BEVERLY - Kaysi Isner, one of three valedictorians for the Fort Frye High School Class of 2012, delivered her speech Saturday in rhyme.
"We may go to great places; we may have different pursuits. But none of us can forget our small-town roots," she said in her address, a tribute to Dr. Seuss and his classic "Oh, the Places You'll Go," long a popular graduation gift.
Isner and her classmates gathered together one last time on the field of Fort Frye's football stadium for commencement Saturday. A common theme among many students was a mixture of excitement and a bit of sadness.
"It's exciting to be ... going to college in the fall, but it's scary because you're going to be leaving all your classmates and friends," said senior Kylie Seese, who is enrolling in the Exploration of Agriculture program at The Ohio State University.
Those friendships are what classmate Jonathan Scott said he'll miss most about high school.
"I've known all these people most of my life, a lot of them," he said. "I don't know if I'm ever going to see them again."
Fort Frye High Class of 2012
Valedictorians: Samantha Hanson, Kaysi Isner and Emilie Vandenberg.
Class motto: "Dream as if you'll live forever; live as if you'll die today."
Class flower: Black baccara rose.
Class colors: Purple and silver.
Scott said he's still looking at post-high school options, but he'd like to get into the industrial mechanics field.
Fellow senior Megan Gill is joining the workforce, handling medical records.
"I've got a job, so I'm not going to college right now," she said, adding she might consider post-secondary education sometime down the road.
Senior Zach Wriston is headed to the PowerSport Institute in Cleveland to become a mechanic and fulfill his goal of working with motorcycles and dirt bikes.
"I just like bikes, been around them my whole life," he said. "(It's) something I'd like to do every morning, wake up, go work on them. And I'd get paid for it."
Senior Samantha Hanson, a valedictorian along with Isner and Emilie Vandenberg, plans to attend Capital University in Columbus, where she will play volleyball and major in pre-physical therapy, an interest that developed after she sustained injuries competing in high school sports.
"All the rehabilitation led me to my career insight," she said.
Classmate Shelby Newsad is also headed for Columbus to attend Ohio State before going on to medical school. Her ultimate goal is to join Doctors Without Borders, an international medical humanitarian organization.
"I think that would be the best way that I can give to help other people," she said.
Making perhaps the longest journey to get to Saturday's graduation was Reta Crum, who came from Landstuhl, Germany, where her husband is stationed in the Army, to see her niece, Nicole Miller, receive her diploma.
"I promised her many, many years ago I'd be there for her, no matter where we were in the world," Crum said.
Miller plans to attend Ohio Valley University in the fall, where she will study math education and play softball.