GALLIPOLIS — Ohio Valley Christian School graduated eight seniors Saturday afternoon, May 26, 2012, in the First Baptist Church auditorium. This was the 31th commencement exercise in the school’s 35-year history and brings the total number of graduates to 343.
“Pomp and Circumstance” brought in the graduates, and Pastor Alvis G. Pollard, pastor of First Baptist Church, gave the welcome and invocation. First Baptist Church is the sponsoring church of the school, which has students from more than 32 different churches.
Patrick O’Donnell, the administrator of the school, introduced the speaker, Jeffrey E. Smith, who is the Chairman of the Board of Ohio Valley Bank and Ohio Valley Bank Corp in Gallipolis, Ohio. O’Donnell then introduced the valedictorians to speak.
Jennifer Ann Blevins, daughter of David and Paula Blevins of Bidwell, Ohio, received the valedictorian award with a GPA of 4.0. She attends Fellowship of Faith where she is active in her youth group. She has attended OVCS since kindergarten. Blevins was active in the band, choir and 4-H. She was student body president and this year’s homecoming queen. Blevins was a member of the Christian Honor Society and received the President’s Award for Educational Excellence. Blevins received the school’s citizenship award, the John Philip Sousa award and was featured as one of the WSAZ Best of the Class of 2012. She has been awarded the Otterbein President’s Scholarship, as well as the Legacy Scholarship totaling $15,000. She is also this year’s recipient of the Ruth H. Williams Memorial Scholarships for Math and Music. She plans to attend Otterbein University and major in early childhood education.
Benjamin Levi Tillis, son of Don and Gina Tillis of Rutland, Ohio, received the valedictorian award with a GPA of 4.0. He attends Middleport Church of Christ where he is active in his church youth group. He has attended OVCS since kindergarten. Tillis was active in soccer, basketball, student government and 4-H. He was a member of the Christian Honor Society and received the President’s Award for Educational Excellence. Tillis received the school’s citizenship award and was featured as one of the WSAZ Best of the Class of 2012. He is the recipient of the Ohio Incentive Award, the Ohio Legacy Scholarship, the Gateway Award, the George Womack Grant and the Lion’s Club Scholarship, totaling $23,250. He plans to attend Ohio University and major in nursing with plans for a master’s degree in anesthesiology.
Other members of the senior class in alphabetical order were: Peter Edward Carman, Andrew Willis Hill, Elizabeth Renee Martin, Kelsey Dionn McCoy, Paul Edward Miller and Samantha Nicole Westfall.
O’Donnell presented the senior class for graduation. Larry E. Miller, II, president of the Governing Board, presented the diplomas.
Following the moving of the tassels, the seniors showed a slide show of their lives accompanied by Christian music.
David Harkleroad, associate pastor of First Baptist Church, gave the benediction for the service.