Anxiety and happiness filled the air as the school year wound down for the seniors at Kettering Fairmont High School this spring. But their high school careers officially ended when 570 members of the Class of 2011 participated in commencement ceremonies Thursday, June 2, at Wright State’s Nutter Center.
“Whether we are going off to college or out into the real world, our future is out there. It is time to meet it,” said senior TJ Klopfstein in his speech titled “Our Time.”
After the Concert Band performed the National Anthem, senior Meredith Grogan welcomed everyone to the 28th Annual Commencement.
As in past years, several Fairmont seniors wrote and prepared speeches for graduation day. In addition to Klopfstein, Catherine Hoover gave a speech called “These Shoes,” and Kayleigh White gave her speech “The Flight.”
Mary Katherine O’Neill wrote and gave her speech named “As Seen on TV,” in which she used Tommy and Chuckie from the cartoon show Rugrats as a metaphor for the seniors following their dreams. “It’s an adult world, and some choices we will have to make in the coming years will seem just as daunting as being on the ground and reaching for the cookie jar on the counter,” said O’Neill.
Many seniors gave musical performances during the evening. Sarah Lamb performed Morceau Symphonique by Alexandre Guilmant, while Sarah Bostic played the guitar and sang a rendition of Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway. The Fairmont Symphony Seniors performed Time is Running Out by Muse.
While presenting the Class of 2011, Fairmont High School Principal Dan Von Handorf made a point to acknowledge the more than a quarter of a million dollars the seniors have donated to local charities over their four years at Fairmont.
Valedictorian honors went to Meredith Grogan, and the Salutatorians were Rachel Sales and Catherine Hoover. Summa Cum Laude Scholars were also named. Approximately 30 seniors graduated Summa Cum Laude for having a cumulative GPA of 4.0 or higher.
Fairmont’s National Merit Commended Scholars are Laura Cordonnier, Meredith Grogan, Nicole Ray and Alex Williamson. The National Award of Merit recipient is Keionna Seabrook.
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Scholars are Christopher Anderson, Kathryn Baxla, Aubrianna Day, Ty Dorman and Benjamin Newell.
Von Handorf also announced the winners of three special awards that are decided by a vote of the faculty. The David Rayburn Citizenship Award was presented to Kayleigh White. Kelly Hart won the Firebird Service Award, and the Firebird Seniors of the Year award was given to Kaitlin Pickrel and Kyle Chambers.
To end the commencement ceremony, United Student Body President Spencer Kerivan led the seniors in the turning of the tassels. In his closing speech, he thanked the parents and family of the seniors for helping them throughout their 13 years of school.
“It is all right to follow your dreams, it is all right to make mistakes, and it is all right to find joy in life,” said Kerivan.