Sunday was the 148th annual commencement ceremony for London High School.
The 138 soon-to-be graduates of the class of 2018 entered the high school gymnasium where they passed under a trellis arch draped in white carnations to the strains of Edward Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance.”
It was not circumstance that brought them to this moment, however — it was 12 years of dedication and hard work.
The faces of the young adults in the processional telegraphed a mixture of feelings — solemnity of the proceedings interrupted by the thought of having finally “arrived.”
The gymnasium was at full capacity.
The commencement began with the students and guests saying the Pledge of Allegiance followed by graduating senior Ruth Peart’s heartfelt rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Superintendent, Dr. Lou Kramer, addressed the audience before recognizing the board of education, retiring faculty, and the honored class, and principal Chad Eisler recognized U.S. military enlistees, and those in active duty, reserves, and veterans.
The top 20 students of the class took a stand as they were recognized with a round of applause for their scholastic achievement.
Valedictorian and class treasurer, Ethan Pozy, was announced as this year’s recipient of the Purcell Scholarship, awarded to the student with the highest cumulative grade-point average. Pozy’s grade-point average was 4.3.
Hannah Borden-Coleman presented to the audience the valedictorian, Pozy, and salutatorian and class vice president, Emily Minner. She introduced the guest speaker, school guidance counselor Betsy Dennis.
At times briefly pausing to regain her composure, Dennis told the audience that she has as of yet, not made it through a commencement ceremony without a tear or two. After administering a few pearls of wisdom and thanking the class for the outpouring of love and support she received concerning her own recent struggle with cancer, her record remains unbroken.
Before parting, class president Troy McFarland addressed the new graduates. “Do not be afraid to try new things. Do not be afraid to fail,” he said.
Reach Andrew Garrett at 740-852-1616, ext. 1616.
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