Whether they began school as Eagles, Timberwolves, Copperheads or Red Devils, they finished as Warriors Saturday as the Class of 2015 walked the halls of Pocahontas County High School for the last time.
Seventy-one students received their diplomas after four years of hard work and dedication.
Valedictorian David Rose said it was the unification of the class that helped them make it to this day.
“We have come a long way together, through thick and thin,” he said. “Twelve years of schooling under our belts and now it is time to move on – to jobs, to college, wherever life’s road may take us – we will always remember this day, this short morning of triumph. You may not realize it now, but friendships generated in these years will echo in infinity and create a bond like no other.
“No matter where you go or what you do, you can always count on your classmates to lend a helping hand in a time of need,” he continued. “We also must look forward, on to new opportunities, new experiences and new challenges.”
Wherever the future leads them, Rose said it is important to strive to be the best and never settle for anything less.
“Aim high, be honorable, don’t be afraid to be alone, endure failure, persist – the world needs all you can give,” he said. “Above all, you must never stop believing in yourself. Any man who truly believes in his heart and soul that he can be successful, will be successful. Any man who quits believing that he can, will fall into doubt and ultimate failure.
“You’ll be stepped on, put down and passed over,” he continued. “Opportunities will come your way, just to be snatched right out of your grasp. Be strong and believe, and the impossible will become possible.”
Salutatorian Miles Good-all shared his and the class’ thanks to everyone who assisted in getting the graduates to where they are today.
“Four years and several months ago, we brought forth to this school, a new class, conceived in awesomeness and dedicated to the proposition that all students are created equal,” he said. “Now we’re here, just a few steps, handshakes and pictures away from whatever awaits us in the future.
“There’s no doubt we could not have done it without help,” he continued. “To the parents and families who have seen us through the best of times and the worst of times. To the staff of Pocahontas County High School, thank you for truly everything. Thanks to the cooks and janitors for feeding us every day and then cleaning up our messes. The bus drivers who brought us through rain, shine, sleet, snow, earthquake, whatever. The coaches who pushed us to the end of our ropes and helped us. Teacher who encouraged us to learn and experience new things. We appreciate all your hard work and dedication to truly caring about us.”
Finally, Goodall addressed the class with his appreciation for the past four years and the memories created in that time.
“You guys are the best, never forget that,” he said. “Thank you for all your hilarious and moving memories that will last a lifetime. Thanks for being there when things didn’t go so smoothly and for making these four years great.”
After leading the Invocation, Vincent Harper shared a story from his youth. When he was seven, he was diagnosed with severe food allergies. Although he hurt and suffered constantly, he said he kept his faith and prayed every day. Three years later, he went to church where the congregation prayed for him.
When he left the church that day, the pain was gone. He said faith can give you strength to overcome any obstacle and told his fellow classmates to keep faith when they find themselves struggling and they, too, will persevere and overcome.
Reflecting on the past four years of high school were Katlin Sharp, Kimberly Lester, Cary Robertson and Heather Pritt. Kayla Lester introduced Superintendent Dr. Donald Bechtel who congratulated the students. Allysa Dunbrack delivered the farewell, Casondra Griffith presented the class of 2015 and Danielle Cain and Jessica Ervine sang “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons.
The class was presented its diplomas by Superintendent Bechtel, principal Robert Miller, assistant principal Michael Adkins and class sponsors.
The Class of 2015: Corinne Airgood, Shane Alderman, Kyleen Alkire, Kristen Bennett, Amber Beverage, Dakota Beverage, Chad Burns, Danielle Cain, James Campbell, Joshua Carr, Kindra Carr, Brandon Cassell, Jason Cassell, Robert Causeway, Faith Coleman, Patrick Collins, Tyler Collins, Tristin Day, Jensen Dean, Austin DeHaven, Dyllen Doss, Allysa Dunbrack, Jessica Ervine, Harley Francisco, Zachary Galford, Brice Galloway, Miles Goodall, Phillip Green, Casondra Griffith, Daniel Gum, Brittany Hannah, Vincent Harper, Natalie Hartzell, Aaron Hickman, Isaac Hise, Adam Irvine, Courtney Kelley, Olivia Knisely, Sarah Lambert, Kayla Lester, Kimberly Lester, Morgan Leyzorek, Birch Loudermilk, Richard Mann, Cody McCarty, Cheyenne McClung, Bobbie McNabb, Jason McPeak, Stephen Mick, Robert Nelson, Alexandra Plate, Austin Pritt, Heather Pritt, Izaac Ramsey, Markel Ray, Cary Robertson, David Rose, Nash Rose, Katlin Sharp, Devin Sheets, Stephen Simmons, Eric Slaven, Travis Taylor, Tresten Taylor, Christopher Varner, Vanessa Varner, Kaitlyn Wilfong and Zackary Young.