MERCERVILLE — On Saturday morning 37 students from South Gallia High School received their diplomas, marking the end of the current chapter in their lives.
This commencement of students was noteworthy, not just for the quality of the seniors or the prospects that lie ahead. This is the 20th graduating class from South Gallia High School since it first opened its’ doors in 1996.
The keynote speaker this year was Michael Bess. This was not his first time speaking at a SGHS graduation; he was the first valedictorian in 1997 as part of the first graduating class. Both of his speeches pertained to success, and how to properly measure it.
“Success is not a goal, or an objective, but an attitude. It must color every aspect of your life,” said Bess.
Gallia County Local Schools Superintendent Jude Meyers also spoke on success.
“It has been my pleasure to witness the success of these students. In Music, Academics, sport. The immense progress shown is impressive,” explained Meyers. “You have achieve a lot, and that is because of your attitude of success.”
The ceremony had all of the hallmarks of a traditional graduation ceremony: board of education members, scholarship awards, and “Pomp and Circumstance” played by the school band, the VFW Post #4464 Color Guard posted the colors, the Pledge of Allegiance was led by a student as was the “Star Spangled Banner.” An opening and closing prayer was also said aloud by two graduating seniors.
Salutatorian Dane Griffith addressed classmates with: “Kindergarten class, we are now graduating. We have been together for so long, through so much, and here we are 12 years later.”
He also challenged his senior class: “Don’t reach for the stars. We’ve been told that our whole lives, but I say do not do it.” He continued: “I challenge you to shoot beyond the stars.”
Valedictorian Maddie Simpson said many kind words to her fellow classmates, her educators, and most of all her mom.
“The most important thing I learned from you [mom] is the importance of family. You worked so hard to always be there for me and I don’t know how you did,” Simpson explained with a few tears. “It takes a village to raise a child, and this community has helped make me who I am today. Class of 2017, it is time for us to go and be a part of our own villages.”
After it all was said and done, the seniors changed their tassels over, shed many tears, and enjoyed one last moment together as the South Gallia High School class of 2017.
Meyers had this to say: “What has impressed me the most about South Gallia High School is the family atmosphere.” He went on to encourage the students and audience “Don’t forget what makes you special, you’re a family.”
The following list is of the SGHS graduating class of 2017. * denotes honors diploma, % denotes top 10% of class. Justine Lenae Bowers. Tayla Yvonne Bragg. Jacob O’Conner Brumfield. Cory Nicholas Bryan. Shawn Martin Campbell JR. Brycen K. Caudill. Asa Tanner Gene Chapman. Mariah Lee Chapman. Lucas Chung. James Nathaniel Congrove. Coleton Levi Andrew Coughenour. Dylan Joseph Eurell. Clifford Dane Griffith *%. Joshua Tilden Henry. Damon Lee Hill III. Jacob Andrew Hitchcock. Alicia Arlene Holik. Haley Nicole Johnson *%. David Hollis Kuhn. Harley Bryan Lay. Izak Vance Luther. Hunter Amos Mannon. Andrew Phillip McGuire. Michael Hayden Montgomery. Autumn L. Norris. Kegan Chase Rose. Illyssa Marie Saunders *%. Miranda Dawn Saunders. Johnathan Austin Sheets. Madelynn Mae Simpson *%. Kaylee Layne Sturgill. Jenna Caitlyn Taylor. Austin William Triplett. Levi Michael Walters. Elijah Dean Warner. Virgil Raymond Watson III. Joseph Nathanael Woodall.
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext 2108.