MILL CREEK - Tygarts Valley High School seniors celebrated a benchmark in their lives Thursday as the class of 2014 completed its graduation exercises. The 62 graduates shared memories, laughter and tears as they crossed the stage to receive their diplomas.
The guest alumni speaker for graduation was Cecelia Ward Wallace, valedictorian for the class of 1952. Wallace told graduates that knowledge continues to grow and they needed to accept that and grow.
"Don't be someone who says 'this will never work,'" Wallace said. "Change is constant."
The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart
Graduates with the Tygarts Valley High School class of 2014 sing their Alma Mater during graduation ceremonies.
Wallace said knowledge is what makes it possible to accomplish the tasks at hand.
"When the excitement of tonight is over, and you look into the mirror and ask what's next, remember three things," Wallace noted. "Change is constant, be flexible; pursue education in the form of a career, a skill or a trade; and take advantage of opportunities that come your way, for they will."
Valedictorian Ashley Robinson told her fellow classmates graduation is not the end, but just the beginning.
"Although we are leaving and going our separate ways, we are all starting new and exciting chapters of our lives," Robinson said. "Now is the time for us to shine, the time when our dreams are in reach and possibilities vast. Now is the time for all of us to become the people we always dreamed of being. This is your world. You're here. You matter. The world is waiting."
Elizabeth Paige Pritt, salutatorian, reminded classmates that four years ago, they opened their lockers for the first time, and graduation day was the last thing on their minds.
"Now we sit here impatiently waiting what lies ahead," Pritt said. "We may cry now, but we made it and only greatness lies in our futures. This isn't the end, but only the beginning to something new."
Superintendent of Randolph County Schools Terry George said Tygarts Valley High School graduation always is enjoyable.
"Tygarts Valley High School is a small community school, " George said. "It reminds me of my graduation from Coalton School."
"I wish them the best as they venture out to fulfill their dreams," George said.
On Thursday afternoon, graduates gathered at the school for their award ceremony. Students were presented with recognitions including the Charles and Olive Wood Memorial Scholarship, the Mingo Historical District Scholarship, the Dr. Charles Glen and Mary Tabitha Moore Shinaberry Scholarship, the Miranda Parrack Memorial Scholarship, the Kathleen Batalian Nursing Scholarship, the Rodney Taylor Memorial Scholarship, the Snowshoe Foundation Scholarship, the Knights Templar-Pilgrim Commandery No. 21 Scholarship, the GFWC of Elkins Scholarship, the Tygarts Valley Lions Club - Bill Berkel Memorial Scholarship, the Citizen Scholar Award, the Chamber of Commerce Scholarship, the U.S. Marine Corps, the Izaak Walton League, the Jim Dean Award, West Virginia Wesleyan College Award, the Highland Scholarship from Davis & Elkins College, TV Fairs and Festivals Scholarship, Completers Certificates for Vocational Agriculture Program, Completers from the Randolph Technical Center, Promise Scholars, the Charles Tinney Scholar Athlete Award and the Judith Harris Scholar Athlete Award.
TVHS instructor Joan Tacy said 11 seniors received a $1,000 scholarship from RAZE. Those receiving the scholarship were Ashley Robinson, Brett Ware, Brooke Swecker, Charity Lower, Danielle Johnson, Heather Howell, Kelsey Arbogast, Paige Pritt, Sheldon Lanham, Lori Louk and Tyler Louk.
Members of the Tygarts Valley High School class of 2014 are: Misty Dawn Adkison, Jennifer Danielle Anderson, Gaven Erick Arbogast, Kelsey Oleta Arbogast, Owen John Arbogast, Derek Lynn Atkinson, Paige Marie Ball, Elizabeth Marie Bennett, Tristan Cole Bertamini, John David Channell, Keighan Michael Chewning, Joshua David Collins, Andrew Lloyd Conrad, Marcus Clyde Fortney, Michael Tyler Gum, Marissa Ann Hale, Trevor Brian Hammonds, Heather Grace Howell, Danielle Marie Johnson, Courtney Lane Jones, Abbey Suzanne Lambert, Donald Lee Lambert III, Sheldon Kirk Lanham II, Alan Michael Lindsay, Tori Don Louk, Tyler Wayne Louk, Charity Faith Lower, Christopher Joseph Markley, Jerry Aileen McCauley, Sean Riley McCollam, Joshua Clarence Miller, Kristen Ashley Nesbitt, Rachel Irene New, Shasta Alai Overbaugh, Emily Nicole Pingley, Elizabeth Paige Pritt, Dylan James Richards, Jonathan Mark Riegel, Ashley Marie Robinson, Milton T.J. Scott, Natasha Nicole Scott, Nicholas Aaron Scott, Lanaya Paige Shaffer, Jarred Ryan Shiflett, Tyler James Shiflett, Autumn Marie Shreve, Maggie Brooke Shreve, Dustin Wayne Slawter, Zackary Dale Smith, Kennedy Karin Stanley, Brooke Nicole Swecker, Jacob Lee Taylor, Savannah Leigh Toney, Laurin Elizabeth Vas, Derrick Lizares Villarico, Aaron Lewis Wamsley, Brett Thomas Ware, Tosha May Jane Williams, Alexis Faye Wilson, Nicholas James Wood, Kelsey Devere Paulette Wratchford and Leslie Jake Zirkle.