RAYLAND - Friends, family and faculty wished the Buckeye Local High School Class of 2013 well on their journey into the future during commencement exercises Sunday at the high school gym.
The graduating class filed into gym to the strains of "Pomp and Circumstance," after which the national anthem was sung by the school choirs. Class officers led the Pledge of Allegiance followed by the invocation, led by Madalyn Kimble, class co-vice president, and those gathered were welcomed by Chris Cesario and Danielle, class co-vice presidents.
Mark Miller, district superintendent, congratulated graduates and asked them to remember their time at the school.
COMMENCEMENT — Mark Miller, superintendent of Buckeye Local School District, wishes the Class of 2013 well during commencement exercises Sunday at the high school gym. - Mark J. Miller
"Congratulations to you," he said. "You've made it. This is your graduation day."
Miller said members of the Class of 2013 were a special bunch, as only 22 other classes had graduated from Buckeye before them.
"Your journey with us is over, but it's not a time to be sad," he said, adding graduates has "blank pages to fill" in the stories of their lives. "Your journey starts with your first step. Over the years, your pages will be filled with many exciting events.
"Everyone here came to see you," he continued. "Remember to take your memories (of Buckeye Local High School) with you."
Students with highest honors were then introduced, after which Ryan Barbarossa, class salutatorian, told graduates to take action that would serve them well into the future. He told them to pick an occupation they would enjoy, marry the right person for the right reasons and "Be passionate about everything in your life. Don't let anyone discourage you from becoming successful."
Barbarossa also told graduates to "Always have compassion for others," and to treat others with the same respect they would expect.
James Wharton, class valedictorian, told graduates they were leaving one reality and entering to a new one.
"Graduating high school won't be the only accomplishment in your life," he said, adding graduates should keep encouraged through the future. "Never give up in truly believing in yourself."
Wharton also told graduates to challenge the status quo at times and dare to defy the odds.
"Good luck to every one of you," he concluded.
Diplomas were then presented to graduates, followed by closing remarks, the benediction and recessional.