Pirates prep for graduation

By Laurie Hamame - lhamame@aimmediamidwest.com

There are many things Breanna Clifford will miss about high school.

“I’ll miss everyone,” she said. “I’ll miss my friends, my teachers, the staff, the halls, just about everything.”

She is one of 103 Pirates seniors ready to receive their diplomas at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Black River High School athletic stadium.

Another prepped to graduate is Morgan Czarny. She plans to attend the Ohio State Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster to become a large animal veterinarian. Living on a farm, she’s been around animals her entire life and said she has fallen in love with them.

Looking back at her high school career, Czarny said there is a lot she’ll miss but “it’s just that time in life to move on.”

She also offered some advice to underclassmen: “Remember it’s possible to study and have fun at the same time.”

This year’s commencement ceremony will feature keynote speaker Janice Kollar, a former Black River teacher.

She worked for the school district for 11 years, teaching eighth grade American history and serving as a gifted intervention specialist for grades K-12.

Valedictorian Jason Wright and salutatorian Ashley Stroud both earned full rides to Ohio State University, collectively worth more than $216,000.

Wright is also a National Merit Scholarship winner. The competition evaluates students using their academic record, school curricula and grading system, two SAT scores, school officials’ written recommendations, extracurricular activities, leadership, and a personal essay.

In total, a little more than $3.2 million in scholarship money was earned by Black River seniors. Twenty-four received the state honors diploma.

Four students who are enlisting in the U.S. military will be recognized: Noah Hufenbach, Air Force; Devon Kuntz, Air Force; Dylan Neff, Army National Guard; and Jonathan Fortney, Navy.

In the event of inclement weather, commencement exercises will be moved into the Black River gym.

Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNews on Twitter.

By Laurie Hamame