BRADFORD — Bradford High School’s 2017 graduates received their diplomas, Saturday, May 27, with a full house of supportive school staff, family and friends.
Speakers at the event included: Kailee Brower, Logan Harrison, Superintendent Ken Miller, Principal Chris Abke, Valedictorian Alex Swabb, Amanda Brewer, Bryson Canan, Dylan Cassel, Cheyenne Parke, Guest Speaker Celeste Ely, Darke County Foundation presenter Dennis Baker, High School Guidance Counselor Wendy Ray, Ally Booker, Olivia Hart, Emily Huggins and Salutatorian Mandi Bates.
“When thinking of what to say in this speech, the one word that kept popping into my head was family,” Bates said. “The definition of family is a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household. But family means more than that to me. It is the teachers who push us to do our best in the classroom, the coaches who push us to do our best on the court and the field, the community of Bradford who support us at events, but most important — family is the Class of 2017. I really don’t think there is a class as close as mine. We fight as brothers and sisters, but at the same time we build and encourage one another, and most importantly we laugh a lot. So Class of 2017, thank you for all the wonderful memories and thank you for being my family.”
Bradford Superintendent Ken Miller thanked everyone for the support of the students.
“It is the hard work and the determination of the graduates that we celebrate today,” he said. “I am confident that whatever you choose to do for the rest of your lives that you can and will be successful.”
The Bradford Board of Education presented the diplomas. Guest speaker was the Student Director of Living Word Church, in Dayton, Celeste Ely. She gave some practical advice to the graduates.
“If you are moving significantly far away from home, don’t forget to call your parents,” she said. “They will miss you more than you know. If you are staying local and will be living with your parents, don’t forget to move out. Enjoy the season of life that you are in. It can be easy to want to hit the fast forward button on your lives, and I am sure some of you, at some point, wanted to do that some time in the past four years.”
“But just as high school began and ended so quickly, so will the next phase in your life,” she added. “Time goes by so quickly and inevitably, so try to embrace what is in front of you, instead of always reaching for what is ahead of you. Last but not least, don’t make excuses — make things happen. You are the only one in control of your future. Don’t let anything in your life disqualify you from your dreams. You have the ability to rise above, work hard and earn success.”
The Bradford High School Class of 2017 includes:
Kaleb Riley Addington; Mandi Marie Bates; Alaina Nicole Blackburn; Ally Nicole Booker; Walker Carroll Branson III; Amanda Ann Brewer; Kailee Lynn Brower; Bryant Andrew Byers; Bryson Scott Canan; Dylan Douglas Lee Cassel; Tatyana Marie Cotrell; Brandon Michael Deemer; Hunter Lee Elleman;
Chase Benjamin Gambill; Wade Donald Gerlach; Logan John Harrison; Olivia Ann Hart; Katrina Marie Hudelson; Emily Ann Huggins; Mason Christian Justice; Malachi Jacob-Ray Kelley; Katherine Elizabeth Lantz; Bryant John Lear; Jose Julian Miranda;
Tiffany Lynn Moyer; Allison Nicole Nicodemus; Cheyenne Nicole Parke; Dillon Jason Reck; Adria Mae Roberts; Haley Kay Rosengarten; Jarred Matthew Ross; Athena Marie Scalzi; Alex Michael Swabb; Sebastian Roger Williams; and Jeffery Thomas Wolf.
The writer may be reached at 937-569-4354. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.
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