Dr. Molly Moorhead’s Graduation Speech to the Loveland High School Class of 2008
It is my pleasure to honor the Class of 2008 by sharing some of their noteworthy accomplishments with you. This class has amassed over 9 million dollars in scholarship money—bravo to them!
This year we have 4 students who received the designation of National Merit Commended Scholar. Will Stephanie Kellish, Jeff Gable, Nolan Hahn, and Aloyious Ononye. Mick Eskender and Oli Ononye were designated as 2008 National Achievement Scholars. Last spring as juniors, the following students received the recognition of Advanced Placement Scholars by receiving high scores on their AP tests--Mick Eskender, Matt Louis, Emily Ralph, and Oli Ononye. Our National Honor Society students are wearing gold cords today and the students earning honors diplomas are wearing silver cords. Would these students please stand so that we can recognize their commitment to scholarship one final time?
Our year began on a high note when one of our students was recognized as one of 14 YMCA Character Education Award Winners. This is a very prestigious award with hundreds of students being nominated throughout the tri-state area, so to be one of 14 is a very significant achievement for Jake Potticary. Jake’s goodness, kindness, and compassion were revealed to me at the beginning of his junior year when Jake was instrumental in bringing the Invisible Children of Uganda’s Schools for Schools program to Loveland High School. His concern for children across the world inspired our entire school with an outpouring of contributions these past two years for the school we are supporting in Africa. To top it all off, Jake is one of two students chosen by the national Invisible Children organization to go to Uganda this summer. Senior Ben Oberholzer went to Uganda with Loveland Middle School teacher Mike Smith this past December— they were just featured in the local section of Wednesday’s Cincinnati Enquirer. Jake and Ben are already giving back, not just through financial means, but also in actual physical relocation to be with those who need help so badly. Both these young men are an inspiration to us all.
A year ago we began televised broadcasting of the news into each classroom of our school. Under the supervision of teacher Jim Barrett, this year’s senior video students took our televised announcements to new heights and made us all anticipate the news each day. Thanks to seniors Bennett Warner, Blake Hawke, Kate Sierspetowki, Katie Kerkhove, Amanda Diaz, Spencer Bowmar, and Ericka Odioso for being so fun to watch each morning. You all will be a hard act to follow!
Senior Whitney Faber was notified in the fall that she had won a 2007 National Teachers of English Achievement in Writing award—quite an honor for Whitney, her teachers John Jones and Theresa Bosse, and our entire school.
For the second year in a row, our Robotics team advanced to national competition in Auburn, Alabama by winning the local University of Cincinnati contest. Seniors Steph Kellish, Sarah Gropp, Mike Downing, Emily Ralph, Jimmy Turner, Mike Stewart, Tess Elking, Danielle Walerius, Kevin Whitaker, Jessica Puccini, Matt Brooks, and Heather Flynn, under the supervision of science teacher Sue Evans, came in first in the oral presentation portion and second in the CAD portion of the national competition. It is sad to report that there will be no Robotics local competition at UC next year as they have had to cut the program due to lack of funding.
This year, our JETS varsity engineering team placed 3rd in the state under the guidance of teacher Robert Wagner. Our Science Team, with the supervision of teacher Jennifer Weill, participated in the state meet and our Academic Team, also under Ms. Weill’s leadership, tied for 1st place in the FAVC with senior captain Nolan Hahn placing as 3rd highest individual scorer in the state competition. Speaking of the FAVC, our senior athletes led us to 8 first place sports awards and 5 second place honors.
In December, a team of students from Chuck Warden’s economics class was notified that they had won the local Stock Market game and received a free trip to Wall Street in New York City. Matt Moran and John McNally were the seniors who played the stock market very well. Bravo to them!
Our Biotech seniors have been award over $65,000 in scholarships that are directly attributed to their participation in the Biotech program with teacher Jamie Allison. At the UC College of Applied Science Expo, our seniors swept the awards taking the first four places. At the Greater Cincinnati Tech Prep Showcase, seniors Jenn Bosse, Andrew Carl and Kevin Whitaker won first place for their projects. The Greater Cincinnati Tech Prep Biotech Student of the Year was Loveland senior Molly Stancliff. Mr. Allison says, “This competition is one of the greatest things to see—high school seniors presenting right next to college seniors. It is not uncommon to see college seniors that are being outdone by our high schools students. I watched two college seniors pack up their projects after seeing what our Loveland students brought.” Bravo to our Biotech
Our senior art students, working with teachers Jennifer Grant and Jim Barrett, displayed their art work at the UC DAAP and Reed Gallery High School Art Show. Each performing group in our music department experienced successful seasons. Our marching band, under the direction of Sean Thompson, Chris Huening, and Bruce Maegly went to Florida in the fall and the Jazz Band took a spring break trip to New York City where hey participated in a clinic at the renowned Julliard School of Music. For the first time in Loveland history, our high school orchestra is here to perform for us today. Senior violinist, Justin Scheibel, has become the first orchestra student to gain admittance to the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.
Our Thespian drama students are wearing blue honor cords today. During their past four years at LHS, they have worked with 4 different drama directors, yet have maintained their high performance standards, producing wonderful dramas and musicals for our community. Would our senior Thespians please stand and be recognized?
The following Loveland High School faculty members have children in this graduating class: Beth Wexler has a son, Brad, Tracey Baker has daughter Samantha, Michelle Walls and daughter Shannon, and Angel Sears and daughter Danielle. Within our Central Office, parents of graduating seniors are Becky Clark and son Ricky, Diane Bailey and daughter De De, Judi McDaniel and daughter Sara, and assistant superintendent Greg Smith has twins, Brian and David. Board member Dr. Judy McClanahan has a son, Keegan, in this graduating class as well.
I’d like to thank the staff members participating graduation today. Jamie Allison was selected by this senior class as Teacher of the Year. Senior Chloe Temple wrote his nominating letter. I’d like to note Jeff Still who is retiring after 30 years of service to Loveland schools and Jeff Berkhoff with 35 years all spent teaching Loveland students. We thank all district teachers for their service and commitment to Loveland students.
On a personal note, I remember four students who were friendly to the new principal three years ago, actually engaging in conversation with her each day at their lunch table. In a new school with three crowded lunch shifts, Bree and Tess Elking, Ben Oberholzer, and Adrienne Mary stood out just by taking the time to smile and speak a few words each day. No matter how old you are, it is hard to be the new person at school, and I have to say thank you to those students who took the time to be kind and welcoming.
I wish these seniors all the best as they begin the next section of their lives’ journeys. With two cancer survivors among them, and two students who have or are going to journey across the globe to work with those less fortunate, these young people before us have the opportunity to make a real difference in the world. Even though they mock the thought, I hope they will always remember that when they have to choose between being right or being kind, they will choose kindness. Kindness is in such short supply in our world.
Dr. Molly Moorhead is the Principal of Loveland High School