EATON — Eaton High School’s Class of 2018 walked across the stage to accept their diplomas on Sunday, June 3. Held at Millet Hall, 150 seniors were welcomed into the next chapters of their lives.
Of the Class of 2018, 61 percent plan to continue their education with 42 percent planning to attend a four year college or university and 20 percent a two year college or university, 17 percent plan to join workforce, three percent military, and two percent are undecided.
The Class of 2018 has chosen to attend 29 different college or universities. Of these graduates, 56 percent are accepting scholarships. The one year total of scholarships accepted is $601,497. The four year accepted scholarship amount is $2,155,438.
Class of 2018 President Lauren Ferguson introduced Allison Hickman as this year’s salutatorian. According to Ferguson, Hickman will attend Indiana University East in the fall as a nursing major, in the hope of eventually becoming a nurse practitioner. She was involved in National Honor Society, babysitting, church choir, leading children’s church, and volunteering for non-profits.
Katelyn Niehaus was named valedictorian. Niehaus will be attending Bowling Green State University in the fall with a major in middle school math and science education. In high school, she was involved in FFA, Tri-Hi-Y, National Honor Society, tennis, homecoming, peer leading, theater, and 4-H.
“It is so weird to think that we are finally graduating. I mean, surely it was only yesterday that we were playing with Webkinz outside at recess, or trading silly bands, or begging for more computer time to play on Club Penguin. When you look back, it does make you wonder exactly what it was that we were thinking,” Niehaus said.
“We’ve definitely grown up a lot. In the past four year, we have grown close as a class. We’re always trying to help each other out, like by trying to figure out what exactly a shadow cabinet is. We always support each other. I felt so lucky to be a part of a class that I felt always had each others backs. Now, we’re all here ready to begin the next chapter in our lives, thanks to all the support we’ve received from our friends, families, teachers, staff, and countless others who never gave up on us.
“I would like to thank everyone who never gave up on us when we were down, when we needed something last minute, or when we simply needed a laugh. None of us would be here today if it wasn’t for every person who is behind us, wishing us to be our best. Because of these people, we are graduating today. This day is truly an accomplishment, one that marks the end of 13 years of hard work. It should be celebrated.
“However, I don’t want any one of us to stop here. This graduation is just the beginning of the real world we have often been lectured about. I want us to remember a story, adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren C. Eiseley. It goes, ‘A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.
“‘She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”
“‘The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference to that one!”
“‘The old man looked at the girl inquisitively and thought about what she had done and said. Inspired, he joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved.’
“As we enter the next stage of our lives, and face those real world problems we will most likely have, remember that each of us have the capacity to make a difference in our own way. Even if it seems like we can’t, we can. So, I challenge each of us to find a starfish and throw it back into the ocean. To find something that we care about, and make a difference.
“Who knows, others might join us and we would really be able to make an impact. Class of 2018, let’s make a difference.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH