WATERFORD -Fifty-one members of the Class of 2014 crossed the stage to receive their high school diplomas during Sunday's Waterford High School commencement in the Cooper Annex at Waterford Elementary School.
In his address to fellow classmates, class president and Valedictorian Eli Strahler said there were many people to thank for seeing the class through to graduation.
"We thank our parents," he said. "Today is as much about their success as it is about ours."
SAM SHAWVER The Marietta Times
Chad Sims does a photo op with a lily in his mouth following Sunday’s 2014 Waterford High School graduation ceremonies in the Cooper Annex at Waterford Elementary School.
Strahler also thanked the Waterford staff and faculty, as well as the local community for their support.
"And I thank my classmates. We've lived the last 13 years together, and our daily interactions have created many of the memories we're sharing here today," he said.
Co-valedictorian Jacob McCutcheon agreed.
At a glance
Waterford High Class of 2014
Class motto: "Every man dies. Not every man lives."-William Wallace.
Class song: "Thousand Miles" by Vanessa Carlton.
Class colors: Jet black and chrome.
Class flower: Lily.
Valedictorians: Jacob E. McCutcheon and Elisha W. Strahler.
Salutatorians: Lindsey A. Arnold and Alyssa D. Miller
"We'll always remember the good times we've had," he said. "And when we walk across this stage, along with our diplomas we'll be taking away all of those memories, as well as opening the doors to our future."
During her remarks, salutatorian Alyssa Miller noted how quickly the four years of high school had passed.
"But we are the masters of our time, and we have learned much," she said. "And that precious time has shaped us into the individuals we are today."
Sunday's event marked the final commencement for Waterford High Principal Randy Shrider.
"I've been here 12 years, and I'm retiring June 30, so this is my last graduation," he said. "But these are all good kids."
Graduate Cody Malec said he's headed into the military.
"I'm going into the U.S. Navy," he said. "I'll leave on Sept. 25 and will be pursuing a career in information technology."
Fellow grad Austin Lang broke the school record for wrestling wins this year.
"We won 175 matches this year," he said. "I'll also be wrestling at Muskingum University in New Concord starting this fall."
Lang said he had not decided on a major subject yet.
"I'll be an undeclared major," he said. "So many people change their majors once they enter college anyway."
Graduation day came sooner than classmate Emily Weihl expected.
"It's exciting, but the day came too fast," she said. "I've really enjoyed my time here."
Weihl has been attending the Washington County Career Center and studying for a job in cosmetology.
Jessica Brantmeier plans to attend Ohio University this fall.
"I'll be studying social work and psychology," she said, but noted graduation day was bittersweet.
"I enjoy school, and it's something I'm going to miss, but I'm also ready to move on into my future," Brantmeier added.