Ninety-three seniors will turn their tassels at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 3 at Wellington High School’s 143rd commencement ceremony.
The Class of 2018 earned nearly $80,000 in scholarships as of May 24, the WHS guidance office reported. Five have signed up for military service.
Valedictorian Faith Alley is graduating with a 4.4 GPA and this fall will attend the University of Findlay with aspirations of becoming a veterinarian.
“I’ve wanted to be a vet since I was in the second grade,” she said. “I’ve grown up around animals and my mom’s side of the family has a dairy farm. I just love any part of working with animals. I haven’t decided whether I want to specialize in small or large animals. It’s harder to work on larger animals but Findlay focuses on large animals in your first two years. So that will help me make my decision early on.”
Alley is a member of student council, the National Honor Society, FFA, and is a class officer. She also ran track and was a main contributor to the varsity soccer squad that finished as district runner-up this past fall.
“I’ve built another family with all of my friends here and not being able to see them every day at school will be really rough for me,” she said. “I’ve stuck with the same friend group since back in the first grade and kindergarten. We’re all going to separate parts of the state so we won’t be able to see each other that often.”
“Being valedictorian shows all of the hard work I’ve put in and it’s really an honor to be recognized for that here in Wellington,” Alley said.
Salutatorian Kaitlyn Garrett leaves Wellington with a 4.3 GPA and is heading to Ohio State University to double major in film production and social work.
“Social work is kind of a backup if film doesn’t work out,” she said. “But I also want to make films that are useful to social workers, stuff about mental illness, drug abuse, and adoption. Those are the topics I’m the most passionate about.”
Garrett and her clarinet have been a fixture in a Dukes band that has earned a number of superior ratings in state competition. She is a class officer and member of Drama Club, Wellington Community Theater, student council, Key Club, and National Honor Society.
She and other local film enthusiasts have formed a production studio called Revision Films, which is preparing to release a web series called “The Inducement” on YouTube this summer.
The group’s channel can be found at www.goo.gl/pfu1dZ.
“It’s student-run and we’ve made a lot of short films,” Garrett said. “The Inducement is about an alien parasite that infects people’s brains. It should be ready soon and we put a lot of work into it.”
“I’ll miss those friends and that close-knit feeling of being around all my friends on a regular basis,” she said. “It’s been a busy few years but I have really good time management skills. I’ve taken classes at (Lorain County Community College) so I don’t have to be here in the building all of the time. I can even take time at home to do everything I need to do.”
Principal Tina Drake praised her valedictorian, salutatorian, and an entire class that has gone through high school during a mass cultural shift in regard to bullying and social relations.
“I saw these kids really come together this year,” she said. “They really grew a special friendship together throughout the years and I know they’re going to go out and do great things.
“I think a big change in culture makes them more aware of how people are being treated and want to be treated. They’ve taken so many big changes in stride and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.