LORAIN — OK, so it wasn’t exactly graduation as planned Tuesday night for Southview High School students.
Instead of filling George Daniel Stadium, the 205 graduates and their supporting cast of family and friends found themselves crammed into the high school gymnasium and overflowing into the school’s auditorium, where they watched the commencement on a projection screen.
But the weather notwithstanding, the event still was a celebration.
The graduating class was the “pioneer of new obstacles,” said Salutatorian Jarrod Sennhenn.
They were the first class required to pass the Ohio Graduation Tests in order to graduate and had to adjust to the small schools concept midway into their high school years.
Valedictorian Michelle Athanas said that the family atmosphere at Southview, from teachers and principals to counselors and secretaries, helped the students succeed.
“Our school has something no other school has: unity,” Athanas said, teary eyed by the end of her speech.
Instead of sharing famous quotes by famous people, Sennhenn wanted to add a person touch by sharing words of wisdom from his teachers.
“Remember to always learn something new every day,” he said.
In case the graduates didn’t learn anything new that day, Sennhenn came prepared to fill their minds with quirky facts.
Such as: one in 20 people is born with an extra rib, and 15 people have died from trying to tip over a vending machine while trying to get an item after the machine ate their money, he said.
With big eyes and a bright smile, class President Roxana Rivera said she knows her class will accomplish great things.
“The class of 2007 will surprise anyone who doubts,” she said, referencing the school’s saint mascot when she added: “Each of us will always have the heart of a saint and nothing will ever change that.”
Contact Rania Shakkour at 329-7127 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Manheim / chronicle
Angel Ramos received special recognition for perfect attendance.