A beautiful summer afternoon highlighted Sunday’s graduation ceremonies for the members of the Switzerland County High School class of 2015.
It was a full house in the Switzerland County gym, but administrative precautions of getting the air conditioning ahead of the large crowd made things very comfortable.
After the members of the graduating class entered into the ceremony, the senior members of the choir sang the National Anthem; followed by Class Treasurer Carleigh Hughes leading everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance. Class Secretary Amber Hoskins then welcomed the crowd; and Salutatorian Jacqueline Hensley introduced guests at the commencement along with the class officers.
Class co-Valedictorian Macy Barwick then introduced Reverend Ron Lee, pastor at Switzerland Baptist Church, who gave the Baccalaureate address.
Class President Jaclyn Hart then presented retiring teacher Sharon Hansel, who receiving a rousing round of applause for her work and dedication to students.
After Director of Guidance Marla Edwards honored those members of the class who earned Academic Honors Diplomas and the Top 10 Seniors academically in the class; sponsor Valerie Smith acknowledged the members of the senior class who had earned inclusion in the National Honor Society.
Assistant Principal and Athletic Director David Todd introduced Valedictorian Macy Barwick, whose speech was like her – short and sweet. She challenged her classmates to overcome their shortcomings and achieve great things.
AP English teacher Peggy Higgins introduced Valedictorian Adeli Kinne, who challenged her classmates to 15 Life Lessons that she wanted to share and that each could use in the future for a better life. In her speech, told her class that people are not winner or losers, but rather they are choosers, so make wise choices for a better and fulfilling life.
Superintendent Mike Jones then officially designated the class as meeting all of the requirements for graduation; and he handed out diplomas while David Todd read the names of the graduates.
Ryan Brubaker wowed the audience with a standing back flip after he came off of the stage from receiving his diploma; and many of the graduates had decorated their mortar boards for the day.
Class Committee Member Nora Yazell then led everyone in the benediction; and Class President Hart led her classmates in the ceremonial turning of the tassels.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, graduates and friends and family gathered in front of the high school to share congratulatory hugs and take photos, and then everyone headed out to begin the next chapter in their lives.