MONROEVILLE The future looks bright for the Monroeville High School class of 2007.
Fifty-eight seniors said their final goodbyes Sunday afternoon at Monroeville's annual commencement.
Class president Rachel Hancock might have summed up the day best.
"Thanks to my classmates. If I made you laugh, you're welcome. If I made you cry, I'm sorry. If I changed your life, chances are you've done the same to me."
Hancock's speech was just one of many emotional moments Sunday.
"We have a choice," she said. "We can get left in the dust or be at the head of the pack, making it happen.
"And now is the time for us to be accountable," she said earlier. "We can no longer postpone our future. It is staring us right in the face. Now is our chance to apply what we've learned at MHS and create our futures exactly the way we want. No one can control your future but you."
The class of 2007 motto is: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it."
The class flower is the white rose, while the class colors are black, platinum and gold.
Kenny Dresser was class vice president and Andy Ball was class secretary. Class treasurer was Elizabeth Tyler. Student council members were Jessica Adelman, Joseph Scheid, Lauren Stieber and Angela Wilhelm.
Ryan Fleming offered the class vocational scholar address. "So we as a class should be proud of ourselves, each other, our teachers, our parents, for believing in us and making us who we are today."
Superintendent Carol Girton welcomed graduates and audience.
High school principal David Stubblebine presented Kelly Morman with the 2007 principal's award.
"As I stand here now, I cannot believe that we have made it to this day," Morman said. "I remember when we first figured out that we would be the class of 2007.
"We have been through a lot together over the past 13 years," she added. "There have been a lot of really exciting and happy times and there have been some very sad and low times throughout the years. But, the fact that we have made it through all of these times shows that we can continue to persevere for the rest of our lives."
The class of 2007 earned about $454,000 in scholarships.
The classes eight Distinguished Scholars were recognized. They were Seth Adelman, Emily Bischoff, Farrah Heft, Kelly Morman, Jordan Ringenberg, Jared Simon, Patrick Stang and Lauren Stieber.
Rachel Hancock, Class President, Monroeville
"Good afternoon family, friends, teachers, and most certainly, graduates. Today is the day we have been waiting an entire 12 years for. Rather than zoning in and out of consciousness in our least favorite classes, we are now teetering on the edge of the "real world" as well as the rest of our lives. It seems like just yesterday I was in Mrs. Hauser's second grade class singing "4 hugs a day, that's the minimum," ...and all of you Hauser kids know the rest.
The many memories that have accumulated over the years will be cherished forever in our hearts. Who can forget all the memories from Camp Mohican in sixth grade and Mrs. Taylor checking behind everyone's ears for ticks? Or the girls basketball team FINALLY beating St. Paul in eighth grade for the Conference Championship? Or all of Kayla's parties we had in that HUGE tent? Or going to the Pizza House and singing "Can't Fight the Moonlight" five million times in a row.
What about the time when a bunch of us girls toilet papered Kyle's house? And Kyle runs out his door with his paintball gun, and Kaylyn screams, "RUN!! HE'S GOT A SHOTGUN!" And we ran all the way to the reservoir where he found out it was nothing but a paintball gun. Good one Kaylyn.
Our senior year at MHS has been nothing short of unforgettable. Singing "When your class goes down" at the homecoming assembly and winning the spirit challenge was awesome. And thank goodness Mr. Paul has a brilliant sense of humor, because he's managed to make the most boring government subjects
interesting enough to keep the attention of a room full of seniors. It really started hitting home that we were graduating when we ordered caps and gowns, went on Senior Trips, moshed to BYOB at Prom, and had a blast at the elk farm. And it was so crazy realizing that we were doing everything for the last time.
Being nothing short unforgettable also sadly includes the loss of two of our classmates and true friends. Although Edison was only at Monroeville for a few years he made an entire school full of friends, and has a special place in each of our hearts.
And I'll never forget eating lunch with "New Kids" everyday last year. If you were around Greg, you were having a great time, because that's the kind of kid he was. I'm sure each of us will cherish our last memories of him forever. Both Edison and Greg are greatly missed by all.
During the 15 long years I've been at Monroeville, I guess you could say I've learned a few things. Miss Schnetzer, my most favorite seventh grade English teacher, always said "Don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the sweaty things." I think it's because she teaches Junior High kids. Mrs. Harwood didn't put up with people's negative attitudes. I can recall a few times when she used her favorite line, "Your actions are speaking so loud, I can hardly hear what your words are saying." Mrs. Demarco always gave the best life lessons. On nearly every Friday, as we were walking out of his class, you could hear him saying, "Be good, stay in school, and DON'T DO DRUGS!" I could always count on Mr. Wearsch for showing me where the sternocleidomastoid muscle was too. And although I was never on the football team, I did have Mr. Ringholz for gym. During volleyball, we were expected to know the correct score at all times. And one time, I didn't. So, I had to run. A lot. And even though I didn't like running, I was sure to never mess up the score again. "Be accountable" is what he would always say.
And now is the time for us to be accountable. We can no longer postpone our future. It is staring us right in the face. Now is our chance to apply what we've learned at MHS and create out futures exactly the way we want. No one can control your future but you.
Although at first the idea of becoming independent can seem scary, it is actually quite empowering. We, the class of 2007, are the future of this world. Although that is a big responsibility, I have total faith that we are up to the challenge. I mean, we do have Kelly Morman.
Whether you are continuing your education, entering the workforce, or starting a family, it is important to remember that each of us has the power to create our own future. Because our decisions frame our future, it is great to know that if it's not going according to plan, we have the power to change it. We have a choice, we can get left in the dust, or be at the head of the pack, making it happen.
I guess it's just hard to believe that I'm finally graduating high school. As I stand before you giving this speech, I realize that I would not be here if it weren't for a few very important people. Most of all, I could not have done any of this without the unconditional love and support from my parents. Dad, thanks for staying up all night with me and helping me write those papers I should have started two weeks earlier. Mom, thanks for taking all those candid pictures of me when I had no clue, I'll cherish them forever. Michelle, thanks for every single thing you have ever done for me, I will never be able to repay you. Ms. Sieger, thanks for being so much more than a guidance counselor. Faculty and staff, thanks for teaching me all kinds of good stuff. And thanks to my classmates, If I made you laugh, you're welcome. If I made you cry, I'm sorry. If I changed your life, chances are you've done the same to me. Congratulations to the graduates of 2007."