Top 5 seniors recall fond memories, look to the future

Zoe Greszler • May 25, 2018 at 2:00 PM

PLYMOUTH — Bright futures are ahead of the top-five academic students in the Plymouth High School class of 2018.

And each of them made plenty of memories along the way. Plymouth will hold its commencement ceremony at 2 p.m. Sunday at the high school.

When thinking back on her high school career, valedictorian Emily Kanney, daughter of Mike and Laura, said she will miss her friends the most. 

“Plymouth is a small community and I could walk down the hallway of the school and greet everyone by name and that’s something I’ll really miss,” she added.

Her fondest memories include those from her time in FFA.

“Looking back, I can really appreciate all my memories I have made through Ag and FFA,” Kanney said. “My (agriculture) teacher has had us try experiments. I have tried beef tongue, snail and chicken feet, to name a few.”

Her accolades and activities include being FFA chapter president, first in state for poultry evaluation and food science career development events (CDEs) and Nationally ranked poultry judging team. 

Kanney told her underclassmen to find something they like and “get involved in it.”

“Even if there is nothing you’re really passionate about at your school, look into things to do over the summer. I have been to medical camps, camps about public policy and one about energy resources. These were awesome opportunities to explore my interests and figure out what I did or didn’t like, and that exploration is an important thing to do during high school,” she said.

Kanney plans to attend The Ohio State University to major in food science and technology.

In the next 10 years she hopes to be a product developer, “gauging consumer interests to come up with new products that will be successful.” 

Madeline Baker is the salutatorian. The daughter of Heather and Rob Fighter and Craig Baker said her fondest Plymouth memories are of homecoming week, powder-puff football, bonfires and the football games. 

She will miss her classmates and underclassmen the most and told the latter to make the most of their time in high school.

“Take every opportunity available,” Madeline Baker said. “Remember you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”

Baker’s achievements, awards and activities include: Byron Carmean Nominee, graduating with honors and from the North Central State College with an associate’s of arts degree in business administration, state FFA degree, being on the national poultry team, receiving four varsity letters in track and field, three in golf and four in academic letter, the Scholar Athlete and Big Red awards.

Baker plans to attend the OSU College of Agriculture and double-major in business. 

“In 10 years, (I hope to) have my MBA and be working in research and development,” she said.

Ranking third in her class was Haley Felly, daughter of Jodi Franklin and Vernon Felly.

Haley Felly said she will miss her friends most of all, but she isn’t entirely sad to leave. When asked what her fondest Big Red memories were, she said “walking out of the doors everyday.”

She advised the underclassmen to be productive with their time.

“Don’t procrastinate,” Felly said. “Get involved in different activities.”

Felly’s awards, achievements and activities include: State FFA degree, Ohio Scholars Association and earning  fourth-place team in state competition for food science. 

She plans to attend OSU to major in psychology. In 10 years, Felly said she sees herself having completed graduate school and beginning her career as a psychologist.

Coming in at fourth in her class was Sarah Simmons. The daughter of John Simmons and Amber Echelberry said her favorite memory is of of her volleyball team camp at Tiffin University. 

“I will miss being around my friends and going to sporting events after high school,” she said. 

Sarah Simmons told the underclassmen to take their time in high school.

“Don’t be rushed to grow up or make a decision on what college to go to,” she said. “Leaving all your doors open could give you better opportunities.

Simmons would know, since her open doors will lead her to attend The University of Toledo, majoring in nursing.

“In 10 years I see myself being a traveling nurse, specializing in oncology (and) hopefully visiting several difference places.”

Simmons’ accomplishments, honors and activities include: Be the Change Mechanics Bank Scholarship, a four-year letter winner in academics, Ohio Scholars Association, Lions Club student of the month and Plymouth-Shiloh Legion Scholarships.

Jarrett Miller, son of Mike and Lori Miller placed fifth overall in the 2018 class. 

“Take your studies (seriously). GPA will follow you forever,” he told the underclassmen. “Chase your dreams, no matter how big and Saturdays are for the boys.”

Miller’s fondest high school memory is when his baseball team won the district championship. He will miss “the relationships I made” the most.

His top awards, achievements and activities include: Being named student of the month, being top five in the graduating class, receiving the athlete and academic scholarship to play baseball at Purdue University-Fort Wayne.

Miller plans to attend Purdue to study criminal justice while playing baseball for the Fort Wayne Mastodons.

In 10 years he sees himself “living my dream of playing professional baseball.”

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