and for introducing her to the band Rascall Flatts.
She quoted a verse from one of the band's songs, “My Wish,” and reminded the class of the importance of choices and consequences. She also referenced a Robert Frost Poem, and challenged graduates to take the “Road Less Traveled”
“Seniors, I have learned so much,” said Evans. “Our world is in good hands, in your hands, in the coming years.”
The River Valley Choir then performed the song “Love Is.”
Valedictorian Jon Casto who will be attending the University of Rio Grande, expressed his gratitude for having been part of such a special class.
“This class that sits before you today is different than any class that has been here before,” said Casto. “Not because we are smarter, or more athletic, but because we are one.”
Valedictorian Matthew Casto, who will be attending Ohio State University next year, reminded students that graduation day is not only for students, but also for their friends, teachers, and families who have supported them on their journey.
“These people are the real reason we've made it this far,” he said. “Without them telling us the importance of an education, we may have never taken school seriously.”
Jacobs then recognized the honor students which included National Beta Club members, National Honor Society members, the top 10 percent of the class, honor diplomas, Key Club community service members, and scholarship recipients. He commended the class for securing over $780,000 in scholarships, the largest amount ever awarded to a graduating class at RVHS.
Rachel Gulley was honored for her commitment to the U.S. Navy, and David Russell was honored for his commitment to the U.S. Army.
Valedictorian Kevin Daines, who will be attending Ohio State University this fall, spoke of his anticipation of graduation, and the future.
“I've spent the last four years with great people,” said Daines, “and I know that all of us have the ability to live great lives, as this milestone sinks into the past.”
Valedictorian Beth Payne, who will be attending Ohio State University in the fall, reminded graduates to keep their goals in mind as they head toward the future and thanked the staff for making high school such a wonderful experience.
“As an eighth grade student, I had my doubts and fears about going to high school,” said Payne. “What was first a big scary building with too many windows soon became my home away from home.”
Valedictorian Jamie Schmoll, who will be attending Wright State University this fall, spoke of high school as a learning experience, read a poem, and quoted Mick Jagger for her speech.
“You can't always get what you want,” quoted Schmoll, “but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.”
The River Valley Choir then played “My Wish” and Rebecca Lyons, salutatorian, introduced RVHS librarian Josie Bapst, who read the Dr. Seuss book, “Oh, the Places You'll Go.”
“If you start your career with a book, you should end your high school career with a book,” said Bapst. “This may be the shortest one you'll read in the next four years.”
Diplomas were awarded, and Beth Payne, class president, presented the class of 2006.
Vanessa Burris, salutatorian, congratulated the class and the band played a recessional as the new graduates formed a circle on the green.
The following graduates have been awarded
Rachel Gulley, United States Navy; David Russell, United States Army; Samantha Brabham, scholarship from a major retailer ($1,000), NFLIB Scholarship ($1,000), Gallipolis Rotary Scholarship ($1,000), Concord University Academic Achievement Award, Mid Atlantic State Scholarship, University of Rio Grande US Bank Scholarship ($900), Tommy Sprague Scholarship ($250); Amanda Beers, Berea College Scholarship ($108,400), Kiwanis Community Service Scholarship ($200); Lauren Bing, J. Perry Bradbury Scholarship, ($1,100); Vanessa Burris, Buckeye Rural Electric Scholarship ($600), OSU Trustee Scholarship ($4,200), Ohio State University Morrill Scholarship ($34,328), Gallipolis Rotary Club Scholarship ($1,000), Gallia County Academic Excellence Scholarship ($500), M&G Polymer Scholarship ($1,000); Jon Casto, University of Rio Grande Ohio First Scholarship ($34,000), 4-H Advisors Scholarship ($500), NHS/Beta Senior Citizens' Prom Outstanding Participant Award ($50), Gallipolis Rotary Club Scholarship ($1,000), Tommy Kemper Scholarship ($250); Matt Casto, Ohio State University Land Grant Opportunity Scholarship ($84,000), Gallia County Academic Excellence Scholarship, ($500); Kevin Daines, OSU Trustee Scholarship ($4,200), OSU Minority Scholarship ($12,000), Steve McGhee 4-H Scholarship ($500), Chris Mullins Scholarship ($100), Barbie Armstead Scholarship; Carol Davey, Berea College Scholarship ($84,000), Vietnam Veterans Scholarship ($500); Megan Deel, Cradle to College Mothers' Club Scholarship ($300), Ronald L. Twyman Scholarship ($500), Mary Walker Eastern Star Scholarship ($1,000); Sara DeLong, University of Rio Grande Opportunity Scholarship ($3,780), Mulford-Roark Book Award Scholarship, ($500); Dyanna Eggleton, University of Rio Grande District Counselor's Scholarship ($34,000), J. Perry Bradbury Scholarship ($1,100), Gallipolis Business and Professional Women's Club Scholarship ($500), Wiseman 4-H Scholarship ($500), Gallipolis Rotary Club Scholarship ($1,000); Matthew Elliott, University of Rio Grande Opportunity Scholarship ($3,384), University of Rio Grande Trustee Scholarship ($9,000), Ronald L. Twyman Scholarship ($500); Matthew Harvey, Ohio Board of Regents Scholarship ($8,800), Ohio University Gateway Scholarship ($1,000); Kristin Hitchcock, University of Rio Grande J. Perry Bradbury Scholarship ($1,100); Kyle Hively, Mid States Meat Association ($750), Harris Baptist Church ($200), Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Scholarship ($250), Hubble Vending Scholarship ($500); Wesley Jackson, University of Rio Grande Music Scholarship ($2,500); Laura Kelley, Ohio Bobcat Award, Ohio University Gateway Scholarship ($500), Ohio University Appalachian Scholars Program ($40,000), Presidential Freedom Scholarship ($500), Masonic Lodge Siloam 450 Scholarship ($250), Hubble Vending Scholarship ($500); Chris Lester, Pepsi Scholarship ($500); Becky Lyons, University of Rio Grande Atwood Academic Scholarship ($34,000), Gallia County Academic Excellence Scholarship; Emilee McCormick, NHS/Beta Senior Citizens' Prom Outstanding Participant Award ($50); Beth Payne, OSU Prestige Scholarship ($34,328), OSU Grant ($3,000), Ohio Valley Bank ($2,000), Dairy Committee Scholarship ($500), GCLEA ($500), Cradle to College Mothers' Club Scholarship ($300), Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Scholarship ($250), Presidential Freedom Scholarship ($500); Brett Pierce, University of Rio Grande Atwood Scholarship ($34,000), scholarship from a major retailer ($1,000); Jamie Schmoll, Wright State University Valedictorian Scholarship ($12,800), Pepsi Scholarship ($500), Maude Sellards Scholarship ($400); Carter Smith, University of Rio Grande US Bank Scholarship ($900); Jessica Spencer, Ohio Valley Tech Prep Scholarship ($3,780); Abbey Thompson, University of Rio Grande Atwood Academic Scholarship ($34,000), Cheshire Baptist Church Scholarship ($500), Geneva Clark Scholarship ($200), McDonald's Ray Kroc Scholarship.
The Class of 2006
Kyla Michelle Adkins, Brittny Marie Anderson, Aaron Alexander Angles, Roger Dale Ashworth Jr., Craig Alan Barker, Amanda Emmalene Rose Beers, Lauren Ashley Bing, Samantha Diane Brabham, Joshua Philip Brown, Tyler Christopher Bullion, Brittany Nichole Bunner, Andrew David Burns, Ronny Lee Burns Jr., Vanessa Marie Burris, Megan Nicole Caldwell, Jonathan Grant Casto, Matthew Evan Casto, Kristin Michelle Clark, Staci Nichole Clark Peck, Brittlee Dawn Cole, Jessica Lynn Cooper, Marci Leigh Cottrill, Kevin Scott Daines, Carol Ann Davey, Chase Buckley Davis, Megan Brittany Deel, Sara Elizabeth DeLong, Elizabeth Ann Dennison, David Matthew Denny, Jill Rebekah Diddle, Amber Lynn Dillard, Kimberly Dodrill, Brian Adam Doss; Christopher Edwards, Cody Tyler Edwards, Jessica Cherie Edwards, Josh Edwards, Dyanna Marie Eggleton, Cory Neal Ehman, Elias L. Elliott, Jonathon Scott Elliott, Matthew Stephen Elliott, Anthony Ray Ferrell, Dustin Ray Fooce, Mark Anthony Forbes, Jaime Lea Gibbs, Heidi Mae Gilbert, April Gilland, Nicole Lynne Grubbs, Paul Grubbs II, Rachel A. Gulley, Joseph Richard Hager, Felisha Ann Halfhill, Erica Nicole Haning, Jeremy L. Harmon, Matthew Ryan Harvey, Courtney Necole Hawks, Brittany Renee Hersman, Kristin Nicole Hitchcock, Kyle Andrew Hively, John James Hoffman, Brittany Nicole Holstein, Scott Hunt, Lisa Reanee Hyde, Wesley Jackson, Nicholas Dean Jones, Laura Kathleen Kelley, Jessica Helen Jean Kiser, David Wayne Lambert, Tamra Jo Lambert, Bethany Lanae Lane, Christopher Ryan Lester, Jessica Renee Ellen Little, Rebecca Lynn Lyons, H.D. Marcum, Rachel Ann Martin, Emilee A. McCormick, Nathan Matthew Mollohan, Cody Morris, Philip Scott Mount, John Nicinsky, Blaine Anthony Nolan, Jasper Raymond Oliver, Elizabeth Ann Payne, Amber Dawn Phillips, Brett Jordan Pierce, Antonia Jade Porter, Sarah Rae Price, Harry Leonard Pugh III; Swayze Redman, Kelsey Wayne Reuter, Ryan Craig Richards, Jonathon Matthew Roberts, Maria Robinson, David Russell, Jesse Russell, Jacob Robert Saunders, Jamie Leigh Schmoll, Ryan Edward Shaddeau, Cyndal Marie Shadwick, Jason L. Simms, Gregory Carter Smith, William Matthew Smith Jr., Brandi Lea Sowards, William Sowards, Cory Joseph Spaun, Alvin Dwane Spencer, Jessica Lynn Spencer, Melony Christine Marie Spencer, Cassie Michelle Stone, Richard Alan Summers, Stephen Michael Tabor, Bryce Adrian Taylor, Michael Von Taylor, Brian Matthew Thomas, Abbey Nicole Thompson, Carrie Mae Waugh, Ashley Dawn Williams, Christine Anna Wojtaszek and Tara Sabrina Writesel.