HAMILTON — Twin Valley South High School’s Class of 2018 commencement ceremony was held on Thursday, May 24, at Princeton Pike Church of God in Hamilton.
The ceremony gave the Class of 2018 a chance to say farewell to the friends they each have made within the walls of Twin Valley Community Local Schools.
Student addresses were given by the six valedictorians. This year’s small class only consisted of 65 students, making them more of a close-knit family than just classmates. Together, this senior class earned $815,000 in scholarship money.
Ryan Bassler began his address by thanking the TVS administration for the honor of speaking in front of his friends and family.
“High school has been an amazing time in my life. Waking up early, doing homework, and writing papers — it is a special thing,” he joked. “Seriously, high school has been a wonderful thing and has helped me set down a foundation for the rest of my life.
“Some of you may know that my family loves Disney. So, I found this quote by Walt Disney to be meaningful in many ways. ‘All your dreams can come true, if you have the courage to pursue them.’”
Audrey Chesney called back to the famous quote, ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.’
“As a child making lemonade, I would follow five steps. When I first heard this quote, I figured making lemonade from life’s lemons would take more steps, but as I have grown and learned about figurative language, I have learned that the lemonade made from life’s lemons also uses the same five steps,” she said.
Step one, she said, is to squeeze the lemons for their bitter juice. Step two, is to add sugar to the lemon juice to counter the bitterness. Her family and friends are her sugar, Chesney said. Step three is to add water and life, which Chesney said is her passions, activities, and interests. Step four is to stir everything together.
Finally, serve, share, and enjoy the lemonade.
Mylan Crews began her address by thanking those who have made an impact in her life. Afterwards, she said, “As I was sitting in my room typing this paper, I wanted to incorporate a quote that my classmates could remember for the future. The quote states, ‘What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.’
“From what lies behind us, as we go our separate ways, never forget the memories from high school, because they will be the ones you tell your kids one day. From what lies within us, wherever you go, never forget who you are. I’ve known each and every one of you the last 13 years and you are all amazing.
“Lastly, from what lies before us, don’t be afraid of your future. Embrace it and enjoy it.”
Rylee Emig read a poem she wrote for the class of 2018.
“To our teachers, you taught us how to read and write, to play and share and get along. You piled on the work each night, but made the days fun and not so long. Thank you for the work you do, the knack you have for caring. Your diligence and patience too, with us wisdom sharing. Some of you we thought were great, and some were just okay, but each of you are great to bring us to this special day. Thank you,” Emig read.
“To our parents, you held us, and shushed us, and rocked us. You’ve kissed us when we cried. You’ve been a place for us to run, when what we needed was to hide. You’ve pushed and pulled and prodded us to class, and games, and band. When we were young, we hated it. Now we sort of understand. We know you want not but our best. We’re thankful you’re in this crowd. This year, as we leave the nest, we hope we’ve made you very proud.
“Finally, to my friends, the Class of 2018. Remember when we came to school in groups of threes and twos. We tried to sort out who was cool, we had new friends to choose. In middle school we learned a lot, the drama never stopped. Some tough stuff came, but still we grew and talked and talked and talked. As freshmen, high school seemed so long. sophomores took tons of tests. some juniors went to CTC, but finally, and best, we’re here today as seniors and I want you each to know, you’ve changed my life, your impact felt, God bless you as you go.”
Chyann Kendel used her speech to discuss why she has chosen to become an agricultural educator and her self doubts which almost persuaded her into a different career path.
“It has been a pleasure to grow up as a Twin Valley South Panther, in the small community of West Alexandria. Within this small community, everyone will ask you at some point in your life what you want to be when you grow up. What feels like a simple question leads me to a much more complicated answer,” she said.
“As a first grader, I wanted to be a ballerina. In fourth grade, I wanted to be an interior designer. In eighth grade I was convinced I was going to become a zoologist. As a sophomore, I was certain I wanted to become and agricultural educator, because I had found my calling.
“On the first day of my junior year we were asked to write down what career we were interested in. My heart told me to write downagricultural educator, but my head convinced me to write down zoologist. Did I even know what a zoologist does? Most likely not, but I knew I liked animals and going to the zoo was one of my favorite things? My didn’t I choose to own up to wanting to be an ag teacher?
“I believed I wasn’t good enough to become an ag teacher. I simply did not know enough and I didn’t believe there was any way I could teach others about the topic of agriculture. Throughout life, there has been countless people that has believed in me, when I didn’t believe in myself. These people are the reason I am standing here in front of you.”
After thanking those people, she added, “The question of what you want to be when you grow up is impossible to answer, because it is the wrong question. The question should be, who you want to be when you grow up. It is what is in the inside that matters the most.”
As the final address, Travis Lovely said, “I really am proud to call myself a Twin Valley South Panther. I can reminisce about the last four years, but I think it is more important to focus on the future. Whether it is as a chef at a five star restaurant, passing laws in the senate, or finding a cure for the next big disease, all of us should make sure the word success is incorporated into what we do.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH