Fom kindergarten through high school, she said, they learned to play fair, experience loneliness and pain and be kind to others.
“The students around you, whether friend, enemy or somewhere in between, have taught you the lessons that make up your life,” she said.
Gustely also referred to two classmates who passed away.
She concluded by saying: “We have played on the same playground together. We have fought together, forgiven together, loved together, won together, screamed in student sections together, failed together, grieved together, stood hand in hand and prayed together, and today, Class of 2019, we graduate together.”
Gabrielle Ledbetter, student council president, also referred to her two missing classmates, saying: “They are graduating in our hearts and in all of your hearts. They are celebrating with us.”
She then went on to remember all the good times and thanked teachers, coaches, custodians and administrators for “helping shape us into the students we are today.”
“We will leave these hallways and classrooms but they will never leave us,” Ledbetter said. “Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat.”
High School Principal Eric Yetter urged the graduates to be brave, bold, kind and gracious.
“Look for every opportunity to make those around you feel good about themselves and be the good in others’ lives,” Yetter said.
Graduating with honors were Sarah Adams, Lilian Bartow, Callie Carmean, Colin Cole, Benjamin Crawshaw, Dana Gustely, Taylar Howell, Gavin Kemp, Caileigh Kropka, Gabrielle Ledbetter, Carson Marks, Leah McNeely, Gabrielle Osterland, Clayton Parker, Austin Reed and Korah Schmidt.
The high school concert band and show choir provided music for the ceremony. Caileigh Kropka gave the invocation and Ledbetter the benediction.