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A baccalaureate service was held May 21 at the Mogadore High School Commons. This was the third year of the ceremony, having been reinstated in 2015. After an introduction by junior class officer Delaney Brake, the seniors entered the Commons room and took their seats. Several songs were played and sung, after which the speakers spoke on themes to help inspire the seniors as they leave high school and move on to different endeavors.
Jonas Lawrence spoke to the group on the theme of "building," using Legos as a metaphor. Alex Heminger spoke about growing, using the metaphor of plants to describe how soil, water and sunlight all contribute to the growth of a flower.
She offered advice to the graduating seniors: 1) Don't wait until the last minute to get your assignments done; 2) College is different from high school; and 3) Step out and experience a different bubble from the bubble you were in at high school. After the seniors handed their parent(s) a flower, Mike Duma spoke about the theme of "soaring." Letting the seniors know that they will experience "highs" and "lows" in their lives, he advised them that they should set goals, and not focus so much on themselves, but rather on others.
Gifts were presented by the Rev. Pam Gable and the Rev. Gordon Hayberg to the seniors, and afterward everyone enjoyed cake and other refreshments. Special thanks goes to the planning committee: Matthew Beresh, Delaney Brake, Dwayne Cummings, Dr. Christina Dinklocker, the Rev. Pam Gable, Andrew Graska, the Rev. Gordon Hayberg, Alex Heminger, Maddie Higgins, the Rev. Aaron Key, Amanda Kot, Jonas Lawrence, Lisa Lee, Denise Lutz, Aaron Morris, Diana Morris, Hope Murphy, Abigail Rick and Vince Rosnack. Community partners were Megan and Matt Harshbarger, Thomas Kot, Tom Raddish and Tom Serle.
In an awards ceremony that took place during the week following baccalaureate services, the Mogadore Alumni Association awarded scholarships to the following seniors: Katie Oliver, Jamie Hugg, Abigail Rick, Drew Pendergast, Andrew Popa, Logan Hunt, Reilly Schrock and Austin Williams. Reilly, Andrew and Abigail will attend Kent State University. Logan, Katie and Drew will attend the University of Akron. Austin Williams will attend Ashland University, and Jamie will attend Stark State College. Congratulations to the recipients.
Also during the awards ceremony, the Mogadore Historical Society awarded their inaugural scholarships to two graduating seniors. The winners were Logan Hunt, salutatorian of the class, and Abigail Lentz, valedictorian of the class. Abigail will attend Walsh University.
And, on May 28, graduation took place for 64 seniors at the Commons in the high school. The class of 2017's students listened to Superintendent Dr. Christina Dinklocker's comments encouraging them, as they go out into the world, to reminisce about the value of the happy times they experienced in high school, to savor the special connections and friendships they have made over the years, and to anticipate what they wish to achieve by focusing on what they want to accomplish in their lives.
After Principal Russ Swartz's comments to the class, he surprised Dr. Dinklocker and Mrs. Faye Maholm with recognition as he announced their retirements from the school system, and thanked them for their service over the years.
The most courteous senior award went to Reilly Schrock. Austin Williams won the Manhood Award, and Abigail Lentz won the Womanhood Award. Class treasurer Kaitlyn D'Antonio, secretary Reilly Schrock, and president Marni Skye addressed their classmates with emotional and encouraging words.
Class vice president and salutatorian Logan Hunt left the audience with two thoughts: "Never give up," and "the best is yet to come." Valedictorian Abigail Lentz addressed her fellow classmates, acknowledging that, although "moving on is scary," you must "appreciate the opportunities you've been given, put your whole heart into everything you do, and never forget each other."
A party was held recently at the Community Room at the high school for Nicole Thomas, a 2013 graduate of Mogadore High School who graduated from Kent State University on May 13. Nicole graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor's in Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting. At her party, her art from the past and present was showcased, and she plans to display her art in local galleries. Congratulations to Nicole on her achievements.
How encouraging it is to see so many young people meet their goals and be successful as they transition to the next journey in their lives.
For Mogadore news, please contact Barb Bauer at BarbBauerMog@gmail.com.