School returns to traditional graduation

Messenger photo by Jeff Pfeil
Graduates of the 2021 class at West Jefferson High School will throw their hats into the air after the graduation ceremony on May 22nd.

(Posted on June 2, 2021)

Madison Editor Kristy Zurbrick

This year’s high school graduations almost always returned to their pre-pandemic normal state. The ceremony allowed family and friends to get together and didn’t need anything virtual.

Last year, local high schools were unable to hold traditional graduation ceremonies due to restrictions on large gatherings. School leaders had to devise ways for graduating seniors to receive their diplomas individually. The solution included an allotted time frame and drive-up pickups. Virtual ceremonies (videos of pre-recorded speeches, award announcements, etc.) were also part of the 2020 class graduation experience.

West Jefferson

West Jefferson High School was the first Madison County school to hold an entrance ceremony this year. The event took place on May 22nd in Kyle Field. The students sat 6 feet apart, but otherwise it was a traditional graduation ceremony.

Of the 87 students in the class, 19 graduated with honors, 25 are members of the National Honor Society, and two are members of the National Honor Society through the Tolls Career and Technical Center.

The Valedictorians and their college plans are as follows: Emma Hostetler at Ohio State University. Harley Johnson, Gannon University. Megan McClish at Cedarville University. Vanessa Peshko, Columbus State University. And Anya Piazza from Ohio State University. This year’s Salutatorian was Wesley Miller heading to Capital University.

This year’s outstanding Tolles student is Nicholas West.

The class officers are: Thomas Fuller, President. Taylor Fry, Vice President. Gabriel King, secretary. Megan McClish Accounting. August Crawford, Public Relations. And historian Samantha Chaffin.

The flowers in the class are sunflowers. The class color is teal. The class chose “21 and DONE!” With Kenny Chesney’s “Just Blink” as the song. As their motto.

Madison Planes

The graduation ceremony for Madison Plains High School was held on May 28th at the high school gymnasium. The district has returned to traditional ceremonies, following the guidelines of the health sector.

Of the 75 students in the class, 8 graduated with honors and 12 are members of the National Honor Society.

Rachel Weisz, a balladictorian, will attend Kent State University to study architecture. Kenneth Schaefer of Salutatorian will attend Ohio State University to study forensic medicine.

The class officers are: Alyson Petee, Chairman. Hannah Dier, Vice President. Morgan Rowe, secretary. And Treasurer Becky Griggsby.

The flowers of the class are yellow roses, and the class colors are green and gold. The motto of the class is Theodore Roosevelt’s “Look at the stars and put your feet on the ground.”


The graduation ceremony for London High School took place on May 30th in Bowlsfield. Students were limited to 10 tickets each for friends and family, and the group was sitting in a family pod at the stadium. The district has revived a new tradition that began last year. This is the senior parade held on May 27th. The parade started in high school, went around downtown and returned to high school.

Of the 164 students in the class, 24 graduated with honors and 32 are members of the National Honor Society.

Valedictorian Luke Pearl will attend Ohio State University. Logan Miner of Salutatorian will attend the University of Cincinnati.

The class officers are: Mia Commer, Chairman. Brooke Maxeveny, Vice President. Raven Large, secretary. Treasurer Lindsay Rogue.

Class colors are black and red. The class song is Vitamin C “Graduation” and the motto is JE Lawrence’s “It is what it is”.


The entrance ceremony for the Shekina Christian School took place on May 28th at the Shiloh Mennonite Church. School officials said the procedure was otherwise as normal as possible, while the number of tickets for friends and family was limited to 25 per graduate.

Of the four students in the class, three have graduated with excellent grades.

The balladictorians are Brooke Cooley and the Sydney Lions. Coolie will babysit this summer, work in the fall, and do short-term mission work at Youth With A Mission next spring. Lions attend Columbus State Community College for two years and then go wild. I plan to transfer to Liberty College to study the biology of living things.

Salutatorian’s Sophie Spires is taking a gap year. She wants to find a job in the fall and spring and see what God prepares for her future.

The class officers are: Brooke Cooley, President. Vice President of Sophie Spires. Hope Ferguson, secretary. And Sydney Lions Accounting. The class is sponsored by Andreas Hirschberger.

The class flowers are white lily, and the class colors are sage and lilac. The class quotes, “Friendship is not a big deal. It’s a million little things.” The poems of the class are: “The God of Hope fills you with all joy and peace when you trust him, and overflows with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13.


The Tolles Career & Technical Center held a certification ceremony for seniors on May 29th at the Jonathan Alder High School Volunteer Field at the Performance Stadium.

Of the 263 students in the class, 26 have won the Lift Award and 20 are members of the National Technical Honor Society.

Keegan Barber and Trinity Heskett are excellent students of the year. The finalists were Victoria Cavallaro, Riley Scaff and Cuyler Whitt.

The Student Organization Inside School officers are: Trinity Heskett, Chairman. Emma Parker, Vice President. Erin Rittin, Treasurer. And historian Victoria Sayer.

The 2021 class presidents of Jonathan Alder High School (from left) are Riley Woods, Dominique Gantz, Morgan Hicks, Zackery Huggins, Eva Beckle, Olivia McCoy, Honor Lucky, Madilin Davis, Mason Fields. , Abigail Watkins, Eliza Watkins Shoemaker, Elina Winslow and Matthew Shelzer.

Jonathan Alder

The entrance ceremony for Jonathan Alder High School was held on May 30th at the Volunteer Field of the Performance Stadium.

This is the first time the school district has a graduation ceremony at a new high school. The graduate’s name was displayed on the scoreboard as the student walked across the stage to receive his diploma.

Of the 173 students in the class, 47 graduated with honors and 51 are members of the National Honor Society.

The Valedictorians and their college plans are as follows: Madyrin (Maddy) Davis, Ottervine University. Mason Fields, University of Miami. Dominique Gantz of the University of Cincinnati. Morgan Hicks, University of Toledo; Zackery (Zack) Huggins, University of Miami. Lucky Professor Emeritus, Ohio State University. Olivia McCoy, University of Cincinnati. Matthew (Matt) Shelzer, Columbus State Community College. Hope Shoemaker, missionary fieldwork. Abigail Watkins, The Ohio State University. Eliza Watkins, The Ohio State University.And Riley Woods, Ohio State University

Best regards and their college plans are: Bowling Green State University Nathan Clark. Anne (Annie) Hirschberg, Wittenberg University. Avery Pierce of the University of Findlay. Natalie Taylor, University of Miami.John Santini III, Bowling Green State University

The class officers are: Caleb Keane, President. Vice President of Jack Kinsey. Natalie Taylor, secretary. And the treasurer Amber Little.

The class chose white roses for the flowers and red and black for the colors. Their motto is “take the world the way you want it and leave it as a better place”.

Jonathan Alder High School’s best regards for the 2021 class are (from left) Nathan Clark, Anne Harshberg, Natalie Taylor, Avery Pierce and John Santini.

School returns to traditional graduation

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