LOGAN — Friday night’s Logan High School graduation ceremony took place outside for the first time in almost five years. The Logan High School Class of 2023 had the ideal night and temperature to go across the field and get their diplomas.
Students should use their graduation as an opportunity to look back on their history, make plans for the future, and start the next phase of their young adult lives.
During the 2023 graduation ceremony, 270 students took their last steps at Logan High School, and family and friends gathered in the LHS stadium on Friday night. Even if they bid high school farewell, the relationships and connections they made there will last a very long time.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced all schools to temporarily close and switch to remote learning, and just this year, students of all levels lost two classmates to suicide. Additionally, there were protests, fictitious pipe bomb threats, and terroristic threats at the Middle School. Despite all of this, LHSD Superintendent Monte Bainter told the Logan-Hocking Times that he is proud of this year’s graduating class. But on Friday night, the students persevered and triumphantly accepted their diplomas.
The class of 2023 graduates heard the superintendent speak:
Superintendent Bainter wished the graduates, their families, friends, and the community of the Class of 2023 a good evening.
“Scan your surroundings. You should celebrate and savor this moment in time, which you will remember for the rest of your life. Take pride in it. As we celebrate this accomplishment and look back on the times that didn’t make it into photos or celebrations but yet contributed to what you see here today, please give yourselves a pat on the back and join me.
“Graduates, I’d like you to reflect on your kindergarten start day.” While you were probably excited, I’m sure the majority of you were also terrified. You may have even sobbed, clung to your parents’ legs, or refused to get out of the car altogether.
At five years old, you choose to face your fears and push forward despite them, with support from your parents and instructors. Perhaps you made the decision because your parents assured you that you would get ice cream after school. However, the moment you released your guardian’s hand and headed toward the school was the beginning of hundreds of additional moments in which you developed from a carefree child into a resilient young adult with passions and abilities.
“It was 2019 when the freshmen class of 2023 came through these doors four years ago. We were unfamiliar with the term COVID-19 pandemic. You have not only gone through a global epidemic during your time in high school, but you have also gone through national racial tensions, economic anxieties due to the virus and its aftermath, natural calamities, and the War in Ukraine. You have also gone through the heartbreaking loss of friends and classmates. Many of you have also lost loved ones who are regrettably unable to be present in person to see your graduation today.
Each of you has acquired tenacity along the way, which is an intense combination of grit, perseverance, and resolve. You’ve also gained a profound appreciation for life, including the joy of commemorating and sharing ordinary moments with others, the power of kindness to brighten someone else’s day, the significance of raising challenging issues and standing up for your convictions, and the necessity of enduring despite setbacks and repeated setbacks.
“Life is unpredictable, as we all know, but one thing is guaranteed, in my opinion. As you go on your individual travels in the military, the workforce, or higher education, you will encounter a great deal more of these “make-or-break” situations. And when you do, please consider the past. Recall the perseverance you showed when trying out, waiting to hear if you were selected for the team, studying all night for a test, and putting in hours of extra practice weeks before a performance.
“Recall the moments when you struck up a challenging but necessary conversation, requested assistance from a teacher after class, stood up for a fellow student, and arrived at work after a long day. Perhaps your thoughts turn to your first date, the day you contacted your dad to report that you had backed into his car in the driveway, the day you managed to take off your braces for the first time, or the day you remembered to bring your Chromebook to school after neglecting it for the whole week. The important thing to remember is that you have overcome each and every one of those difficulties, and you will keep surprising yourself with how much you can do by seizing those awkward chances to develop into the person you will become.
“No matter where life leads you, I urge you to keep encouraging one another, showing sympathy for others, and showing kindness to those who are going through difficult times. The challenges you overcame as young people equipped you to take your special talents and create a new generation of potential community members, leaders, volunteers, and parents.
“The moments in between are where you earn it, but life’s celebrations are meant to be enjoyed.” You deserve to celebrate, be proud, and feel pleased about this achievement. You succeeded. He ended, “Congratulations, Class of 2023.
Olivia Rayburn’s invocation
“Good afternoon, audience members and fellow students. Grads, I want you to honor our time at Logan High School as well as join me on a trip back in time as we sit in these seats and get ready for the next phase of our life to begin. As we take a trip back in time to a much simpler era, fasten your seatbelt and close your eyes.
“After second grade, we traveled back in time with our time-traveling device, and third grade is almost here. We just received the list of supplies needed for the third grade for the upcoming school year, and we can’t wait to see all of our friends that we have been missing all summer. Every third grader had to have a sparkling notebook for the first day of school or a Spongebob lunchbox to match their book bags, and you had to get there before they were all gone, so we walk out to the shop with our family, essentially dragging them through the grocery store doors. We make our way through every aisle, taking note of everything we know has to be on our list. pencils, pocket folders, erasers with smiley faces, and a pencil pouch to hold all of our colorful pencil grips. Not to mention the glittery notebook that “everyone in our class” had the previous year. I was giddy with anticipation by the time my dad marked off the last item on my list. Although his wallet undoubtedly felt a little different at the time, Olivia was only nine years old and didn’t understand how money operated. For the third grade, we were more than prepared.
Let’s return to reality now, to the conclusion of the senior year, or 12th grade. We won’t be preparing for the 13th grade return in just a few months, and I don’t think the Logan School District has a supplies list for that grade. However, it would appear somewhat differently if they did. Our eyes would locate additional materials needed to get ready for life in the fall if we were given a supply list for the thirteenth grade. Rather than pencils and pocket folders, the list of “necessary materials” would include motivation, accountability, independence, and many other items. Fortunately, none of these materials are pricey for our family’s wallets or even your own, but they are all worth far more than that. We are all aware that one cannot purchase leadership traits off of store shelves. As all of us here at Logan High School have demonstrated, they are won with perseverance, hard work, and time.
“One necessity that youngsters have throughout their early school years is a supply list. As our last hours as students reside within Logan High School’s walls, I implore that a deeper responsibility be shown to each and every one of us. May we be showered with blessings that provide us courage, love, and companionship on all of our upcoming travels and adventures. May the warm showers Logan High School has provided over the past four years keep falling on our never-ending path to achievement. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it,” the scripture says (Prov. 22:6).
Maxwell Black extends a warm welcome.
“Good night. It is a real pleasure to have you here with us tonight. Greetings in particular to my students, the Logan-Hocking Board of Education, the staff, the administration, and all of our family, friends, and supporters in attendance tonight.
“We scarcely realize how quickly the years are passing until, all of a sudden, it is our senior year, and before we know it, I am standing here speaking to you at graduation. My freshman year, I worked the jumbotron for a Friday night football game while sitting in the Chieftain Center control room. For one night, I had all the power that a fifteen-year-old child could ask for, and it inspired me to be not just involved but enthusiastic and creative throughout the following four years of high school.
“Even though I was unaware of it at the time, my optional studies in cinema and broadcasting would present opportunities that no other class would.
I’d want to take a moment now to read you a quotation from John Stewart: “The thing that is truly exciting about your life is that there is no core curriculum. It’s unfortunate.” Everything in this site is optional.
“Electives can be loosely defined as anything that is chosen and not strictly necessary. We had a lot of options or electives at Logan High School. It might have been FFA, Science Club, Band, Sports, or any of the fantastic extracurricular activities our school offers. Take a time to consider the electives you selected and how they have shaped you thus far and will continue to do so in the future.
Now, allow me to showcase a few of the Class of 2023’s accomplishments. And never forget that selecting electives at LHS was the first step toward achieving all of these successes.
- A fellow student created murals to convey charitable messages.
- Several of our peers received invitations to participate in honor bands at their colleges.
- A student qualified for the state wrestling tournament.
- The four-man shuttle hurdle team, which included two classmates, shattered a 36-year-old school record!
- One of the classmates was a part of the inaugural Dance Team.
- A record-breaking 2,500 people attended this year’s spring musical to enjoy the performance.
- Here at LHS, members of our class had the opportunity to join in the Air Force Junior ROTC designation.
Remember that this is just the beginning as we look back on the previous years and are grateful for where they have brought us. Remember that everything began with experiences here, Logan High School class of 2023, no matter where life takes them after tonight. experiences that resulted from the decisions we took. Events like a 15-year-old boy operating the Jumbotron can impact a person’s life now and in the future by providing opportunities that will remain with them.
“While you take in the festivities this evening, please keep in mind the words of Jon Stewart: the real thrill of life lies in its abundance of optional pursuits. I urge my classmates to apply this concept in real life. Make an impact by expanding on the electives you selected while attending Logan High School. Take the electives or experiences outside of your comfort zone when faced with decisions about your future steps, whether they involve going to college, starting a career, or enlisting in the military. You never know where they might lead!
Lecturer: Kendyl Glenn
“Singularity.” Individuality is the trait or personality that sets one individual apart from others of the same type (slow). There are some people in the sea of people here today who have spent the last four years wandering Logan High School’s hallways and are now graduating. It seems amazing to consider that our first day of school was more than 12 years ago. It was simpler to be an individual back then. The small girl with food smeared all over her face, dressed in a tiara and cowboy boots, had no fear of being judged. I think our sense of identity wanes with age, and I work to reverse that.
Telling a group of people wearing the same cap and gown to be individuals is absurd, yet what matters more is individuality than what you wear. That instant when you feel like you are living rather than existing is when your identity truly shines. I want you to think about what ignites your soul. Now, give those items some thought (pause). Is it a kind of art or something you want to cross off your impressive bucket list? Perhaps it’s the people you spend time with or the amount of time you invest in improving yourself. Whatever it is, it must be among the most precious and important things in your life. Something that has influenced the way you are now. I wonder why we allow society to minimize the qualities that define who we are.
“The security of knowing practically everyone is something we leave behind as we embark on this new chapter in our life. In unfamiliar circumstances, it’s important to stay true to who you are. American comedian George Carlin states, “I often warn people that someone will tell you somewhere along the road that there is no “I” in team. You should tell them that maybe there isn’t. However, independence, uniqueness, and integrity all have a “I” to them. Life’s difficult paths of change are inevitable, but they don’t have to change those fundamental aspects of who we are. My senior year, like many of us, I made the decision to get more engaged, and it has been incredibly fulfilling. But in the midst of so many diverse groups this year, I have found it difficult to truly be myself. I discovered that being authentic can infuse new life into the group and I don’t have to hide who I am in order to “fit in.” You do not have to give up your identity in order to fit in with a group.
The search for “yourself” is limitless. A twelve-year-old is devoted to her Justin Bieber devotion. A fourteen-year-old declares that Fortnite is their newfound love. A 16-year-old who tastes independence develops a new sense of style. A soon-to-be 18-year-old finds that without Logan High School, they might not know who they are. Although the thought of the unknown ahead is frightening, maybe we wouldn’t be as affected by the changes outside of our world if we allowed ourselves to find solace within.
We have encountered more unknowns as a class than knowns. It is true that our high school experience has not been like any other. But let’s use those difficult times to change the world rather than wallowing in them. Our time at home has allowed each of us to discover who we are, and the struggles our community and school have recently endured have ignited a fire of transformation in our little town. It is uplifting to look back and realize how you have developed as a person by recalling those difficult times and how you have been singularly protected.
“In a world where social media is everywhere, we can easily locate others who are similar to us and we group ourselves into niches that are limited to our phones. It is simple to get caught up in a bubble and forget that if we never venture outside of it, we will never develop. We should rule the future, I hope. Let’s embrace the qualities that define who we are. As we walk into a world that is greater than Logan High School, cherish your uniqueness and your capacity to effect change. As you are ready to face the world, cultivate the traits that make you unique from the others around you.
Goodbye, Zoe Sater
“Good evening, family, friends, teachers, and staff. It is a privilege for me to give a speech at Logan High School’s 2023 commencement. To everyone of my classmates, I would like to congratulate you and wish you luck on your upcoming journey. I want you to consider the following as we sit here tonight: Who has assisted me in getting to this point? Many of those individuals are probably present tonight. Would you kindly stand up and offer a wave and a round of applause to those who have assisted you?I’m grateful.
At this point, the majority of speakers will discuss individualism, independence, and self-reliance as routes to success and happiness. Even if all of these things are beneficial, I don’t think they are the real keys to our success or happiness. I think it’s thankfulness. We’ve been through a lot as a class, so I’m always amazed at our capacity for happiness and resourcefulness. Maybe it was because the epidemic interrupted our freshman year and stole us away from our familiar lives. We came up with inventive ways to interact with others. We spent a ton of time planning drive-by birthday parties, going outside, and face-timing. When we didn’t want to, we donned masks. We thought everything was unfair, and perhaps it was, but I believe it just made us more appreciative of the things we didn’t even know we had.
“Recall the occasion when you were reunited with your friends or relatives after a period of separation. It was so overwhelming for me that I nearly forgot how to communicate. Because of our seclusion, we were able to discover happiness in the little things, like the spare time we could spend with our loved ones. The saying “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much” by Helen Keller constantly comes to mind when I think of the class of 2023. We persisted, discovered our voices, and kept using them to advocate for change and the needs of people who are unable to speak for themselves.
As a member of the Class of 2023, I am incredibly proud. We are a remarkable group of young adults who experienced profound changes to many of our formative years and experiences due to circumstances beyond our control. It’s common knowledge that the epidemic prevented members of our generation from receiving the proper socialization, education, and training. that we felt duped. Well, I’m not sure about that. We are doing a terrific job and are heading for enormous success and pleasure, in my opinion, judging from our class involvement, school spirit, and civic-minded approach to life. The Greek philosopher Socrates once stated, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” We looked at life and took lessons from it. We took loneliness and transformed it into a gratitude for community and connection. We took injustice and used it as fuel to pursue justice. We took the suffering and made compassion out of it. We took our disappointment and used it to fuel our resolve. We transformed our apprehension and worry into an enthusiasm for life and novel encounters.
How fortunate are we to have had everything taken from us and then given back to us? I think that these very events have made us more equipped than we could have ever thought to travel this life’s journey. We will occasionally succeed and occasionally fail, but I think that in the former case we will always be grateful, and in the latter one we will always see an opportunity. I am incredibly happy about the future we have ahead of us and I am grateful for everything that has led us to this point. I have no doubt that because of us, the world and our community will be better off. To the Class of 2023: let’s keep going on this incredible path, fill it with gratitude, and achieve great things!”
Hannah Davis’s blessing
“There have been an unprecedented amount of problems during the four years of our class’s high school career—students, administration, returning alumni, and everyone else. School years disrupted, varied, and bound by perilous barriers. But as a class, we definitely put up a fight and prevailed!”
It wasn’t a joke when it was said that our school years were disrupted, varied, and bound by perilous barriers. When you heard that comment, I’ll guess that the majority of you immediately thought of the coronavirus pandemic. We have all encountered a covering for our lips and noses, in contrast to Geordi La Forge’s VISOR from the television series Star Trek. Masks played a crucial role in the epidemic, particularly at schools, even if they may not have been the biggest fashion fad by a by shot. It served as a barrier against viral organisms by always covering a portion of the face, shielding our cells from the deadly Covid. But a number of initiatives to remain in classrooms were abandoned, and online learning started.
For one thing, I can remember wanting to have in-person talks without being able to see pixels on the other person’s face while sitting in my bedroom taking Zoom calls for classes. As the epidemic started to slow down, the life of digital papers and tests ended after the conclusion of our freshman year and for the most part our second year. Consequently, regular in-person instruction was put on hold and had to be restarted.
“Even though it was a significant adjustment, the administration and staff deserve great credit for their tireless efforts to provide a’somewhat’ regular start to our high school careers. The seamless return to in-person instruction served to reinforce their efforts. Without a doubt, kids worked just as hard as our professors did.
I would like to share a quotation from the late American sportscaster Ernie Harwell, which may seem familiar to some but may sound foreign to others: “It’s time to say goodbye, but I think goodbyes are sad and I’d much rather say hello.” Greetings from a new journey.
I hope this remark inspires in all of you the idea that reaching this significant milestone is just the beginning of an amazing new journey! Whether you choose to go to college, enter the workforce, join the military, or take a different path, may the light shine down upon you and eyes from above gently guide you. We have all formed into one another over time, as one of your classmates mentioned. Go with delight, for your labors will be acknowledged, your commitment will be rewarded, love and faith will guide you, and ultimately, humanity will be dispersed around the globe in harmony.
Greetings and appreciation!”
To the Logan High School Class of 2023, congratulations!