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June 2, 2015 • Headlines

Decorated caps were the trend among students in this year’s Milan High School Class of 2015.
Tyler Seaver and Alexandra Schwipps stop to take a selfie during Milan High School graduation ceremony.
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Milan High School celebrates graduates
Ortt, Cavins earn spot as top scholars

Mary Mattingly

“Oh the places you’ll go! You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose!” Dr. Seuss, Milan’s class motto

Milan High School’s Class of 2015, just moments from proceeding to the gym to receive their coveted diploma, gathered in the cafeteria for a formal class picture. Many made last minute adjustments to decorated caps, or hugged and snapped pictures with buddies, trying to capture the mixed feelings they were having. “It’s a weird feeling. We’ve been doing the same thing for 13 years and all of sudden, boom! It’s done,” said Marisa Combs. “I’m excited though!” Paige Love was anxious about what the future holds. “It’s something new, just like spinning a ball and not knowing what will happen next,” she said. Class President Hannah Lewis was nervous since she had a speaking part in the ceremony, but said it will be odd to not see her classmates daily. “We’re a really close class. We talk everyday. It’s going to be hard.” Sam Rehn said, “It feels weird. To not have to get up early every morning and go to school….” But, perhaps Cara Walters said it best on how the moment felt. “It feels really, really good!” She had a special reason to celebrate: her 18th birthday. “This diploma is the best present I ever got!” Another classmate, Kelsey Bode, was also celebrating her 18th birthday on graduation day.

One hundred and three Milan seniors received their diplomas Saturday amidst a packed gym of family, friends and well-wishers. There were hoops and hollers, joyful tears and laughter and we’re talking from the audience, not the students! Many relatives were unable to contain their emotions. Cameras flashed, flowers were presented, and ovations made as the students accepted the sheepskin from Principal Ryan Langferman. He had told them in his final address to the class that it wasn’t the diploma, but the journey that got them there which they’ll remember. “Today is your day, and you have earned all the accolades that come with it.” He left them with words of advice on living life, from famed former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz: ‘Do what is right; Do the best you can; And show people you care.’ ” He reminded them “ to help each other… Tell mom and dad you love them and do community service because you want to not because you have to.”

Ashley Cavins


Pictured left is Milan High School Class of 2015 Salutatorian Ashley Cavins. Read more about Ashley, her past achievements and future plans in the Osgood Journal. Pick up a copy at your local newsstand!

Salutatorian Ashley Cavins spoke to her peers and recalled the fond experiences of Friday night football games, field trips, homecoming floats and prom. She challenged them, whether going on to college, military or the workforce, to ‘jump in with both feet…strive for excellence, and if you make a mistake learn from it.”

Isabelle Ortt


Pictured left is Milan High School Class of 2015 Valedictorian Isabelle Ortt. Read more about Isabelle, her past achievements and future plans in the Osgood Journal. Pick up a copy at your local newsstand!

Valedictorian Isabelle Ortt reminded her classmates when they were unsure freshman seeking cafeteria seats and locker combinations, to just the past few days when they experienced their last Monday, last practice, last bell. “I’m scrambling to find original words of wisdom to give to my classmates. I don’t have any. I worked hard. We all did.” She quoted Albert Einstein: “Education remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” Besides calculus theories and history facts, she said they were more likely “to remember the experience of a close knit community, where classmates notice if you are not feeling well and neighbors offer congratulations for an award or a game. If that’s not education I don’t know what is.” She thanked teachers, administrators, secretaries, family and friends. “Class of 2015, it’s been a wild ride. At times I wish it would never end.”

The superintendent, Paul Ketcham, said he had fond memories of speaking to this class four years ago as principal. “I told them how the next four years would fly by, and my have they!” There have been trials and tribulations along with exceptional and magical moments. “Yours is the future and on you the world will depend,” he said. “Its’ been an honor and privilege to watch you progress.”

Of the 103 graduates, 34 received academic honors and 33 were members of the National Honor Society. Two seniors were singled out, and applauded, for perfect attendance, Travis Butte and Nathaniel Walter. Todd Yates, the senior class sponsor and history teacher, was also recognized. After many years, this was his last time as senior class sponsor since he is retiring at the end of this school year. “This school is losing one of its greatest assets, “ Kelli Smith, student council president, said in honoring him. The crowd gave him a standing ovation. Spanish teacher Ed Pasko is also retiring.

The class, led by President Hannah Lewis, changed their cap tassels from right to left. After a blessing sung by the senior choir members, the high school band played the traditional Sine Nomine, and the Class of 2015 receded to the school lawn, to toss their caps, symbolic of four years of a high school career, in the air. Where it lands it didn’t matter. The next chapter in life begins now.

Pick up this week's edition of the Osgood Journal for the stories below and more local news. Subscribe by clicking the subscribe link or call 812-689-6364.

• Osgood Lions: 50 years of service to community (front page)
• State bans bird projects at 4-H fairs (front page)
• Osgood Town Board: Cut grass in streets clogging drain (page 3)
• RCCF small grants deadline approaching (page 2)
• A first year money management guide for the new college grad (page 4)
• Getting married soon? Give Social Security your new name (page 4)
• Letter to the Editor: Honoring cancer victims and survivors (page 4)
• On the Record from the Ripley County Courthouse (page 7)
• More Milan High School graduation photos (page 7)
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