The class was the first in the school's history to take the Ohio Graduate Test, which it passed “with flying colors,” Principal J. Michael Jacobs noted.
And it also dealt with adversity in the passing of veteran teacher Ardith Maynard earlier this year, and of State Highway Patrol Sgt. Dale R. Holcomb, a parent and supporter of RVHS, as the school year began.
Through it all, “I have no doubt that whatever we put our minds to, we will do it,” co-valedictorian Jonathan Crews said during Friday's graduation ceremonies on the Raiders' athletic field.
Prior to the 116 seniors receiving their diplomas, members of the class' top 10 percent thanked them for their support, as well as backing from family, friends and churches for their success.
“We are all born to shine,” co-valedictorian Elaine Householder said. “It's not only in some people. It's in all of us.”
Co-valedictorian Lauren Farley commented on the encouragement she received from her classmates and teachers which propelled her to her own academic advances.
“Success is whatever you do to fulfill your fantasy,” she said. “The choice is yours. I hope you all will achieve your definition of success.”
For co-valedictorian Laura Kline, the future may be exciting to behold, but she advised the class to cherish its days at RVHS.
“Don't throw your memories into a closet and forget them,” she said. “Take some time to open the closet door and remember.”
Salutatorian Andrea Russell reflected on how years of work came down to this moment of time when individual educational achievement is celebrated.
“You work for years to prepare your kids for this night, and you wouldn't miss it for anything,” Russell told the audience. “We all need to remember, what a night.”
For teacher Jane Ann Slagle, retiring after a 35-year career, the ceremony was bittersweet, yet exhilirating because of her enthusiasm for the class and ikts future.
Slagle joined the faculty of RVHS when it was created in 1992 after years of teaching at Southwestern Elementary. She said there were doubts if she would fit in with the new setup and the changes it brought, “but I should have known better.
“Without question, some of the best memories of my career have been spent with you at River Valley,” she said. “To the graduates, the changes you have embraced merely set the stage for you to grow and prosper. I know you will be as successful in life as you have been at River Valley.”
Graduates also heard from Dr. Charla Evans, superintendent of Gallia County Local Schools, while Jacobs recognized students who received honors and scholarships, which totaled $720,685.
Blake Edward Arnott - $5,800, University of Rio Grande (URG) Award.
Jeremiah Bing - $3,400, URG Award.
Casee Chevonne Caldwell - $4,500, URG Award.
Anna Coon - $1,200, URG Award.
Michael Cordell - $3,400, URG Award.
Jonathan S. Crews - $24,720, Shawnee State University Presidential Scholarship; $400, Maude Sellars Scholarship; $300, Barbie Armstead Scholarship.
Christopher Dawkins - $4,600, URG Award.
Candice Renee Denney -$7,000, URG Award.
Dustin James Dixon - $8,300, URG Award; $500, Red Cross Scholarship.
Lauren Elizabeth Farley - $93,000, Berea College Scholarship; $400, Bernice Borden Scholarship; $500, Emancipation Scholarship; $250, B.J. Hairston Nursing Scholarship.
Andrea E. Flint - $12,000, URG Award.
Keisha Lynn Greene - $7,000, URG Award.
Terin Kathlene Harden - $4,600, URG Award.
Daniel Hill - $500, Ford AAA Asset Scholarship.
Sarah Nicole Hill - $1,000, Rotary Scholarship; $4,000, Shawnee State University Professor's Scholarship.
Jason Daniel Holley - $13,200, URG Award; $8,800, Ohio Board of Regents Academic Scholarship.
Joshua David Hollis - $24,720, Shawnee State University Presidential Scholarship; $600, Friends of Shawnee State University Scholarship.
Elaine Marie Householder - $8,800, Ohio Board of Regents Academic Scholarship; $36,564, Ohio State University Morrill Prestige Scholarship; $9,600, OSU Provost Scholarship; $750, Presidential Classroom Public Service Scholarship; $10,000, Toyota Community Service Scholarship; $1,000, M&G Polymers Scholarship.
Cory G. Jones - $5,800, URG Award.
Jason Chad Jones - $12,000, URG Award.
Thomas Jonathan Daniel Kisor -$79,356, Ohio State University Land Grant Scholarship; $9,600, Flagship Plus Award; $300, Holzer Science Award.
Laura Katherine Kline - $6,000, Rio Grande Community College Scholarship; $11,000, URG Award.
Chelsea Nicole Layton - $13,200, URG Award; $350, Katherine Williams Retired Teachers Association Scholarship; $500, Gallia County Local Education Association Scholarship; $500, State Highway Patrol Sgt. Dale R. Holcomb Scholarship.
Brittany Nichole Letcavits - $15,000, URG Award.
Derek Aaron Marcum - $3,200, URG Award.
Sarah Jane McGuire - $12,000, URG Award.
Matthew Moore - $5,800, URG Award.
Christopher Bryan Morrow - $10,500, URG Award.
Cameron L. Muncy - $12,000, URG Award.
Bruce Matthew Nibert - $10,500, URG Award; $500, Academic Excellence Foundation Scholarship.
Brian Northup - $10,800, URG Award.
James D. Oliver - $9,400, URG Award.
Chris Palmer - $500, Cheshire Baptist Church Youth Scholarship.
Kara Lela Partain - $500, Ohio University Gateway Scholarship; $500, Academic Excellence Foundation Scholarship; $350, Geneva Clark Scholarship.
Cara Nicole Patterson - $7,000, URG Award.
Michelle Leigh Regan - $750, River Recreation Queen Scholarship; $200, Ray Kroc Scholarship; $500, Pepsi Scholarship.
Courtney E. Marie Reuter - $12,000, OSU Grant; $250, Masonic Lodge Scholarship.
Courtney Nichole Rogers - $8,300, URG Award.
Kayla Renee Rose - $1,000, Miss Gallia County Scholarship; $12,000, OSU Freshman Foundation Grant; $1,000, Vinton Eastern Star; $500, Lions Club Scholarship; $500, Ron Twyman Scholarship; $500, Kyger Creek Junior Beta Club Scholarship.
Andrea Renee Russell - $12,000, URG Award; $2,000, Gallia County Fair Board Scholarship; $1,000, Gallipolis Rotary Scholarship; $500, Hubble Vending Scholarship; $500, Kyger Creek Junior Beta Club Scholarship.
Charles William Joel Saunders - $5,000, Ohio University Incentive Award.
Ross Sharrett - $12,000, URG Award.
Shannan Nichole Smith - $3,200, URG Award.
Danielle Lynn Spencer - $5,800, URG Award.
Ashlee Renee Swartz - $5,500, URG Award.
Tessa Thompson - $250, Thompson Family Scholarship.
Tyler Thompson - $4,600, URG Award; $250, Thompson Family Scholarship.
Bradley A. Urwin - $12,000, URG Award.
Nathan Vance - $4,600, URG Award.
Corey Ward - $2,200, URG Award.
Carmen Marie Waugh - $10,500, URG Award; $350, Morning Star Scholarship; $500, Hubble Vending Scholarship; $75, Ray Kroc Scholarship.
KaSandra Wells - $14,000, URG Award.
Kacie A. Willey - $36,000, Campbell University Presidential Scholarship; $4,000 Campbell University Administrative Scholarship; $500, Academic Excellence Foundation Scholarship; $500, Pepsi Scholarship.
Kyle David Kristoffer Woodall -$500, Vietnam Veterans Scholarship; $500, GCLEA Scholarship; $500, Pepsi Scholarship.
Cierra Wray - $5,800, URG Award.
The class of 2007 is:
Brad Aberts, Carol Ann Alexander, Blake Edward Arnott, James R. Baker, Marrell Ball, Ashley Marie Barr, Patrick William Beall, Tiffany R. Beaver, Jeremiah D. Bing, Ben A. Bradshaw, Noah A. Broyles, Andrew D. Burns, Tyler Burns, Casee Chevonne Caldwell, Kala Marie Cisler, Jeremy Paul Clark, Tara Nicole Clinton, Brittany Necole Cook, Anna Coon, Michael Cordell, Jonathan S. Crews, Chris P. Dawkins, Candice Renee Denney, Dustin James Dixon, Kayla M. Durham, Derek Durst, Lauren Elizabeth Farley, Brenton Alan Fisher, Andrea E. Flint, Jovi L. Flint, Todd Ryan Flint, Keisha Lynn Greene, Terin Kathlene Harden, Elisha M. Harper, Raymond Paul Higginbotham, Daniel Hill, Ryan Edwin Hill, Sarah Nicole Hill, Jason Daniel Holley, Joshua David Hollis, Alan Wesley Holmes, Ricky Lee Hooten, Elaine Marie Householder, Justin Earl Ireland, Cory G. Jones, Jason Chad Jones;
Thomas Jonathan Daniel Kisor, Laura Katherine Kline, Chelsea Nicole Layton, Brittany Nichole Letcavits, Derek Aaron Marcum, Haley Sue Marcum, Jarrid Ryan Marcum, Jeremy Martin, Sarah Jane McGuire, Martin Lester Miller, Aaron W. Mollohan, Justin Mollohan, Matthew A. Moore, Christopher Bryan Morrow, Cameron L. Muncy, Ashley Paige Neville, Bruce Matthew Nibert, Justin Nolan, Brian Northup, Sean Matthew O'Dell, Ashley Nichole Oiler, Tiffany Ann Oiler, James D. Oliver, Christopher David Palmer, Kara Lela Partain, Cara Nicole Patterson, Lacie Nicole Patterson, Christopher David Pemberton, Jake Proctor, Brandi Nicole Reeves, Michelle Leigh Regan, Courtney E. Marie Reuter, Courtney Nichole Rogers, Kayla Renee Rose, Andrea Renee Russell;
James D. Sanders, Charles William Joel Saunders, Justin L. Saxton, Tiffany I. Cox Searls, Derrick Shadwick, Ross Sharrett, Ryan Michael Shiflet, Jason Matthew Shriver, Brittany Jo Smith, Shannan Nichole Smith, Danielle Lynn Spencer, Valerie Renee Spencer, Ashlee Renee Swartz, Jessica Renee Tackett, Bradley Martin Taylor, Brittany Nicole Thevenir, Ashley Michelle Thomas, Crystal Elizabeth Thomas, Tessa Lynn Thompson, Tyler R. Thompson, Erica Lynn Truesdell, Brett A. Unroe, Bradley A. Urwin, Nathan Vance, Corey Ward, Carmen Marie Waugh, KaSandra Wells, Angela R. White, Kacie A. Willey, Seth Adam Wolford, Kyle David Kristoffer Woodall, Cierra Wray, William Owen Writesel II, Jared A. Zerkle.