Academic banquet honors 39 students

Academic Honors seniors from Northfield High School include (front row, from left) Abby Keaffaber, Eryn Eckelbarger, Emily Unger, Drew Clark, Paige Holley, Lexus Biehl, (back row, from left) Jacob Schuler, Noah Shear, Eli Schuler, Jakob Hayes and Davie Shoue. (Not pictured Sarah Driscoll, Elizabeth Howenstine, Allison Middaugh and John Ritchie.) Photo by Emma Rausch

By Emma Rausch

MSD of Wabash County students were encouraged to own their mistakes, be grateful and remember to forgive at the 27th annual Academic Recognition Banquet on Tuesday, March 8.

Keynote speaker Christine Flohr, executive director of tourism for Visit Wabash County, shared her life mantras with 39 Northfield and Southwood seniors, which were honored Tuesday night for their academic excellences.

“You’re on the verge of leaving the nest and venturing out on your own,” Flohr said to the crowd of students and their families, “and so I decided to talk to each of you from the heart, sharing the words I would want shared with my own daughter.”

Flohr’s mantras included advice such as take learning seriously, make good choices and be grateful. However, she also cautioned students that life isn’t about being fair.

“Life is about writing your own story and filling its pages with as many chapters as you can,” she explained. “It’s about pursuing hopes and dreams. It’s about falling down and getting back up. It’s about laughing and crying. It’s about celebration and defeat.

“And at the end of life, no one remembers the fairness, but they remember the way that it was lived. Life isn’t about being fair.”

She continued her speech and advised that the students should create a bucket list, answer when parents call, make today count and ask for help when needed. Her final mantra “is a priority and I mean it sincerely.”

“Love what you do and land there,” Flohr said. “I have had several different jobs over the years. I have been a waitress, managed a pizza place, a music store and an ice cream shop. I have been a supervisor in a factory, an operations manager for a construction firm, an event planner and fund developer, all before landing in my current position as Director of Tourism.

“I sincerely love what I do every day, and that is critical to enjoying the time you have on this earth. Love what you do and land there.”

Flohr continues to apply “these snippets of advice” to both her personal and professional life, she said, and admitted that she still doesn’t have everything figured out and “that’s a good thing.”

“I am still filling the pages of my life, chapter by chapter,” she continued. “I am still crossing things off of my bucket list.

“I make mistakes and I say I am sorry. I try hard to offer forgiveness. I struggle with asking for help when I need it. But when my mom calls, I answer. Well, most of the time.”

On behalf of Wabash County, Flohr said she is proud of each student at the banquet.

Southwood High School’s honored seniors included Haley J. Baker, Destiny D. Branson, David W. Brinson, Josey N. Brubaker, Jonathan W. Collins, Isaak M. Davis, Christian R. Deeter, Andrew T. Finicle, Josiah D. Friedersdorf, Kevin J. Haggerty, Bailey E. Hobbs, Joshua R. Hobson, Kolten M. Kersey, Natalie J. Knoblock, Bailey E. Lundmark, Aaron C. Ross, Hanna N. Schlemmer, Amanda E. Schul, Kayleigh A. Shearer, Danielle A. Sparling, Hannah M. Spaulding, Payton L. Temple, Seth M. Truss and Ezekiel A. Wysong.

Honored Northfield High School seniors were Lexus A. Biehl, Drew B. Clark, Sarah E. Driscoll, Eryn R. Ecklebarger, Jakob C. Hayes, Paige R. Holley, Elizabeth M. Howenstine, Abby R. Keaffaber, Allison J. Middaugh, John D. Ritchie, Eli A. Schuler, Jacob R. Schuler, Noah M. Shear, David J. Shoue and Emily N. Unger.

“I am proud that you made a choice to work hard and make academics a priority,” Flohr said. “I wish each and every one of you a life packed with chapter after chapter of amazing stories.”

Posted on 2016 Mar 15