Graduates encouraged to follow their passion, seize the moment

Carrollton teacher Craig Brooks (left) shares a handshake with graduate Mike Yoder as the class of 2018 marched into Bell-Herron gym Friday evening.
By Carol McIntire


Carrollton teacher Craig Brooks (left) shares a handshake with graduate Mike Yoder as the class of 2018 marched into Bell-Herron gym Friday evening.

Taylor Fair challenged 2018 Carrollton High School graduates to step outside their comfort zone as they go forward in life and Emmett Davis encouraged them to seize the moment during commencement exercises Friday in the Bell-Herron gymnasium.

Fair, valedictorian, told the 170 graduates there are many new experiences out there waiting for them if they are willing to take the chance.

“This class is full of talent and potential and I can’t wait to see how everyone’s lives have changed when we unite for our class reunions,” she said.

She shared a quote she holds dear: “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire,” she said. “As you go through life, follow your passion or find a new one. It might not always be easy, and you might have to go the extra mile, but I know each and every one of you are more than capable. It may seem like hard work, but you will never regret a time when you have stepped up to the challenge, only those that you have shied away from. “

Davis, salutatorian who said he loves movies, told fellow graduates he couldn’t miss an opportunity to mention one during the program.

“Dead Poet Society is about a group of boys inspired by their teacher, John Keating, to pursue their dreams and break free of the expectations and restrictions that are laid upon them.”

He said throughout the movie Keating drills a phrase into the Carpe Diem, the Latin term for seize the day.

“This is a big message for all of us,” he said. “I take it to mean that no matter where we go in life, we all need to remember to make every day the best we can. We have only so many days on this earth, so we should all do our best to make every one count.”

Davis encouraged graduates to take the next step in their life with confidence, to face whatever is thrown at them with the faith to know that it will all work out in the end.

“I ask everybody to remember John Keating’s words: ‘Carpe Diem. Seize the day, boys.’ Make your life extraordinary.”

High School Principal Dave Davis noted 32 members of the class of 2018 earned honors diplomas, 10 are Graduates with Distinction and 42 are members of the National Honor Society.

Sixty-six students participated in the College Credit Plus program during high school, earning 1, 242 semester hours of college credit, saving their parents over $190,000.

Students received $168,600 in local scholarships and in total, the class of 2018 received $2,228,210 in scholarships.

In an emotional ceremony, the three CHS graduates who have enlisted in the military and will report for duty assignments soon after graduation, presented a high school diploma to 92-year-old Roy Gallatin, a World War II veteran.

Davis commended Storm Carson (Navy), Parker Crim (Marines) and Tanner Newbold (Army) for their incredible act of “paying forward” so Americans can continue to enjoy the freedoms paid for by our military men and women.

“I am humbled by sacrifice and I thank you, your community thanks you and I pray God will protect you,” Davis said before asking Gallatin to come forward and receive his high school diploma from the school he attended 72 years after he left school to help support his family. On Aug. 13, 1943, two days before his 18th birthday, he enlisted in the Marine Corps.

“Through his career with Hartford Insurance Company, he took classes at The Ohio State University in welding, engineering and nuclear engineering, but the one thing he was never able to do was to graduate from high school,” Davis said. “Tonight we are going to fix that. The Board of Education of the Carrollton Exempted Village School District is proud to award a high school diploma to a proud member of America’s Greatest Generation – Mr. Roy Gallatin.”

Prior to members of the school board presenting diplomas, Davis told graduates it was an honor to share their high school years and to announce their names as they received their diploma.

“May you ever stand, loyal, true and faithful to the best school in our land! This is your time, you are classmates, friends, teammates and Warriors forever!” he said.