NEW MATAMORAS - Ready or not, the Frontier High School Class of 2013 is headed on to college, technical training, the military and the workforce.
The sentiment among several of the 43 graduating seniors at Friday's commencement in the high school gym landed on the side of "ready."
"We couldn't have picked a better school to go to," senior Danielle Watkins said.
EVAN BEVINS The Marietta Times
Frontier High School 2012 graduate Kady Matheny, right, laughs as she adjusts the mortarboard of Class of 2013 valedictorian Daniel Metheney prior to Friday's commencement at the high school.
Watkins is headed to Washington State Community College for its office administrative service technology program. She's among the approximately 80 percent of her class pursuing some form of post-secondary education, including joining the military, guidance counselor Holly Cunningham said.
Classmate Austin Amos has already enlisted in the United States Navy.
"It's like a family thing," he said. "My dad's in there, my uncle's in there, my grandfather was in it."
Amos doesn't leave until Aug. 6 and said he plans to occupy his summer with "vacation and baseball games."
The class of 2013 was the first in Frontier's history to attend the high school prior to their freshman year. They were in eighth grade when the district moved seventh- and eighth-graders from the elementary schools to the renamed high school/middle school, something referenced in speeches by valedictorian Daniel Metheney and salutatorian Kelsie Rinard.
Metheney said the relatively small class is a close-knit group, something he attributed to the shared experience of five years ago.
"We can all agree the bond began when we were in eighth grade," said Metheney, who plans to study accounting at Ashland University.
Fellow graduate Hayley Thacker is among those class members diving right into the workforce. She studied cosmetology at the Washington County Career Center and will go to work at Charles Penzone salon in Dublin in the fall, after a summer internship at a relative's salon in North Carolina.
"It's exciting but sad," she said of graduating.
Classmate Miranda Becker will attend Ohio University to study wildlife and conservation biology, but she was having trouble Friday imagining life without high school, especially the FFA program.
"I'm like, 'take me back to eighth grade,'" she laughed.
Newly minted graduate Jonathan Beagle, meanwhile, plans to join the U.S. Marine Corps. While he's excited about the opportunity, there are some aspects of high school he'll miss.
"For me, it's going to be the people and a lot of the teachers," Beagle said. "What can I say? It's a great school."
During the commencement, several scholarship winners were announced. Metheney and Kylee Morrison each received $500 from the Frontier High School Alumni Association, while Laken Camino was awarded $250 by the Frontier Local Education Association, which represents the district's teachers. Kaylee Hurst and Josh Kirkbride were the student athlete recipients of $1,000 each from the Coach Hank Morus Scholarship.