BIDWELL — River Valley High School seniors bid farewell to their high school and took their first steps into the world as graduates as they moved onto their respective futures, Friday evening.
River Valley Band played the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance” song which is so often accompanied with graduates marching their way into the future. River Valley Phoenix Show Choir led the National Anthem before Salutatorian Brianna McGuire made the graduation ceremony’s opening remarks.
McGuire shared her memories of school with the crowd. She noted the importance of cherishing memories and she remarked that it was similar to taking photos with her Polaroid camera. Savor the important ones.
“Do not take away a generic Google image of River Valley High School, where all you can see is a brick building and trees,” said McGuire. “Take a photo using your special Polaroid film of what really mattered during your time here. For me, the shot put ring to your right, just behind the flag pole and the discus ring both hold a place in my house of memories…These places may not be seen by many, but they will always hold a place in my heart. Whether it’s the ag room, the band room, the classroom or the lunch room that you treasure, invest a picture to make sure that these memories stay dear to you. Remember the places that mean something.”
“You’re the first class I’ve been with for four years (in Gallia County),” said Gallia County Local Schools Superintendent Jude Meyers. “When I think of your class I think of a lot of things. I think of the evolution of our Phoenix group. I think we will miss you. I think of the improvements in our band and our choir and our outstanding musical and cultural performances. You were the first class to have the opportunity to open up our new facilities on our baseball and softball fields. You’ve done so many things and I’ve gotten to know so many of you. I watched many of you at Buckeye Hills collect your career passport and hear about what your career path will be. …I think of all the different things you’ve been involved in and you’ve perfected and been great at.”
“The definition of resilience is that ability to recover quickly from difficulties,” said Valedictorian Maggie Campbell. “As the Class of 2017, we have become just that, resilient….School has always been a bright place in my life. The drive to learn was instilled in me at a young age…I’ve always thought of school as my second home. River Valley High School was my home away from home. If you ask anyone, my car was in the school parking lot more than my own home…As a whole, we all pushed each other (to excel) but we were able to give a helping hand as well. Even though this may be the last time we’re all in the same place, we’ve spent 13 years surrounded by family.”
“I urge those of you to consider thoughtfully what is right for you,” said Valedictorian Andrew Moffett.” Not only do I hope you attain a degree you enjoy, but also one that has a high return on investment….I would like to stress the importance of work ethic. No matter what you intend to pursue after high school, work ethic is one of the most important qualities you can have for development…No matter how much talent someone has, you can surpass them if you outwork them.”
“This is your moment,” said keynote speaker Dr. Robert Lawson, after Moffett finished. “Give them their flowers while they live. Give a round of applause to our graduates. Literally, every single one of us here tonight are here to support you. Because of you. It’s imperative that we figure out a way to give back.”
In a previous story, River Valley High School Principal T.R. Edwards said he believed the Class of 2017 was one focused on service and had shown so through much of their efforts.
After diplomas were presented Class President and fellow Salutatorian Brody Moles held the ceremony’s last remarks. He used a Rubik’s Cube to demonstrate the growth, challenges and eventual victories of the Class of 2017 as he solved the puzzle over the course of his speech. He compared the class to the cube.
“Our cube here was not just important to us but is important to our community,” said Moles. Moles would lead the class in the changing of the tassles before the ceremony finally ended.
Here is a list of the River Valley High School graduating Class of 2017.
Emily Faith Adkins, Gabrielle Mae Adkins, Catelynn Brooke Aker, Brandon Michael Barker, Austin Levi Barrett, Brittany Cheyenne Bays, Isaiah Paul Oran Beach, Haley Brooke Belville, Sadie Elyce Braden, Jerry Raymond Brammer III, Marian Joyce Brewer, Christopher Dylan Brown, Kirsten Eve Brown, Brycen Andrew Brumfield, Brandon Matthew Burd, Robert Ryan Jacob Bush, Alexis Lace Butterbaugh, Katelynn Marie Caldwell, Abby Nicole Campbell, Maggie Mae Campbell, Ruby Ann Campbell, Abigail Rae Coleman, Dalton Wade Conley, Brandon Kyle Cornell, Nathaniel Curtis Cox, Treavon D. Allen Craycraft, Justin Delmer Darst, Stormie Ellen-Kay Davis, Gionni Jesus Dews, Jacob Aaron Dovenbarger, Robert Theodore Allen Drummond, Jason David Dummitt, Jeffrey Tyler Gordon Ebert, Garrett Ray Evans, Javin William Allen Evans, Brittany Marie Gibbs, Jesse Lane Gibson, Brandy Lynn Gilbert, Lannis Edman Gilbert III, Chance Levi Gillman, Grant Allen Gilmore, Savannah Louise Halfhill, Kayla Jean Harris, Madison Nicole Hartley, Angelica Lynn Henry, Beverly Nichole Hess, Leanne Nicole Hively, Payton BryAnn Hollanbaugh, Cheyenne Aleece Huffman, Scott Anthony Hughes, Rusty Michael Hunt, Shania Marie Hunt, Erin Danielle Jackson, Alexis Brianne Jeffers, Brooklyn Kay Jones, Alexis Jae Kiser, Kaylee Ashlynn Lambert, Sydney Renee Little, Jaykob Trey Anthony Mabe, Camron Johnathan Marcum, Cody Jennings Marcum, Joshua Dillon Marcum, Dustin Tyler May, Devin Miller McDonald, Brianna Lee McGuire, Shyanne Starr McGuire, Jennifer Elizabeth Sue Mitchell, Andrew Donald Moffett, Brody Allen Moles, Allie Jade Moore, Alicia Leann Mullins, David Allen Mullins III, Dayna Marie Nance, James Michael Wyatt Newman, Aurora Rochelle Nolan, Braden Taylor O’Neil, Christopher Allen Parsons, Chelsea Louise Pelfrey, Danielle Ray Nicole Perry, Olivia Paige Phoenix, Ian Ray Polcyn, Mikayla Ashtyn Pope, Katelyn Rose Prince, Colton Jeffrey Provens, Matthew Bailey Rhodes, Jacob Lee Riley, Phillip Andrew Roush, Luke Dustin Rucker, Cameron Wayne Salyers, Colton John Sigman, Caitlyn Danielle Smith, Gary Adrian Spencer II, Jason Patrick Sprague, Matthew Shawn Stamper, Jennifer Lin Stanley, Jessica Marie Steele, Austin Charles Strudthoff, Christopher Sean Scott Taylor, Madison Alyssa Thomas, Angelique Marie Toler, Arianna Nichol Trout, Loneda Ruth Varney, Dru Jared Walker, David Michael Webb, Destiny Dawn Williams, Bryer Gage Williamson, Karly Williamson-Black, Makala Paige Willison, Joshua Kent Winters, Bridgett Elizabeth Wray, Ariel Whitney Wright, James Nicholas Yongue, Garrett Tyler Young, Tequilla Dawne Chloe Young, Macy Marie Zinn.
Top ten students: Maggie Campbell, Abby Coleman, Beverly Hess, Leanne Hively, Brianna McGuire, Andrew Moffet, Brody Moles, Ian Polcyn, Jessica Steele, Arianna Trout, Joshua Winters, Garrett Young.
National Honor Society: Abby Campbell, Maggie Campbell, Abby Coleman, Beverly Hess, Leanne Hively, Erin Jackson, Brianna McGuire, Brody Moles, Bailey Rhodes, Jessica Steele, Joshua Winters, Garrett Young.
National Beta Club: Emily Adkins, Catelynn Aker, Dylan Brown, Abby Campbell, Maggie Campbell, Tre Craycraft, Jacob Dovenbarger, Chance Gillman, Beverly Hess, Leanne Hively, Erin Jackson, Alexis Jeffers, Kaylee Lambert, Sydney Little, Jaykob Mabe, Brianna McGuire, Brody Moles, Allie Moore, Olivia Phoenix, Ian Polcyn, Mikayla Pope, Bailey Rhodes, Destiny Williams, Nick Yongue, Garrett Young, Tequilla Young.
United States Armed Forces: Grant Gilmore, NROTC, Chris Taylor, Air Force.
Chair of Remembrance: Levi Thomas Dodrill.
Academic Department Cords: Red Cord, Social Studies, Brianna McGuire, Green Cord, Science, Brody Moles, Muave Cord, English, Destiny Williams, Blue Cord, Math, Leanne Hively, Purple Cord, Visual Arts, Marian Brewer, White cord, Foreign Language, Maggie Campbell, Light Blue Cord, Performing Arts, Abby Coleman.
Honors Diploma: Abby Campbell, Maggie Campbell, Abby Coleman, Beverly Hess, Leanne Hively, Erin Jackson, Brianna McGuire, Andrew Moffett, Brody Moles, Ian Polcyn, Cailtyn Smith, Jessica Steele, Joshua Winters.
Freshman Focus Mentors: Emily Adkins, Sadie Braden, Abby Campbell, Maggie Campbell, Abby Coleman, Chance Gillman, Beverly Hess, Leanne Hively, Erin Jackson, Kaylee Lambert, Devin McDonald, Brianna McGuire, Brody Moles, Olivia Phoenix, Bailey Rhodes, Jessica Steele, Garrett Young.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.