Joshua Morrison/News Signifying the end of high school, Madison Brokaw, left and Trinidy Brown, move their tassels to the left on Sunday’s Mount Vernon High School Commencement at Kenyon Athletic Center. Brokaw is off to Columbus State and Brown will be heading to Bowling Green State University.
Joshua Morrison/News
Signifying the end of high school, Madison Brokaw, left and Trinidy Brown, move their tassels to the left on Sunday’s Mount Vernon High School Commencement at Kenyon Athletic Center. Brokaw is off to Columbus State and Brown will be heading to Bowling Green State University.

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GAMBIER — During the commencement ceremony for the Mount Vernon High School class of 2019, graduates were encouraged to work hard, dream big and persevere through tough times.

“It’s guaranteed that life will bring mountains to climb … it is inevitable,” said high school Principal Scott Will in his address to the class. “Embrace the opportunity to grow and continue to move past those things that challenge your resolve. Do not spend life looking backwards, keep moving forward. What might have been will never be as important as what can be now at this moment. Do not underestimate the power of stepping into something new.”

Superintendent Bill Seder took the stage to impart four pointers for taking a great picture — and living a great life. He urged students to create a vision of the life they wanted, to stay focused, to strive for excellence and to remember the importance of light.

“Remember that there’s a little light inside of each of you that makes each of you, 2019 graduates, special,” he said. “As a lighthouse guides ships safely to shore, may your light guide you along the way.”

“I’m sure we’ve all heard stories of ‘how hard it is out there,’” said graduating senior Erika Conant. “But if there’s one class that can take on the world, it’s surely the class of 2019. Because our generation is passionate about the things we truly care about, I believe we have the strength and intelligence to shape the world as we see fit.”

While Conant reminded her classmates that their passion, creativity and awareness of real world issues would empower them to make change, fellow graduates Ashley Parsons and Jonathon Pastor paid tribute to the community that’s always been behind them.

“I am proud to be from Mount Vernon because of the connections I have made here and the values that have been instilled in me,” said Parsons. “I will carry the memories and the lessons I have learned during my time in this town for the rest of my life.”

“You can’t build something beautiful without a strong foundation,” Pastor, concluding his speech, said. “So as my last words as a high schooler, I would like to say, ‘Thank you, Mount Vernon High School’ and of course, ‘Go Jackets!’”

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Katie Ellington: 740-397-5333 or katie@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @kt_ellington