“It’s been real, and it’s been fun, but it ain’t been real fun,” class salutatorian Taylor Cawthon joked.
Some of the approximately 450 graduates started at Southview High School, then moved to Lorain High School when Admiral King High School and Southview merged. They spent their last year at the temporary Lorain High School at 2270 E. 42nd St. as construction began on a new school at 2600 Ashland Ave.
The class also endured teacher layoffs and program cuts in the nearly destitute school district and a state academic takeover of the district because of district-wide low test scores.
“Going into the real world is a scary place, but our poor faculty is here for who knows how long,” valedictorian Raeven Bastock said. “Which one would you choose?”
Despite the challenges, Bastock and Cawthon said they were grateful for their time in high school and the district. Cawthon said the challenges have helped her learn to adapt.
“These past few years have taught us who we are, who we want to be and who we don’t want to be,” Cawthon said. “In that way, we have molded ourselves into what we need to be.”
Recalling their past struggles, Bastock told classmates the upcoming years will be the best of their lives and encouraged them to embrace change and take risks.
“Life is all about the stories you get to tell later,” she said. “Take advantage of opportunities because they only come once.”
Principal Diane Conibear challenged the class, which earned about $3.7 million in scholarships, to never take the easy way out and to make a positive difference in society.
“There are no shortcuts to success,” she said. “Hard work and determination alongside honesty and integrity will lead you to a life of success and happiness.”
Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or firstname.lastname@example.org.