PITSBURG — Franklin Monroe Local Schools Superintendent Jeff Patrick thanked everyone who had a hand in the lives of the graduating seniors, as the school held its commencement exercises May 27.
“To the faculty — thank you for your hard work in carrying these students to success,” Patrick said. “To moms and dads — you play a very critical role in developing these young adults. You have done a great job. Thank you, Class of 2017, for all of your hard work and your dedication in becoming the citizens you are today. Thank you for letting us be a part of your high school years.”
The “Star Spangled Banner” was sung by graduating senior Cole Skelton. Speakers included: Sawyer Miller, Chelsi Edger, High School Principal P.J. Burgett, Valedictorian Jade Besecker, Taylor Hackney, Salutatorian Brett Lavy, Hannah Eley, Darke County Foundation and Lyons Club Representative Tim Booher, Scott Nestor and Heather Hines, Ross Garber, Laura Ayres, Allyson Masterson, Superintendent Patrick and Wyatt King.
Members of the FM School Board presented the diplomas. The Class Flower is a white rose, Class Colors are royal blue and white and the Class Motto is “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened” by Charles Dickens.
The FM High School Band played “Pomp and Circumstance,” and “At the Crossroads,” both arranged by Robert W. Smith and “Sine Nomine,” arranged by Huckaby. The FM Choir sang “Our Journey Begins,” arranged by Greg Gilpin. Guests were treated to a slideshow of all graduating seniors. One student, the late Hudson Nestor, was remembered throughout the ceremony. His parents, Heather Hines and Scott Nestor, presented two Hudson Nestor Memorial Scholarships, and FM 2017 Valedictorian Jade Besecker remembered Hudson in her speech.
“As I was writing this, I was thinking about my graduating class and the excitement as we approached our final weeks of high school,” she said. “One thing that never left me was the one very valuable person not standing with us tonight — Hudson Nestor. It came upon my heart to ask his father Scott Nestor for Hudson’s favorite Bible verse. He sent me Isaiah 40:31:”
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Bescker also shared some wisdom for her classmates to take with them in their journeys through life.
“I discovered the key to happiness early in life: be kind to everyone that you encounter, and I do mean everyone,” Besecker said. “Kindness goes a long way and with it comes respect. We are all equal — respect everyone, we are all created equal seems to be something a lot of people forget. While respect is something we may lack, judgment is something we should lack. We need to learn to do everything in love, rather than in hate. We need to be that encouragement that everyone needs to hear. I had people telling me, ‘You can do so much more, so I did that much more.’”
The Franklin Monroe High School Class of 2017 includes:
Nolan David Archer; Dallas Michael Arnett; Carson James Baker; Cayley Ann Baker; Nicole Renee Berry; Jade Aleigh Beseker; Michael Lee Bilbrey; Cheyenne Marie Booker; Emilia Elizabeth Brown; Chloe Abigale Casto-Clemons; Mason McCoy Conley; Logan Alexis Cupp; Bryanna Lee Diceanu; Chelsi Renee Edger; Hannah Marie Eley; Courtney Nicole Faber; Austin Cole Flory; Kylie Brooke Furlong;
Zachary Scott Gilliland; Susan Gabrielle Glass; Mikayla Kristen Goubeaux; Taylor Lynn Hackney; Erica RayeAnne Haxton; Lacy Fay Henninger; Jessica Ann Hinshaw; Lance Chandler Hundley; William Gregory Johnston; Wyatt Lee King; Elizabeth Michelle Kirkpatrick; Brett Michael Lavy; Cody Robert Long; Derek Matthew Lusher; Caleb James Markley; Allyson Jean Masterson; Cade Justin McGlinch;
Brittany Ann McNutt; Connor Evan McNutt; Walker Ray McVey; Elizabeth Scout Meyer; Sawyer Joseph Miller; Saige Elizabeth Morrie; Emilee Ruby Morris; Heather Nicole Morris; Kaulin Kennedy Morris; Blake Allen Mowry; John Benjamin Myers; Danielle Nicole Nestor; James Tyler Neudecker; Malinda Ellen Neudecker; Aubrey Lynn Oswalt; Hunter Jason Qualls;
Logan Dean Ressler; Hunter Donald Dean Rich; Madison Lynne Schaar; Nathaniel A. Schmitmeyer; Jacob Eugene Shellabarger; Craig Allen Shoenleben; Haley Rae Shuttleworth; Liam Bryce Simason; Cole Brian Skelton; Dillon James Taylor; Kameron Lee Thurmond; and John Robert Williams.