• 43°

Dawson-Bryant graduates accomplished class

COAL GROVE — Dawson Bryant High School said good-bye to 88 graduating seniors and honored them for their accomplishments at the school’s commencement ceremony on Sunday.

Principal Dean Mader said the class are a “really great group of students” who had accomplished much.

“This year was the first time we got ‘superior’ at the state level foe the band,” he said. “They’re a great group, with no discipline problems, and they set a really good example for those coming after them.”

Mader, who is in his second year as the school’s principal, said this year’s class, which had 17 graduating with honors, was the last group of students he had in class when he served as a teacher at the school.

“I think a lot of these kids will go on to go great things,” he said. “They’re really dedicated to the classroom.”

Mader cited two of the students in particular for their accomplishments.

Emily Wilcox is the recipient of a scholarship from Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio. In 2009, Wilcox’s mother was killed after her father doused her with gasoline and set her on fire. Wilcox, an honors graduate and vice president of her senior class, as one of five Ohio seniors to receive the Beat the Odds scholarship, given out to those who have overcame tragedy and excelled academically.

Logan Zirkle, another honors graduate, qualified for the U.S. Army All American Band and was the recipient of the fine arts scholarship at the ceremony.

“He’s the most accomplished musician to ever come out of our high school,” Mader said.

Overall, this year’s class had the most students to receive scholarships and paid-for tuition than any other in the school’s history.

With the future ahead of them, a few of those speaking offered their advice to the students.

Dawson-Bryant Superintendent Steve Easterling told them to consider their path, asking them “What do you want people to say at your funeral?”

“That may sound like an odd question,” he said. “Someday, people will summarize you life in a single sentence. Your time is limited. Have the courage to follow your heart.”