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South Central students discuss tips for success, achievements

Zoe Greszler • May 26, 2018 at 2:00 PM

GREENWICH — South Central’s top five students took time to reflect on what made the past four years special and successful for them, as well as what they’re going to miss as they move on to life’s next chapter.

The top five students include valedictorian Cheyenne Swander, salutatorian Brady Dotson, Susan Cole, Westin Bradberry and Brooke Gahring.

The SCHS class of 2018 will have its commencement ceremony at 2 p.m. Sunday in the high school.

Swander, the daughter of Mike and Bev Swander said of all her happy memories in high school, her favorite is “having fun while working hard with my teammates during practices and games.”

She said she will “definitely” miss playing with her sports teams and being in the art room the most. 

Swander offered some sobering words of wisdom to the Trojan underclassmen.

“Focus on yourself as much as your studies,” she said. “Make sure your mental health and happiness are well established and taken care of. And always, always, always do the homework and extra credit, no matter how boring it may seem.”

Swander had plenty of awards, achievements and activities.

“I’m very proud to have earned the heart award in volleyball for two separate seasons, the most improved award, hustle award and courage award in basketball, and golden glove award in softball, as well as earning the top spot in my class, of course. ... I am very proud of these because of the work I put in to earn them.”

She also will graduate just six credit hours away from an associate’s degree.

Swander plans to graduate from North Central this fall with her associate’s degree and will then “take some time off of school” before returning to a four-year college for animation.

“I see myself working at a job centered in the animation field with an Etsy shop,” she said, adding she will also be “working toward establishing financial stability.”

Brady Dotson, the salutatorian, is the son of Stephen and Jennifer Dotson.

His favorite memory of high school is “stopping Western Reserve on the 1 yard line to win the homecoming football game (my) senior year.”

In fact, “being in sports and being with my friends five days out of the week” is what he will miss most from his time at South Central.

Dotson encouraged the underclassmen to give back and to get the most out of their time in high school.

“Contribute to everything you can and get involved in as much as possible,” he said. “Time flies.”

His accomplishments and activities include honor roll, being president of the SADD, National Honors Society and the class of 2018, salutatorian, Buckeye Boys State Attendee, and participating in football, power lifting, choir and theater.

Dotson plans to attend Malone University this fall to study criminal justice.

“In 10 years I hope to be an agent for the FBI or the Ohio Investigative Unit,” he said. 

Susan Cole, daughter of Marietta and Lynn Cole ranked third in the class.

As she graduates high school, she will most miss seeing her friends everyday.”

Her fondest memories of high school include “playing softball for three years, becoming a mom to my son Hunter and meeting his dad, the love of my life.”

She advised the underclassmen to take nothing for granted.

“Enjoy all your lasts, but don’t wish them away,” she said.

Her top accolades and activities include being a member of the TLC, working hard to maintain a 4.0 GPA as a new mom, but noted “my son is my biggest achievement.”

Cole plans to attend North Central for a transfer degree in social work before going to Ashland University for a bachelor’s degree in social work.

“In 10 years I hope to be in my career, moved into a nice house with my son and the love of my life,” she said.

Westin Bradberry placed fourth in the class. He is the son of Robert and Lori Bradberry.

His favorite memory of high school is of his junior prom.

Bradberry said he will miss seeing his friends on a daily basis the most of everything he’ll leave behind after graduation.

He told his underclassmen to avoid procrestinating and to stay focused.

“Get your homework done as soon as possible so you don’t have to worry about it later,” he said.

Among Bradberry’s achievements and activities in the past four years are being the National Honors Society treasurer and the S.A.D.D. vice president. 

Bradberry said he will attend college and in ten years said he hopes to be “successful (and) possibly a business owner.”

Ranking fifth in the class of 2018 was Brooke Gahring, daughter of Mark and Kelli Gahring.

She enjoyed the opportunities her high school career afforded her.

“My fondest memories of high school include going on FFA trips and going to various events to cheer on my classmates,” she said.

She encouraged her underclassmen to take get the most of those opportunities as well. 

“My advice to underclassmen: Do not procrastinate,” she said. “Also, make sure to take advantage of college credit plus classes.

Gahring said she will miss “being able to be with my close friends on a daily basis.”

Her top awards include a state FFA degree and being in the National Honors Society.

She plans to attend Bowling Green State University — Firelands Campus to earn a degree in computer science. 

“In 10 years I hope to see myself improving our technology,” she said. 

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