B-UHS class of 2020 receive diplomas
TENNERTON — Socially distant and wearing masks, the Buckhannon-Upshur High School Class of 2020 finally got their graduation ceremony.
The ceremony was a month delayed due to COVID-19 and although many chose to receive their diploma with their families in attendance on the earlier date, many still showed up to graduate with their class on the turf field at Freal “Red” Crites Memorial Stadium.
Samuel Walker, one of two graduates chosen by their class to speak, recognized the work of the principals and faculty throughout school, but especially in the last two months when school abruptly became virtual.
“They have done an outstanding job supporting us in this time of crisis such as providing food for those in need, setting up wifi in the school parking lots and continuing to find countless ways to celebrate our senior year,” he said.
“It’s understandable for our class to feel like we have been shorted out,” he said. “The class of 2020 lost our senior prom, senior spirit week and spring sports seasons. Our band will never get their last marching appearance at the Strawberry Festival or the choir have their spring concert. These things hold a special place in each person’s heart and will be missed.
“No matter how you feel about school ending so abruptly, we are living through history in the making,” he said. “Some day our kids and grandkids will be reading about what is happening present-day in their history classes — more so now than I previously thought when I wrote my speech.”
Walker, who found his passions in the art department and on the cross-country team at B-UHS and on his bike through a mountain biking group, said, “Over the past four years Buckhannon-Upshur High School and the community have given me so much to be thankful for and I wouldn’t want to trade it for anything. Our community has always made me feel at home and encouraged me to become the best version of myself.”
Brent Kimble, faculty senate chair, said, “The high school administration has pegged this class as the class with vision. While that title is fitting, I see this graduating class as one that has encountered adversity all along the way and somehow comes out of it better than before.
“This graduating class is one of the first classes that was born in the post 9-11 world,” he said. “They have seen economic downturns, upturns, downturns again. They watched and grew as the events at Sago unfolded. They have witnessed social movements, racial tensions and the technology age come to pass. Heck, you all were born with iPhones in your hands — except in Mr. Reger’s class.
“In high school, they witnessed and experienced two educational work stoppages, and oh yeah, a global pandemic.”
“Life is difficult and sometimes we need to remember our past in order to brighten our futures,” he said.
Kimble encouraged the graduates to embrace the moment and thank the people who had impacted them in life so far.
“It is the people in this stadium celebrating all you have accomplished so far that will also be there to pick you up when life turns you upside down,” he said. “Trust me, it will happen.”
Logan Leigh, senior class president, said, “This year we have faced many problems that no future class should ever have to face. We did not know if we would even get to this point, but here we are. I would like to give a special thanks to Dr. (Sara) Stankus, Mr. (Mike) Wilson and members of the Upshur County Board of Education and all faculty and staff. They have put so much into this just for us to be able to do this.”
He jokingly added that the class of 2020 set a record for Senior Skip Day.
“We will be the first graduating class to live in the COVID-19 world,” he said. “What we must remember is that these are not the most trying times.”
Noting Winston Churchill’s famous words after World War II, Leigh said, “This is not the end. This is not even the beginning, but it is perhaps the end of the beginning. Now we must go our separate ways and find our new beginnings.”
Jared Propst, also chosen by the Class of 2020 to speak at graduation, compared life to a Choose Your Own Adventure book.
“Some of us will choose to continue our education in some way,” he said. “Some of us will go straight into a job and some of us will go into the military.”
“Like a Choose Your Own Adventure Book, our choices will determine the outcome of our life,” he said. “As you all make decisions of what you do in the next chapter of your life, I hope you will also choose what is best for you. Always choose the path that will make you most happy.”
The 2020 B-UHS graduating class includes the following students: Dorthy J. Allen, Dane J. Ammons, Briley M. Anderson, Joshua D. Arey, Adam R. Asbury, Faith P. Auvil, Cody L. Bailey, Donovan M. Bailey, Jared C. Bailey, John R. Barnett, Brianna N. Barnette, Nathaniel J. Beer, Morgan Bender, Mary J. Benson, Dallas A. Bevans, Nekyra K. Bigelow, Alexandria J. Black, Samuel L. Black, Angel R. Booth, Charitty E. Boyles, Colby S. Boyles, Mason G. Bragg, Freedom P. Brannon, Miranda L. Brooks, Kailea J. Brown, Aaron L. Burkey, Christophe W. Burnside, Jacob W. Burnside, Garrett P. Butler, Taylor M. Cain, Anthony M. Cannone, Dawson Carpenter, Grace Carpenter, Mackenzie L. Carr, Andrew J. Carrico, Matthew W. Carson, Abigail A. Casto, Dylon Casto, Andrew L. Catlin, Olivia S. Caynor, Damon M. Champ, Chancey Chapman, Grant C. Chapman, Keagen T. Chidester, Brett M. Coe, Dakota Cogar, Kelly Cogar, Donavon R. Conrad, Jasmine M. Cornelius, Shayla D. Courtney, Alicia R. Criss, Damion J. Criss, Lahkeshia L. Culver, Lucas J. Cunningham, Sarah L. Cunningham, Taylor P. Cunningham, Abagail E. Curtis, Keegon B. Curtis, Brayden H. Cutlip, Robert T. Cutlip, Adrianna N. Cutright, Ethan T. Cutright, Jordan B. Cutright, Kianna M. Cutright, Morgan E. Cutright, Taia C. Dahl, Isaiah A. Dancy, Clayton J. Davenport II, Gracie L. Davis, Sarah Davison, Elijah W. Dawson, Tarani Day, Elizabeth J. Demoss, Aleah S. Detamore, Jacob L. Detamore, Andrew J. Dowell, Courtney P. Dowling, Autumn R. Drake,Dylan J. Duke, Hailey A. Farnsworth, John T. Ferguson, Emily P. Fox, Molly I. Fox, Hunter Freemanm Korey B. Gaynor, Cody G. Gibson, Bobby A. Gilliam, Jasmin D. Given, Morgan E. Goodman, Johnelle P. Goss, Logan I. Green, Ellie R. Greenough, Cameron J. Gregory, Patrick L. Gregory, Aidan M. Hagerich, Fred S. Hall IV, Cory L. Hamner, Tanner J. Hardman, Kalen A. Harley, Autumn L. Harris, Kelsi C. Harris, Hannah L. Harvey, Jocelyn K. Heater, Morgan E. Heatherly, Justine M. Heaton, Cynthia M. Hernandez, Josef W. Hershman, Dinah J. Hickman, Emma L. Hicks, Trayka F. Hinchman, Abigail K. Hollen, Connor A. Hollen, Sarah A. Hollen, Zackary J. Hoover, Jesse F. Hubbard, Jr., Turner L. Hymes, Brian A. Ice, Zabian S. Johnson, Kristen D. Johnston, Logan D. Kelley, Jade D. Kesling, Kassidy D. Kimble, Hennasea E. Kittle, Johnny L. Kittle II, Kayla M. Knabenshue, Payton J Knicely, Devin W. Koon, Skylar C. Koon, Tyler L. Kuhn, Isaiah N. Landis, Jessica L. Lane, Riley J. Lantz, Bethany N. Lee, Ryan T. Lee, Jacob A. Leichliter, John L. Leigh, Drake N. Lemansky, Kennedi Lewellyn, Makenzi Lewellyn, Caleb R. Liggett, Austin Light, Jessica Linger, Keegan T. Lloyd, Neil G. Long II ,Zebulon D. Loudin, Nekaiya S. Ludwig, Virginia A. Lyons, Adam J. Madison, Merrody J. Malone, Trenton J. Marsh, Brooklyn D. Maxwell, Broderick P. Mccartney, Cassidy L. Mccloy, Tyler J. Mccowan, Kyia R. Mcgill, Shawnte L. Mcwhorter, Lily E. Meidlinger, Michala S. Miles, Madisson S. Miller, Kolten T. Moody, Jonah E. Moore, Trenton A. Moran, Breanna I. Morgan, Grace R. Morris, Floyd B. Mullins, Blaine G. Murphy, Cole A. Murphy, Patrick K. Nanners, Noah D. Nicola, Kianna M. Nottingham, Morgan C. Parsons, Kimberly L. Perez, Keylee S. Phillips, Nancy B. Phillips, Cosmo J. Plivelich, Charles E. Posey, Amber G. Powers, Chase H. Powers, Elijah W. Powers, Jared S. Propst, Xyndra J. Pugh, Seth S. Queen, Mya G. Ramos, Austin J. Reed, Emily E. Reeves,Emma V. Reger, Haylee S. Rice, Brogan Richardson, Justin D. Robinson, Dominik A. Rodrigue, Dylan M. Rose, Meredith M. Rowan, Austin Russell, Ethan N. Russell, Jada A. Salmons, Tyler J. Sandreth, Joshua A. Sandy II, Jayden S. Sayre, Kelly N. Sayre, Mikayla L. Scott, Brett A. Sears, Elijah C. Sharp, Chasity B. Shipman, Rayven W. Sipe, Trent N. Sipe, Paul W. Sipe Ii, Travis A. Small, Bethany M. Smith, Johnna J. Smith, Ryan C. Smith, Jacob E. Smithson, Liberty A. Snyder, William B. Sparks III, Isaac L. Stankus,Raven N. Starkey, Shelby R. Starnes, Ryan M. Strader, Dallas M. Summers, Courtney C. Suttle, Dylan S. Swiger, Allison F. Tenney, Emily H. Tenney, Katherine R. Tenney, Lexi R. Thomas, Hailey M. Thompson, Fred W. Trainer Iv, Maggie M. Trombley, Haven D. Tyson, Damian L. Vankirk, Abigail L. Vincent, Saban Wagner, Dakota K. Wagoner, Makenzie E. Wagoner, Samuel J. Walker, Brandon D. Wamsley, Brandon W. Wamsley, Chelsea L. Wamsley, Cierra D. Wamsley, Madison E. Wamsley, Abby T. Ware, Allison M. Warner, William F. Warner Jr., Abby R. Weaver, Adam C. Weaver, Caitlyn M. Wendling, Trenton S. Westfall, Christian E. Whitt, Kassidy R. Wilfong, Sydney L. Willett, Jennifer A. Williams, Morgan L. Williams, Makayla Wilson, Zachary G. Withersty, Jerod A. Wood, Marissa N. Workman, Autumn Yoakum and Kelsey D Zickefoose.