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St. Joseph grads look to future

24 graduate in class of 2017

The St. Joseph High School class of 2017 had 24 graduates, one of the largest classes in school history, and completed their high school careers Friday evening during the commencement service at the church.

“This is a really good class. We’re very, very proud of them,” Principal Paul Mollett said. “I’ve been with these students for their whole high school careers, and this is just a very good group who we’re extremely proud of.”

The size of the school is something that sets it apart from others, and the students really enjoyed the small school feel.

“I just really enjoyed how close we were. We’re like a tight-knit family here,” graduate Joey Bush said. “It gives you so many opportunities that you couldn’t get anywhere else.”

Bush, who played soccer and basketball for the Flyers as well as being involved with the National Honor Society and Science Club, is set to attend the University of Akron in the fall to study aerospace engineering.

Another graduate, Jenna Rawlins, also said she enjoyed the tight-knit community St. Joseph was.

“I really liked that it’s small and that we’re all so close,” she said.

She added that she would be attending Collins Career Technical Center in the fall, although she is still undecided on a major.

“We’re very proud of this class, as usual,” Ralph Kline, school board president of the Ironton Catholic Schools, said. “This is one of our larger classes, and I’ve watched these kids all the way up.”

For graduate Tre’ Neal, the faith aspect of getting an education from St. Joseph was what stood out to him.

“Being able to grow in your faith each and every day, and not being ashamed of it is something I really enjoyed,” he said.

While at St. Joseph, Neal played soccer, basketball, bowling and baseball, and was involved in the National Honor Society, Math Honor Society and Science Club. He was also the kicker of the Ironton High School football team, because St. Joseph doesn’t have one of its own.

Neal has plans to attend Ohio University in Athens this fall to study chemical engineering.

“We’re very honored and proud to have 24 graduates this year. We’re very proud of what our student-athletes have accomplished and what the students have accomplished in the classroom,” Fr. David Huffman, pastor of the Ironton Catholic Schools, said. “This class is very well-rounded with a bright future. They have a good, Christian faith background, and they’re going to be successful in their future endeavors.”