Many of the seniors of Crothersville High School’s Class of 2015 had some parting words for future graduates: Don’t wish it away.
“All year I said I can’t wait for it to be over and then today, I wish I could begin freshman year all over again,” Mackenzie Farmer said Friday night before commencement.
Farmer, this year’s valedictorian, encouraged future seniors to enjoy each moment, as the four years of high school will go fast.
The 18-year-old was one of 23 seniors to receive diplomas at the school’s 119th commencement exercise.
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Eight students also received associate degrees from Ivy Tech Community College, as part of a dual-credit program offered by the schools.
“It’s a new journey in my story,” said Farmer, who will attend IUPUI in the fall to study health administration. “I’m kinda scared, and I’m kinda happy about it.”
A crowd of family and friends filled Crothersville’s gymnasium to see their loved ones receive diplomas and move those tassels. Speakers included Farmer, class secretary Rebecca Hensley, salutatorian Makenzie Long and class treasurer Clayton Byrd. The school’s concert choir and band also performed.
Crothersville Community Schools Superintendent Terry Goodin and high school Principal David Schill both spoke to the students before officially making them graduates.
Schill challenged the group to remember where they came from, celebrate where they are today and look toward tomorrow.
“Your future is right here for you,” Schill said. “Grasp it.”
Graduating senior Kendyl Lewis described the experience of graduating as “weird.”
Like Farmer, she also encouraged future seniors to savor their high school years.
“I feel like I’m going to come back next year,” she said with a laugh.
Lewis wants to attend Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI.
“I love art,” she said. “I have it four times a day; it’s just my passion.”
Her mother, Candi Lewis, of Crothersville, couldn’t hold back tears knowing her daughter was graduating and soon would be leaving home.
“Well, she’s my last child; she’s my baby,” she said. “She’s went through a lot to get here, and I’m very proud of her.”
The mother of two plans to visit her daughter next year, wherever her endeavors take her.
“She probably won’t come and visit me,” Candi Lewis joked. “She wanted to go to New York, so this is a stepping stone for her and a good travel distance.”
Graduate Zach Schmelzle wants to study exercise science at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany.
He said what he enjoyed most about Crothersville High School was the size.
“It’s one-on-one with teachers,” the 18-year-old said. “You know everybody.”
Cory Needler, who attended Austin schools before he transferred to Crothersville for his senior year, plans to join the military.
“Air Force or Navy, I haven’t decided,” he said.
Needler said he came to the school to play baseball and to be with friends. His advice, similar to many others, was to enjoy every moment of school before it’s too late.
“It goes by quick,” he said.