GALION — Northmor High School said so long to the 71 members of Class of 2021 on Sunday during the annual commencement ceremony.
Student Council member Emilie Drumm was the first to address the audience gathered at the school gymnasium. She briefly reflected on the students’ time together and expressed gratitude for the memories they have made together.
“Today we are celebrating the end of an era in our lives, but welcoming a great new beginning which has yet to come,” Drumm said. “Our time here together has come to an end, but this is only the beginning for us. As we say goodbye to our fellow graduates here at Northmor, may we all be grateful for all the memories we have made together. Many of these memories will last forever while some may fade with the passing of time. May we all remember the lessons we have learned and be mindful of decisions we begin to make.
“Throughout the last 13 years of school, we have made friendships that will last a lifetime and memories we will never forget. Throughout these years, we have watched ourselves and our classmates grow and change into the people we are today,” Drumm added. “May today reflect on all the accomplishments we have made here at Northmor, but most importantly, let today welcome many more opportunities which have yet to come for us. I am so grateful to have been a part of this graduating class and am excited to see what the future holds for us all.”
As is the tradition at Northmor, Superintendent Chad Redmon recognized military veterans for their service to the country during the commencement ceremony. He then noted that two members of Class of 2021, Tyler Boggs and Austin Lewis, have decided to enter into military service. Boggs has enlisted in the United States Army and Lewis has enlisted in the United States Navy.
“Congratulations and we respect you greatly for your commitment to your country,” Redmon told the two young men.
Northmor Principal Brendan Gwirtz introduced Emma Turner as the valedictorian of the Northmor Class of 2021. She finished her academic career with a 3.949 grade point average. She plans to attend The Ohio State University in the fall.
“First, I’d like to say congratulations to all my fellow classmates,” Turner said. “I would also like to say thank you to everyone who has helped me achieve this honor of being valedictorian. In the short two years that I’ve been here at Northmor, I’ve been able to see myself and others push themselves to be the best they can. It makes me so happy to see everyone here today to watch us start our new lives.
“As (Chinese military strategist, author, and philosopher) Sun Tzu once said, ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,’ and today we’re here to take that first step.”
The salutatorian for the Northmor Class of 2021 was Abigail Donner. Her final GPA was 3.857. She plans to attend Jacksonville University, Gwirtz said. She thanked her family, teachers, principals, coaches, and fellow classmates for their contributions to her life over the past 13 years.
“I want to especially thank my mom and dad for always pushing me to do my best, my sister for setting a path for me to follow, and my brothers for always being supportive. My classmates have also made my elementary, junior high, and high school years so memorable, and I am very thankful for that,” Donner said. “I know there are great things in store for the future. Each of us will go out and have new experiences and make new memories that we’ll be able to look back on one day. As (former UCLA men’s basketball coach) John Wooden said, ‘If we fail to adapt, we fail to move forward.’
“That being said, we must go into the next chapter of our lives open-minded and become who we need to be to have the most success. I am confident that my classmates will achieve great accomplishments in the future. I wish everyone the best of luck and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us.”
Senior Class President Austin Hammond took time to share some special memories.
“Northmor has a special place in my heart,” Hammond said. “My grandpa was the athletic director and a bus driver for a long time.I wish he were here to see me standing here beginning my life in the black and gold that he held so near and dear to his heart. He would often take me to sporting events here when I was little. It’s from those moments to taking the walk this afternoon and for the rest of my life I will always be a Northmor Knight.”
Hammond then issued the following charge to his classmates.
“As we begin the rest of our lives, I ask one thing of each of you: don’t forget where you came from,” Hammond said. “As you look around at your classmates, they may not all be your favorite people, but they’re also a huge part of who you are today and how you got here. So don’t forget them or your time here at Northmor. … You will do great things and succeed at whatever you choose to do. … And always remember to cherish the highs in life and always know that the lows are not the end of the world.”
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