BIDWELL — “Society shows us that success can be measured in dollars, time spent on the job, popularity, or x amount of other things. We have been pushed through our lives hearing that those are the ways to success, but the essence of life is simple. When your life is over, will you be proud of the way you lived it?” said Class President Kristen Clark in her address to the River Valley High School Class of 2021.
Clark, who was selected as the Latin Honors representative speaker, wrote her speech as if it were a letter to herself and her classmates.
She asked herself and classmates a series of questions about how they were living their life now and wanted to live their future, including “Have you danced?”, “Have you sang at the top of your lungs?”, “What makes you happy?” and “What are your goals in life?”.
“No matter what you choose to do, choose to do what makes you happy. You don’t have to have a plan; plans change,” said Clark. “Walk out into your life and do what makes you smile, what makes you feel content or at peace. And take this summer to be a kid.”
Clark asked the Class of 2021 to take a quote from Pixar’s “Soul” and make it part of their mission. The quote states, “I’m not sure [what I’m going to do with my life], but I do know that I am going to live every minute of it.”
Concluding, Clark said, “We all come from different pasts and we are all in difference stages of life right now, but in this moment, and in this moment only, we are all in exactly the same place, about to take a leap into a new world, and I challenge you all to go out and do what makes you smile, and do it boldly, without fear for the future or fear for others’ opinions. Enjoy the little things, find your passions, and live a life worth living.”
In addition to the address by Clark, faculty member Aaron Walker gave the faculty address; Supt. Jude Myers gave remarks; and River Valley Alumni Association President Eric Whitt addressed the class, welcoming them as alumni.
Isaac Barrett gave the invocation and welcome, with Principal T.R. Edwards introducing the honored guests and faculty.
Senior Phoenix Choir members Kristen Clark and Sydnee Ruynon sang “I Hope You Dance.”
Graduating Summa Cum Laude were Isaac Barrett, Kristen Clark, Alexis Hogan, Zoe Milliron, Liberty North and Rebecca Pearce.
Graduating Magna Cum Laude were Alex Euton, Joel Horner, Hannah Jacks, Keyana Shortridge, Sierra Somerville and Bailey Wray.
Graduating Cum Laude were Chase Barber, Brier Campbell, Michael Cicoff, Jaylyn Hunt, Sierra Phoenix, Mikenzie Pope, Brooke Rucker and Gracee Wamsley.
Academic cords were presented as follows: Isaac Barrett, social studies, red cord; Zoe Milliron, science, green cord; Rebecca Pearce, English, mauve cord; Michael Cicoff, math, blue cord; Regina Maynard, visual arts, purple cord; Kaleb DeWitt, foreign language, white cord; Kristen Clark, performing arts, light blue cord.
National Honor Society members were Isaac Barrett, Kristen Clark, Zoe Milliron, Liberty North, Rebecca Pearce, Brooke Rucker and Gracee Wamsley.
National Beta Club members were Llindsey Abbott, Isaac Barrett, Logan Beekman, Seth Bowman, Kristen Clark, Jaylyn Hunt, Zoe Milliron, Rebecca Pearce, Sydnee Runyon, Sierra Somerville and Gracee Wamsley.
Merit List honorees were Erica Carpenter, Michael Donohue, Taylor Huck, Seth Jones, Shreya Patel, Emmary Phoenix, Malerie Stanley and Starr VanFossen.
Buckeye Hills Career Center National Honor Society members were Michael Donohue and Shreya Patel.
Buckeye Hills Career Center National Technical Honor Society members were Michael Donohue, Seth Jones and Shreya Patel.
Graduates receiving an Honors Diploma were Chase Barber, Isaac Barrett, Seth Bowman, Kristen Clark, Alexander Euton, Alexis Hogan, Joel Horner, Jaylyn Hunt, Hannah Jacks, Zoe Milliron, Liberty North, Rebecca Pearce, Sierra Phoenix, Brooke Rucker, Sierra Somerville and Gracee Wamsley.
Isaac Barrett received the Social Science and Civic Engagement Honors Diploma.
Freshmen Foundation Mentors were Lindsey Abbott, Isaac Barrett, Logan Beekman, Kristen Clark, Hannah Culpepper, Zoe Milliron, Rebecca Pearce, Sydnee Runyon and Keyana Shortridge.
Graduate Ethan Gilbert has enlisted in the United States Marines.
Graduates as part of the River Valley High School Class of 2021 included:
Lindsey Kay Abbott, Jasper Lee Adams, Chase Walker Barber, Karrington Ryanna Barr, Isaac Joseph Barrett, Logan R. Beekman, Michael Dakota Wyatt Black, Jerry Dale Blake Jr., Brianna Nicole Blazer, Seth Alexander Bowman, Victoria Grace Bradbury, Michael Ray Marcum Braden, Jaden Noel Bradley, Adrienne Danielle Burd,
Brier Channing Campbell, Erica Nicole Carpenter, Michael Carnell Cicoff, Katlyn Ann-Marie Clark, Kristen Leigh Clark, Blaine Robert Cline, Layne H. Crouse, Hannah Elizabeth Culpepper, Evan Paul Davison, Kaleb Chase DeWitt, Michael Laurence Donohue III,
Austyn Blake Eblin, Zachary Ryan Elliott, Alexander S. Euton, Abigail S. Fitzwater, Camereon Fulks, Dylan E. Fulks, Emilee Nicole Gibson, Akira Raine Gilbert, Ethan Marshall Gilbert, Jennings Hudson Gillenwater, Ashton Tyler Griffith, Blake Allen Robert Griffith,
Samuel Eugene Hall, Brandon N. Hamilton, Eian Henry Harkins, Isiah Clark Harkins, Alexis Marie Hogan, Joel E. Horner, Taylor K. Huck, Jaylyn Rose Hunt, Hannah Shay Jacks, Piper B. Johnson, Dalton Lee Alan Jones, Kelsey Morgan Jones, Seth Edward Jones,
Jordan James Lambert, Johnathon Hunter Leach, Aden Kade Leffingwell, Michael James Lemaster, Jakob William Lewis, Jacob Ryan Lollathin, Gabriel M. Loveday, Regina Lynn Maynard, Autumn Nicole McComas, Nicholas James McCown, Cameron Renee Miller, Kayla Elizabeth Miller, Zoe A. Milliron, Jaimee Necole Minshall, Zoe Mitchell, Kylie Rae Moore, Riley Scott Moore,
Joseph Andrew Nichols, Liberty M. North, Tiffany Renee Parker, Shreya M. Patel, Jayden Bryn Marie Patterson, Rebecca Lynette Pearce, Emmary Ann Phoenix, Sierra Jade Phoenix, Mikenzi Jordyn Pope, Macy N. Purkey, Taylor Nichole Ramey, Alison Marie Roush, Brooke Danielle Rucker, Carista Irene Rudduck, Sydnee A. Runyon,
Cole Jaret Shadle, Jase Eugene Shaw, Keyana Dezzara Shortridge, Troy Braiden Simpkins, Jake Smathers, Sierra Nicole Somerville, Megan R. Spencer, Malerie Sue Stanley, Haley Rene Staten, Riley Ann Stevens, Connie S. Stewart,
Breanna Lynn Taylor, Alexis Breanne Thomas, Brooke Nicole Tracewell, StarrAnna Marie VanFossen, Brooklynn Paige Wagers, Gracee Maree Wamsley, Ryan Matthew Weber, Alexzandria Nicole Wilbur, Kacey Hope Williamson, Ryan Mathew Wood, Bailey Nicole Wray, Alexis Jean Yates, Autumn Yates, and Bailey Jacob Young.
© 2021 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.