Class of 2017 graduates

(From left to right) Graduated seniors Victoria McDowell, Alexis Smith and Shelby O’Donnell and sophomore Elizabeth say their goodbyes after graduation.

Each year another class reaches the time of life they’ve all been waiting for: Graduation. May 21 was this day for the class of 2017.

With 74 graduates, four salutatorians, and 11 valedictorians, the graduation ceremony took about an hour and a half.

The ceremony featured the choir and band both playing a song selected by the seniors. The band seniors chose “Can’t Turn Me Loose/Soulman,” which was previously played by the band in a halftime show.

Band director Chuck Dettmar said the senior selection for the ceremony is a tradition.

“Everyone thought the band performed very well,” Dettmar said. “I was impressed and I just had to stand there, and the band did fine. I wasn’t concerned at all.”

The graduated seniors are prepared to start the rest of their lives. Graduated senior Nate Smith plans to attend The Ohio State University (Newark branch) to pursue an undecided major.

“Graduating meant a lot to me,” Smith said. “It means now I can go to college and pursue my dreams. I’m going to miss everyone here, but I’m glad it’s over.”

Graduated senior Alexis Smith decided to graduate a year early.

“Honestly, I’m really excited to have graduated early,” Smith said. “Many people told me that I was going to regret it or that it wasn’t possible, but here I am! I can’t wait to see what the future holds and where I will find myself in the coming years. I’m also excited to see where my peers find themselves and where the underclassmen end up. I know they all have bright futures ahead of them. While I’ve dreamt of the day that I get to leave Centerburg, I’ve realized that I have come to love this little town.”

By Renee Kinser