VERSAILLES — Friends, family and Versailles High School staff members were present as Class of 2018 graduates received their diplomas on Sunday.
The Versailles High School Band performed “Pomp and Circumstance” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” to kick off the proceedings. Speakers during the ceremony included: Pastor Nick Dimmick of Versailles Christian Church, Class President Noah Waymire, Class Treasurer George Grow, Versailles Schools Superintendent Aaron Moran, VHS Principal Roger McEldowney and the Class of 2018’s seven valedictorians. Diplomas were presented by Versailles Board of Education members Tom Ording, Hope Batty, Jim Raterman, Mark Magoto and Jerry Shardo.
Several speakers shared stories about former classmate Zachary Kelch. The 16-year-old Kelch was driving along Versailles Road, just east of Darke-Shelby Road, in February of last year when his car went off the road and flipped several times. Kelch was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene.
“I truly believe we have made Zach proud, and that he has become our guardian angel,” class president Waymire said during his welcoming remarks at the beginning of the ceremony. A chair at the back of the VHS gymnasium held a single flower to honor Kelch’s memory.
Meanwhile, Class of 2018 valedictorians offered encouraging words to their classmates.
“Our class has accomplished a lot,” one student said. “People say we’ve accomplished these things because of luck, and that’s partially true. We are lucky to have our parents helping us and our community cheering us on. But it has been our own hard work, determination and willpower that has and will shape us into who we will become.”
“My wish for all the individuals in this room,” another speaker said, “is that we all get to write our own fairy tales.”
The Class of 2018 includes 101 graduates, nearly half of whom are listed in the event’s program as having received some form of post-secondary award or scholarship. In particular, The Zachary Richard Memorial Scholarship Fund awarded 10 $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors, while the Community Scholarship Fund gave away $28,000 in awards.
The majority of the graduates plan to attend college with Wright State University, Bowling Green State University, The Ohio State University and Edison State Community College among the more popular choices.
Versailles 2018 Class Officers include: President Noah Waymire, Vice President A.J. Ahrens, Secretary Kyle Jones and Treasurer George Grow. The Class Motto is a quote from Dr. Seuss: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
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