"We will no longer be part of 'that class.' We will be part of 'the class,'" commencement speaker McKayla Monthei told her classmates and those attending commencement exercises for the South Hamilton class of 2014 Sunday afternoon.
"We will be remembered for our attitudes, abilities, personal achievements, and quirks," she went on.
"Who can say the class of 2014 has not left their mark at South Hamilton?" chimed in Logan Koopman, her classmate and the other speaker Sunday afternoon. "We've made it to the state playoffs in football, qualified for the state cross country meet again, the state tournament in basketball, and the state golf meet.
Jolene Schaefer with the mixed choir shared several musical selections Sunday afternoon.
"That, my friends, is leaving a legacy," he said to the large crowd in the high school gymnasium.
The ceremony was full of tradition, pomp and circumstance, a few tears and numerous chuckles as the graduates put the capstone on their 13 years of education before heading on their separate paths. The class did not forget their classmate Braden Wicks, killed in a car accident in November. His diploma was awarded to his parents, who attended commencement and received a standing ovation from the crowd.
As he presented the class of 2014, high school principal Scott Dryer wondered what the class would take with them into the real world. "I believe it will be a sense of family," he stated. "All of our seniors were there supporting each other and were there for each other in our various defeats. Now you set forward in the business of life.
"You have made us all proud to be part of such a special group, and we remind you that you will always be a part of the South Hamilton family," he concluded.
South Hamilton superintendent Tim Johnson and school board president Will Johnston presented a diploma to each senior before they officially moved their tassels to the other side of the mortarboard, officially signaling the end of their high school careers.