NEW MATAMORAS-The 46th graduating class of Frontier High School will be remembered for many milestones and distinctions.
Among other things, the 53 seniors who collected their diplomas Friday night in their high school gymnasium were the first graduating class to have spent all six years at the combined middle and high school. They collectively won more than $300,000 in college scholarships and broke multiple school athletic records this year.
Even Superintendent Bruce Kidder rode the class of 2014's wave, breaking a record of his own this year, joked class Salutatorian Levi Cochran.
JASMINE ROGERS The Marietta Times
Seniors at Frontier High School share a laugh as a photo slide show is shown at their graduation Friday night in the school gym. Behind them is their class motto.
"Frontier's very own superintendent, Mr. Kidder, also set a record for most phone calls sent out at five in the morning to announce two-hour delays," said Cochran to uproarious laughter.
The laughter was dispersed with nerves, excitement and a tinge of sadness Friday night as the students bid farewell to their high school.
"It's kind of weird knowing that a lot of the people that you're with right now, you're not going to see all the time anymore. But it's also a good feeling too because you know there is stuff waiting for you that you weren't able to do up until now," said senior Tyler Gutberlet as he waited to line up.
Frontier High School Class of 2014
Number of graduates: 53.
Class motto: "Together we have experienced life. Separately, we will pursue our dreams. Forever, our memories will remain."
Class colors: Blue and gold.
Class flower: Gold Dahlia.
Class salutatorian: Levi Cochran.
Class valedictorian: Jessi Crosby.
Gutberlet, like nearly 70 percent of his fellow classmates, intends to attend college at next fall, continuing the electrical engineering program that he has already started at Washington State Community College.
Senior Kayleigh Baker will also be at Washington State next year, working on a nursing degree with an emphasis on social work.
"I want to work at the Strecker Cancer Center with cancer patients," she said.
Shawn Bellville was feeling a mix of emotions as he gathered with his classmates in the library for the last time.
"I'm feeling both excited and nervous at the same time. I'm just trying to get my feelings together," he said.
In the fall, Bellville will attend The Ohio State University to study mechanical engineering with a minor in aerospace engineering.
"I maybe want to help design new drones, both for medical and military use," he said.
At least one senior, Caleb Lanham, plans to transition into military service.
"I want to go to the Marines, and spend a long time in there, and then try to be a cop," said Lanham.
Four scholarships were handed out Friday night. The 2014 Coach Hank Morus Scholarships, which are given in honor of the late teacher and coach, were awarded to student athletes Emily Hinton and Drew Schneider.
Schneider was also one of two recipients of a $500 scholarship from the Frontier Alumni Association. The second was awarded to Brianne Chute.
Class Valedictorian Jessi Crosby urged her fellow classmates to appreciate the moment and strive for their goals.
"Take one day at a time, try new things, cherish every minute of it. Don't wish your life away because time does go by fast," Crosby reminded her fellow Cougars.