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Lawrence County grads look ahead to the future

May 28, 2019

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ohio — “This is the last time you all will be in the same room together,” South Point Local School Superintendent Mark Christian told the 123 graduating seniors Sunday in South Point High School’s gym.

For most, if not all, of South Point’s seniors, they have been going to school with the same group of peers since they entered kindergarten. As co-valedictorian Rachel Wheeler said, they experienced crushes and note passing, football games and important tests, and an infamous marker war of 5th grade.

Sunday, they all walked across the stage together to receive their diplomas, as did seniors from Chesapeake High School, Dawson-Bryant High School and Ironton High School, and they took the first step to the rest of their lives. No longer will they be just a text away from each other, as co-valedictorian Holly Ramey said, or have the comfort of teachers who have known them since tots.

“We even say goodbye to ourselves, as this is the only way we’ve ever been known,” said Grace Simpson, South Point salutatorian.

In her speech, Simpson told her classmates she spent the past four years feeling like she wasn’t enough, striving to get a better grade and having to dust herself off when she fell, but Sunday, she was able to stand before them.

“Allow yourself to feel things,” she said.

In Chesapeake High School’s gym, it was a similar story.

Karli Davis and Max Allen will now go on to do different things, but they will always share the memories they made at Chesapeake High.

Davis will attend West Virginia State University, play volleyball and study early childhood development. She said her path was solidified by the time she spent in the hospital observing doctors after her friend was diagnosed with cancer last year.

Allen will continue with an ironworking career - the family trade - which he has been doing professionally since he finished his course work in December at the Collins Career Center. He said he loves it.

Both said it was a stressful road to graduation, but it was worth it. When asked what they will miss, both were quick to say Friday night football.

“Chesapeake football - there is nothing like it,” Davis said.

“There’s nothing like being on the field,” Allen added.

To incoming freshman, both graduates said to soak it all in.

“It goes by fast,” Davis said. “I know everyone says that, but it’s true. Make the best of it.”

Follow reporter Taylor Stuck on Twitter and Facebook @TaylorStuckHD.

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