Boyle County High School graduation, 2017

Proud parents, families and friends happily filled the gymnasium bleachers and the cafeteria at Boyle County High School Saturday evening to cheer for 189 graduating seniors in the Class of 2017. Lots of hugs and kisses, as well as tears and hand shakes were shared before and after the ceremony. And to put this class into historic relevance, it is the last class of 1990s babies.

Commencement speeches and introductions used hopeful words describing students’ futures — words like, excel, passion, explore, engage and memories. Speakers urged fellow students to make good and meaningful lives for themselves. There were also words of sincere thankfulness for supportive teachers and encouraging friends.

Highest ranking seniors Wesley Wei and Kate Leahey spoke to their fellow classmates, recalling events throughout their careers in the Boyle County school system. 

Wei recalled how he began school in second grade here, coming with his family from Taiwan. He laughed when describing how surprised his family was when school was called off for two days when there was only a slight skiff of snow on the ground, which melted before noon. He continued more seriously by stating the key to having a good life is to find your passions, and to explore those passions.

Leahey said while attending Boyle County schools, the students have all “learned plenty of lessons for the real world.”

She urged everyone to explore their talents and use them to get involved in their community.

“Our hands hold the future, so I know the future is in good hands,” she said.

Two retiring teachers were given a fond and tearful farewell with standing ovations as the graduation ceremony began — Tim Blevins, band and choir director for more than 20 years; and Kathy Lester, chemistry and physics teacher for 18 years. 

Graduating from Boyle County High School were:

Charles John W. Acey, Chelsea Adams, Rebekah Adams, Haley Allen, William Arnold, Trintin Ashburn, Jonathan Ashcraft, Kristen Atwood, Alexander Baker, Ethan Baker, Seth Baker, Ashley Bechtel, Ellie Begley, Amber Belcher, Joshua Bishop, Christian Blackwell, Skyllar Bond, Ashley Boyd, Joseph Bremer, Zachary Brown, Bobby Byrd-Devine, Trenton Caddell, Madison Caldwell, Jimmy Carton, Michelle Carmichael, Holli Carpenter, Whitley Carrico, Cameron Carter, Ashley Casey, Dylan Casey, Riley Cocanougher, Dillard Collier, Marranne Conge, Jordan Conley, Marcos Contreras, Casey Cooper, Ericka Cox, Jonathan Cox, Andrew Craig, Casey Craiger, Collin Cummins, Khristopher Daniels, Sidney Darnell, Andrew Dean, Darby Dennis, Brennon Devine, Timothy Dick, Jordan Drake, Jayda Dudgeon, Sarah Duffy, Anna Duncan, Suzanna Edwards, Haley Egan, Hailey Egbert, Hannah Elder, Megan Elliott, Ronald Emmons, Cody Estes, Thomas Evans, Da’yona Faulkner, Tyllah Faulkner, Emily Floyd, Hunter Floyd, Nicholas Fluty, James Flynn, Bailee Foster, Dylan Frederick.

Stephen Gardener, Rianna Gibson, Leann Gilpin, Cameron Gooch, Hannah Gooch, Jeremy Goode, Taylor Goodpaster, Alexis Gourley, Kelsie Graham, Karli Graves, Taylor Graves, Wesley Hardin, Emily Harris, Mary Heist, David Henderson, James Hogue, Travis Holt, Logan Honaker, Abbey Hotchkiss, Haley Huddleston, Malachi Isaac, William-David Ison, Cathryn Jones, Erica Kersey, Erin Kidd, Tucker Kilby, Virginia King, Jakob Kotila, Elizabeth Kovach, Shannon Kramp, Austin Lamb, Chandler Lane, Katie Lane, Joseph Lawson, Katherine Leahey, Kourtney Lear, Benjamin Lindsay, Heather Lister, Madi Long, Mackaylen Lopez, Mackenzie Lopez, Michael Mingey, Shelby Moore, Allyson Morrow, Hunter Newman, Christopher Noe, Emma Nolan, Laura Nolan, Ethan Nordine, Austin Norvell, Cassidy O’Dell, Jacob Padgett, Amanda Peyton, Mercedes Phegley, Joel Pippin, Olivia Piscateli, Dathan Prewitt, Angala Price, Jacob Price, Summer Priora, Tara Quesbenberry.

Laken Ramey, Dawn Raneri, Christian Ray, Michael Reed, David Reeves, Benjamin Retallick, Trevor Reynolds, Savannah Robinson, Faith Rodgers, Leticia Rodriguez, Joshua Rose, Shayna Rowland, McKinley Rush, Katelyn Rye, Cade Samons, Heather Sargent, Hunter Seay, Coral Shelton, Evan Shields, Grace Simonsen, Jordan Smith, Kendra Smock, Ana-Maria Starcevic, Adam Steinhauer, Samantha Stewart, Alexis Stringer, Paul Sudd, Evan Tarter, James Taylor, Anna Thomas, Kylie Thompson, Jamie Thygesen, Kaylen Troute, Victoria Turney, Victoria Underwood, Adrien Van Steenlandt, Kalynn Vanoy, Carter Vaughn, Trevor Vogt, Alexandra Walker, Cameron Walker, Jacob Waltz, Casey Watson, Wesley Wei, Emily Weldon, Caroline Wells, Alexis Wesley, Carleigh Westerfield, Ashley Wethington, Jordan White, Kenneth Whitsell, Jessica Wiley, Dennis Williams, Cali Wooldridge and Cody Yates.

In addition, Melissa LeGault, mother of Alexis James Kotila who passed away in January, was presented with her daughter’s diploma.