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Wildcats’ Class of ’16 on the Prowl

By Staff | May 18, 2016

Photo by Miles Layton Wildcats toss their mortar boards in the air after graduation on Sunday.

PADEN CITY – The Class of 2016 closed a chapter of their lives when they turned the tassels on their mortar boards Sunday in the high school’s gymnasium.

“You have now completed a chapter in your book of life,” PCHS Principal Jay Salva said during his speech to a standing room only crowd. “It is up to you to determine what your next chapter will be. You are the author of your book of life. I will miss you Class of 2016.”

Thirty-three graduates were presented with diplomas 100 percent graduation rate. Salva said the graduating class holds special meaning to him because he has known these students since he became the school’s principal six years ago.

Many of those same students, who were then in seventh grade, have grown into athletes, scholars, ladies and gentleman.

“Throughout our six years together, we made mistakes and we learned from those mistakes. We laughed and we laughed often,” Salva said. “We talked and I watched these students grow into wonderful young men and women. I will always carry with me the fond memories I have had with group. I want to thank the students for making my life better.”

The Class of 2016 Welcome Speech was given by Samuel Price, whose family has deep roots with the school and community much like many of his fellow classmates.

“Many of us are part of a family legacy of graduating from Paden City High School,” he said. “Sixty-four years ago, my namesake, Warren Lee Price, stood before the first graduating class and gave the President’s welcome address. Today his grandson, Samuel Warren Price, is humbled to have the same opportunity.”

Price, senior class president and valedictorian, continued by saying, “I want to give a special thank-you to all the alumni and the Paden City community for all that you do to make our school a better place. You have gone above and beyond to secure that the first 65 years is only the beginning. You have always ‘waved high the green and white forever.’ On behalf of the class of 2016, thank you. You have given us a place to learn, grow and create our own ‘chain of memories.'”

Salutatorian Michele Doyle spoke of how special it is to attend school in a small town.

“Being part of such a close class is one of the best feelings ever,” she said. “Yes, in a city you may have more opportunities, but how many can say they knew their whole class and were all friends since the beginning? Our friendship, this family, is priceless something that can last a lifetime.”

Price’s Valedictory Speech summed it up best.

“May we strive to use our education to improve the quality of our lives as well as the lives of others,” he said. “Let’s live our lives to the fullest by finding positive ways to impact our families, friends and community.”

The PCHS band played the school’s alma mater followed by a benediction offered by Luke Cooper. The recessional Trace Adkins’ “You’re gonna to miss this” brought tears to the eyes of parents, students and teachers alike. As the seniors did at prom, they huddled up in a circle and started congratulating each other as they said goodbye.

The chorus from Adkins’s song was seared into everyone’s heart.

“You’re gonna miss this.You’re gonna want this back. You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast. These Are Some Good Times. So take a good look around. You may not know it now. But you’re gonna miss this.”

Awards/Scholarships presented

American Legion Post 86’s Scholarship to Taylor Cosper

Michael Ingram Scholarship to Luke Cooper

Mark Doty Scholarship to Desiree Heasley

Hannah Croasmun Scholarship to Michael Wilcox

Paden City Lions Club Scholarship to Logan Carroll

Paden City Foundation Scholarships to Luke Cooper, Taylor Cosper, Cheyenne Blizzard, Dakota Gatian, Darien Ritchie, Samuel Price, Shaylee Lyons, Cydney Blatt and Deven Price

Sistersville Elks Lodge 333 Scholarship to Samuel Price

American Red Cross Scholarship to Chelsea Dennis

Awards to Valedictorian (Samuel Price) and Salutatorian (Michele Doyle)