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WL-Salem graduates grateful for community support

An attitude of gratitude prevailed among student speakers Sunday during the 52nd commencement ceremony at West Liberty-Salem High School.

WLSgrad1 WLSgrad2
LEFT: Salutatorian Courtney Leach addresses her peers Sunday at West Liberty-Salem graduation exercises. RIGHT: Valedictorian Megan Etgen speaks during commencement. FRONT PAGE PHOTO: Graduating West Liberty-Salem seniors celebrate following Sunday’s commencement. (EXAMINER PHOTOS | NATE SMITH)

Salutatorian Courtney Leach outlined during her speech three reasons why she believed this year’s WL-S graduating class would be successful. Those reasons included a conviction in their beliefs; a connection with their hometown; and an unwillingness to set limits on their potential.

In her speech, class valedictorian Megan Etgen said she and peers feel empowered because of the foundation their community has helped build.

“We’re so blessed to grow up here,” she said, “in a community that has helped each one of us.

“We’re a competitive group determined to succeed and that’s because of the support from our teachers, coaches, friends, parents and grandparents.”

She described the work ethic and morals instilled in them and challenged her fellow graduates to give back to the community. Megan called the 2013 graduating class a, “well-rounded group determined to succeed,” and again thanked the community for its support of their education.

Among the students recognized for their accomplishments, were 10 graduates who have already enlisted in the armed services. They include: Brisley Jeffers, Tyler LeVan, Nicholas McMaken, Austin Randall, Kevin Olbrysh, Jacob Ortman, Larry Bailey, Alex Gardner, Callie Woodruff and Jennifer Colby.

Sunday’s ceremony also included performances by the high school choir ensemble and band.

Other student speakers were Alex Adams, Landon Hormann, Sarah Williams, Jasmine Smith and Joshua Zahller.

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