ELKINS - Elkins High School seniors hugged one another and wished fellow classmates tearful goodbyes Friday as they prepared to take the next big step in their lives. Many graduates plan to continue their education by attending college, trade school or a vocational institution.
The Elkins High School gymnasium was packed as parents, grandparents, siblings, teachers and friends gathered to witness the culmination of years of hard work put in by 178 Randolph County youngsters.
Co-valedictorian Trevor Kiess told classmates that graduation only is but a start to a long journey.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart
Elkins High School Assistant Principal Russ Collett congratulates his daughter, Madison Collett, on receiving her diploma Friday night.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart
Elkins High School seniors prepare to receive their diplomas Friday night at the school. Co-valedictorians Corey Crumm and Trevor Kiess and salutatorian Cayla Collett prepare for commencement exercises for the class of 2014.
"It is the beginning of our real lives, the beginning of the rest of our lives and the beginning of when things truly start to matter," Kiess said. We've made it this far, and I know that every mom, dad, family member and guardian in the audience here today is proud of each and every one of us. So, let's strive to continue to make them proud, since today is only the beginning."
Corey Crumm, co-valedictorian, reminded everyone that they would be someplace else in a few short months.
"A friend once told me that no matter how it ends up, it'll end up alright," Crumm said. "That's an important concept to grasp. We tend to focus so much on our failures now days that they can cloud up our successes.
"I think it's pretty clear that we all have something we want to be," Crumm added. "Some of us just don't know it yet - myself included. It's going be a wild ride, and that's OK - it's imperfectly fine to stop and smell the roses on your way to catch them all."
Salutatorian Cayla Collett talked about change.
"When we were 5, parents asked us what we wanted to be when we grow up," Collett said. "Our answers were things like astronaut, super hero or in my case, a princess. When we were 10, they asked again. We said things like firefighter, teacher, scientist, or in my case, I wanted to drop out of school and go to clown college."
Collett said now that they are grown up, parents a more serious answer.
"But the majority of us still do not know," Collett said. "How are we supposed to know what we want to do with the rest of our lives?"
Collett said it is time to make mistakes, try new things an figure out what they want in life.
Superintendent of Randolph County Schools Terry George said he looks on Elkins High School's graduation with a sense of satisfaction.
"These students entered the education system at the age of 5 - and some at the age of 4," George said. "Today, they are crossing the stage as adults, fanning out to their different paths, whether it be college, technical training or employment. It is great to watch them grow from young children into young adults."
Elkins High School students graduating in the class of 2014 are:
Corey Tyler Crumm, Trevor Jeffrey Kiess, Cayla Leann Collett, Brennen Randall Blake, Maggie Lee Brown, Emily Anne Caplinger, Colby Glenn Gainer, Kayla Nicole Gainer, Bradley Nicole Gutta, Remington Cade Knight, Preston Scott Marsh, Ryan Zachary Mullennex, Isaac Wade Riggleman, Kathryn Elizabeth Ross, Olivia Kristine Seibert, Clifton Robert Teter, Larel Elizabeth Teter, Kathryn Virginia Totten, Katrina Allyssa Guye Varchetto, Madison Hope Collett, Caitlin Alexis Gutta , Trevor Adam Haddix, Gretchen Lee Kalar, Mikayla Grace Markley, Sonja Sahar Skinner, Jared Matthew Akers, Makayla Jordan Amos, Kayla Leann Arbogast, Shelby Lynn Arbogast, Mason Cain Ariola, Tyler James Asbury , Abigail Brooke Banton, Linkoln Stone Barger, Megan Lucille Barton, Michael Patrick Beckwith, Kelsey Leann Bennett, Mary-Catherine Elizabeth Bennett and Tanner Raymond Boatwright.
Dalton M. Bobes, Trey Allen Bodkin, Ashah Hayven-Tyler Brenwalt, Nicholas Allen Brewster, Megan Marie Burgess, Emily Irene Burgin, Amanda Rena Burns, Jared Lee Butcher, Kaila McKenzie Channell, Matthew Timothy Chenoweth, Lauren Taylor Cheshire, Dustin Mark Chewning, Cameron James Clarkson, Emily Madison Coberly, Emily Annette Coffman, Quentin M. Coffman, Alayna Elisabeth Collett, Casey Ray Collins, Ciara Neil Cooper, Makenzie Katelyn Cooper, Hayleigh Brooke Corcoran, Megan Linsay Crites, Austin Dale Currence, Jasmine Faith Darr, Emily M. Davis, Nicholas Wade Dillon, Andy Darl Droste, Evan Don Elbon, Cordell Lee Elmer, Kali Brooke Elza, Cole D'forrest Ends, Shirley Joy Fox, Taylor Brooke Gadd, Charlie RayAnn George, Dylan Scott George, Connor Scott Giacobe, Autumn Tori-Nicole Guenette, Robert Gregory Hale, Austin Samuel Hamrick, Andrew Scott Haney and Timothy Allen Haney.
Kodi Jade Harlan, Brett Austin Harless, Madison Larynn Harris, Tyler Nelson Harris, Nicholas Louis Hartley, Tasha Marie Hartley, Tanner Thomas Heckel, Kirsten Marie Helmick, Ashton S. Hendon, John Ryan Henson, Ashley Nichole Hershey, Katie Elizabeth Hinkle, Corey Matthew Hitt, Joshua Garrett Holbert, Kollin Sheppard Hopwood, Nathaniel Tyler Howes, Aaron Timothy Huffman, James Ray Isenhart, Gavin Avery Isner, Nicole Wanetalou Jackson, Matt Brian Jenkins, Zachary A. Judy, Tyler Grahame Kenney, Autumn Elizabeth Kisner, Marcus DeVante Kisner, Victoria Rochelle Kyle, Donald Devon Lee Lambert, Zachary Taylor Lantz, Benjamin Lawrence Lonergan, Dylan Scott Lucas, Anna Lynn Markley, Timothy Neil Markley, Edward Noel Maurer, Alayna Paige McCauley, Warren Langford McClane, Brooke Sierra McCollam, Benjamin Lane McWilliams, Christina Marie Miller, Cody Dale Miller, Trevor Lee Murphy and Dustin Lee Nethken.
Isabella Marie Nieves, Richard Joseph O'Neil, Lisa Anne Orender, Kayla Marie Palmer, Garret Wade Paugh, Logan Allen Phillips, Natalie Nicole Pifer, Tyler Allen Pifer, Katherine Elizabeth Preusch, Danielle Diana Ray, Lindsey Jo Rhodes, Bethany Rae Richards, Ryan Joseph Rider, Garrett Todd Riggleman, Allen Russell Rosier, Meshae Lynn Rowan, Paige Andrea Rutter, Logan Jade Ryan, Mikeal Otto-Josiah Scheller, Mason L. Schoonover, Katie Renee Shomo, Samantha Brooke Shomo, Katie Lynn Shreve, Tyler Joseph Shreve, Brandon Keith Simmons, Elizabeth Nicole Simmons, Kayla Dawn Simmons, Tia Paige Skinner, Ashley Marie Smith, Jacob Chandler Smith, Rebecca Danielle Smith, Matthew Davide Smyers, Caleb Christopher Stansberry, Hank Wesley Stevens, Cody Nicholas Stroud, Shaelan Brooke Studer and Shai Brianne Swecker.
Andrew Lawrence Tenney, Joseph Wade Thompson, Christopher Adam Turner, Hoss Earl Tyson, Ann Elizabeth Urban, Caroline E'delle Valdez, Elizabeth Brooke Vanscoy, Ceara Lou-Ann Vest, Angela Lorraine Walters, Savannah Carol Waybright, Sara Anne Weiford, Samantha Lynn West, Trey M. Westerfeld, Kenna Marie Whitcomb, Mary Katelyn Williams, Rachele Dawn Wilson, Thaddeus Von Brock Workman, Jacob Cole Yokum, Zane Matthew Young, Zeb Andrew Young and Matthew Dylan Zirkle.