Saturday marked graduation day for 100 West Jefferson High School seniors.
The 11 a.m. ceremony, the school’s 130th commencement, showcased awards for several graduates, as well as retiring high school principal Dave Metz.
Metz received the Emeritus Educator Achievement Award for his 46 years of service to the Jefferson Local Schools District.
He said early in his career at West Jeff, he considered returning to his native district in eastern Ohio. However, he remained in the village and learned to love and appreciate the community.
He said nearly a half-century of teaching and coaching taught him that students are the most important aspect of education.
“It’s about the students,” Metz said. “We have to concentrate on the education of our children.”
Saturday’s commencement exercises also recognized the academic achievements of several graduates.
Sydney Gaus, Allyson Looby and Jaclyn Looby were named valedictorians of the Class of 2017. Madeline Jennings, Morgan McKinney and Ellie Ward were named class salutatorians.
Hannah Maggard and Corissa Winstead, who also attended Tolles Career & Technical Center, received Outstanding Vocational Student Awards.
Together, 41 graduates of the Class of 2017 received either honors diplomas or were recognized as members of the National Honor Society or the Tolles Tech Honor Society.
Jane Beathard is a contributing writer for The Madison Press.