OXFORD —Eaton High School graduated 158 students during the commencement ceremony on Saturday, June 1. Of those students, 57 percent plan on furthering their education, 25 percent plan on entering the workforce, and seven percent plan on entering the military.
Of those students planning to further their education, they have chosen 32 different universities and colleges in 10 different states. The two most popular choices were Miami University and Indiana University East.
Scholarships were received by 65 students, which is 38 percent of the class. The total accepted scholarship amount of $571,225, which is approximately $9,000 per student. The four year accepted total amount was $2,040,050, which equals $31,800 per student.
Principal Scott Couch recognized parents, families, and staff for their contribution to the graduates’ lives. Future military graduates led the pledge of allegiance. The Eaton High School Choir performed two different selections.
Superintendent Jeff Parker addressed the students on the history of Eaton High School and the graduates who came before them. He recognized all those who have graduated from Eaton Community Schools and all Eaton Community Schools staff. He spoke about the mark all graduates leave on Eaton Community Schools and the mark the Class of 2019 will make on the world moving forward.
“Now it is time to begin leaving your mark on the world. How you leave your mark, or what mark you leave, is your choice. It will be influenced by others, but make no mistake, it is your choice. How you leave your mark, or what your mark looks like, will depend on what you decide matters most in your life every day,” Parker said.
“My prayer for each and every one of you is that you decide that God, family, country, and treating all human beings regardless of where they come from with the utmost respect are what matters most in your life. Finally, even though today is about you, I think we would be remiss if we did not recognize the faculty and staff of Eaton Community Schools for the influence they have had on each of these graduates.
“Eaton graduating Class of 2019, your futures are bright and I am looking forward in future years to seeing and hearing about the mark you leave. May God bless each of you as you commence this next step.”
Class of 2019 graduate Abigail Liddy introduced both the salutatorian and the valedictorian.
Brennan Fogle was this year’s salutatorian. During his address, he thanked his friends and family for their impact in his life. He also thanked his band director for his help.
“Without everyone I mention, I don’t know who I would be today or what I would be doing,” he said. “I would like to leave you all with a little quote I found. ‘I see now that the circumstances of one’s birth are irrelevant. It is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.’ This quote comes not from a world leader or celebrity, but it comes from Mewtwo from the movie “Mewtwo Strikes Back.”
“Even though these words were spoken from a fictional, floating cat monster, I think they are very true. We were all born in Eaton, Ohio, but we are all choosing to pursue something different, something unique that makes them who they are. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, or who you are told you are, if you choose to make this life, this gift, amazing, then it will be. Good luck everybody, use your gift of live to do amazing things.”
Valedictorian Andrew Collins imparted some wisdom onto this classmates, urging them to do what they love and be kind along the way.
“Soon we will move forward attempting to be adults and make a difference in this chaotic world. There are going to be so many decisions to make in the future. This might seem a bit overwhelming and maybe even scary. I won’t claim to know how to face the many challenges that we will encounter in our future, but I have some advice. Be kind to one another, and do what you love,” he said.
“I am sure we have all heard this before, but I want us to really understand it and apply it to our lives. To be kind is to respect and serve others. Every day offers us an opportunity to affect a person’s life. Be the positive influence that makes someone’s day. Say please and thank you, smile, or pay for a stranger’s meal. These small actions can leave a lasting impact in other’s lives. Not only is it important to be kind, but also to love what you do.
“Find your passion and create something great with it. If you haven’t discovered you passion yet there is no need to worry. We all have a purpose whether we find it when we are 18 or when we are 50. This is your opportunity to explore the world and open new doors. Be bold and take risks. If you are confident that you have found your calling use it to help others. Many might think that their passion insn’t beneficial to society, but there are ways it can be. Be creative!
“Find ways to implement it into your life and others’. Create opportunities, enjoy yourself, make make other people’s lives better. We are the future and we have an amazing opportunity to change this world for the better. I would like to thank God for blessing the class of 2019. I know that he will be watching over us in the next chapter of our lives. Congratulations graduates.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH