High school graduations feature mix of emotions

Sherman High School’s “Highest Honors” graduate Carrie Deal ended her speech at Sherman High School by taking what many are calling “the selfie pic of the year.”

Scott High School graduates throw their graduation caps or “mortarboards” in the air at the end of the ceremony. The throwing of the graduation cap in the air is a tradition that was started by the Naval Academy in 1912.

Some of Van’s High School’s “Highest Honors” graduates are pictured here as the ceremony begins. Highest honors is traditionally students with a 4.25 and above grade point average.

BOONE COUNTY, W.Va. — A mix of emotions could be heard, seen and felt at all three Boone County “Class of 2015” graduation ceremonies last week, as senior students ended their high school careers.

In Seth, Carrie Deal ended her “highest honors” speech at Sherman High School by taking what many are calling “the selfie pic of the year,” after the highly decorated senior turned her back to her classmates and the crowd, held up her computer book phone and took a “selfie” picture that featured her and her entire graduating class in the background.

“I am hoping this becomes a tradition at Sherman High School,” she said.

Approximately 96 students graduated from Sherman High on Thursday evening, June 4th, on Zontini Field behind the school. Hundreds of parents, teachers, school officials and other guests and members of the public attended the event.

Boone County Circuit Judge William Thompson fromt he 25th Judicial Circuit Court was the guest speaker.

“You all have achieved a great goal in your life,” he said. “I now challenge you, as you continue on your paths to success to give back to your communities and schools that have invested so much in getting you to this point.”

Paige Halstead, senior class president, gave the flag salute after Principal Todd Barnette welcomed everyone to the ceremony. Sherman’s other class officers included Marissa Keith, vice president; Bethany Neff, secretary; Heather Williams, treasurer; and MacKenzie King, historian.

Katelyn Barker sang a beautiful version of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s song “Simple Man” to the guitar playing of James Bishop.

Sherman’s Class of 2015’s motto was, “Don’t count on the days, make the day count,” a famous quote from boxing legend Muhammad Ali.

Earlier in the week, on Monday, June 1st, Scott High School hosted its 91st annual commencement inside the school’s athletic complex gymnasium in Madison.

Approximately 179 seniors graduated from the county’s largest high school.

The ceremony began with a processional led by the Scott High School Band and Gene Mills, director. Miss Katie Duty, class president, gave the salute to the flag, followed by an introduction of guests by school principal Allen Halley.

Michael Miller gave the senior class address, while Bretta Kuhn and Isaiah Lacy sang “I Was Here.”

Other Scott High Class of 2015 senior officers included Logan Webb, vice president; Samantha Tulley, secretary; John Reed McClure, treasurer; and Meredith Howell, historian.

The class motto was, “The question isn’t who is going to let us, it’s who is going to stop us.”

The final graduation ceremony took place at Van High School on Friday, June 5th, in the school’s gymnasium.

The county’s smallest high school graduated approximately 23 seniors.

Acting principal, Eric Skolny welcomed everyone, followed by the Pledge of Alleigiance, which was led by Cassidy Castle.

A senior memories slide show was shown and a history of the class was given by Courtney Weaver and Cassidy Castle.

The “Highest Honors” student address to the class was given by Cortney Belcher and Sarah May, who both also stopped at one point in the speech to take a “selfie” picture.

Van High had two guest speakers, Boone County Commission President Eddie Hendricks, a former educator at the school who still is involved in many activities, including helping to coach some of the sports programs.

Hendricks shed a few tears as he called Van’s Class of 2015 one of his favorite classes to be around in his 20-plus year relationship with the school and the community.

“There is something very special about this class,” he said. “You have overcome some very challenging times, were so fun to be around during the good times and showed how special each of you are all the time.”

Van educator Samdra Ferrell was also asked to speak to the class and said she was suprised since she talked to them every single day of the school year.

“We love each and every one of you,” she said. “We have invested so much in your success and want to see that continue into all your futures. Find your passsion and you will transform your life into even more success and happiness.”

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