SPARTA — The Highland High School Fighting Scots sent their senior class off in style Sunday afternoon, graduating 114 students in a ceremony in the packed high school gymnasium.
The women, clad in red graduation gowns, and the men, in blue, all wearing caps with red, white and blue tassels, listened as academic and vocational awards were presented and speeches were made.
Austin Kucera, vice president of the class of 2009, spoke of service to others through what he called servant relationship, as modeled by parents and teachers.
“At Highland,” he said, “we’re surrounded by examples of good leadership, by humble servant leadership. Thank you for leading us, through service.”
Kucera will study English at The Ohio State University’s Columbus campus.
“We are very proud of you for what you have done,” William Dodds, principal of Highland High School, told the graduates before presenting the class. “Because of your hard work and desire to be the best, you have made Highland a better place.”
Diplomas were awarded by Mike Hoyng, assistant principal, as each graduate crossed the stage to receive her or his diploma, shake hands with academic staff and hear the cheers and applause of friends and family members. Kirstin Siegfried, president of the class of 2009, who will study business management at Tiffin University, led the graduates in the changing of their tassels to represent that their graduation was official.
Melissa Hamby, who plans to attend OSU-Marion to study early childhood education, and Madison Snodgrass, who plans to study floral design, also addressed the audience and their class members. Both are class vocational representatives.
Four-year college prep award winners were Elijah Duncan, Zach Hilborn, Austin Kucera, Kirstin Matthews and Abigail Margraff. Two-year college prep award winners were Jessica Cox, Maryssa Charley, Samantha Baldwin, Ashley Alspach and Dominique Holzer. Vocational award winners were James Bishop, Melissa Hamby, Samantha Casto, Madison Snodgrass and Tyler Bowers.