By Ammie Ruddle
Family, friends, teachers, and advisors filed into the auditorium on May 21 to congratulate and support the 61 seniors as the Pendleton County High School 2022 class took their final walk through the school’s halls to accept their high school diplomas.
Kinzley Hartman, the class salutatorian, gave thanks by reminding her fellow graduates to look around at family, friends, teachers, and coaches who have “supported, encouraged, and loved them” throughout their journey. Hartman said, “they could not have made it this far without those individuals.” She addressed her fellow students by saying, “each one of you possesses the talents to take you anywhere you want to go.” Hartman plans to attend the school of nursing at Marshall University in the fall.
Valedictorian Rachel Loudermilk graduates with 36 hours of college credits and will enter Fairmont State University as a college sophomore in the fall. She plans to double major in psychology and sociology, with a minor in journalism. Amongst the people Loudermilk recognized for helping her “get where I am today” were family, friends, teachers, and even herself, for the “hard work that I put in to be here.” Loudermilk talked to graduates about entering a new chapter in their lives. She reminded her classmates that “life passes quickly,” and “the only thing you will be remembered by is your hard work and how you treat others.”
It was clear why Aiden Bailey, biology teacher at PCMHS, was chosen to give the commencement address, as the senior class gave a loud cheer of appreciation when he took the microphone to speak. Bailey has been teaching at PCMHS for four years. He reflected on his years with the senior class, by saying, this is the “first senior class he has been with since the beginning” and he “wished he had one more year” with them.
Seniors eagerly accepted their diplomas, as one by one, they walked across the stage, moving their tassel from right to left, indicating the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next.