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St. Joe grads take ‘big jump’

Katelyn Taylor Compston receives a comforting hug from Peter McClain before the start of commencement exercises Friday for St. Joseph High School.

 

Chelsea Blackburn walked toward the entrance to St. Joseph Catholic Church Friday evening, a smile on her face.

“I’m really excited,” she said.

And who could blame her? She and 14 fellow St. Joseph High School seniors had been preparing 13 years for this occasion, the moment they got their diplomas.

The graduation ceremony was at the church.

Tori Mollett pronounced herself “really nervous” and added, “It’s a big jump. I thought this day would never come and here it is.”

Yes, those school years may seem like a lifetime but, in reality, graduation is really only the beginning for the rest of their lives.

Mollett plans to study speech pathology at Marshall University.

“She’s my last,” her father, Paul Mollett, said as he watched his daughter with the other graduates. “I think we’re ready. I’m not overly sad. It’s time.”

Kim and Mark Klein came to see their daughter, Emily, graduate.

“It’s a little bittersweet,” Mom said. “She’s getting ready to get her life started.”

“But we’re mostly happy,” Dad said. Emily plans to study psychology at Eastern Kentucky University this fall.

“We’re very proud of her,” Mom said.

What will the Class of 2012 miss most about life at St. Joseph High School?

“Mr. Lutz and Mr. Morgan,” Blackburn answered without hesitation. “They teach us lessons about life along with education, life lessons we’ll always remember.”

Mollett said she will miss everything.

“All I’ve ever known is my class. It’s been like my family.”

Fellow graduate Megan Fields, who will study early childhood education at Marshall, said she will miss “probably how close the whole school is.”

And what will faculty and staff miss most about the Class of 2012?

“I will miss their individual, unique personalities,” teacher Maria Whaley said. She described this class as one that kept her on her toes and always provided some new adventure.