A capacity crowd in Bob Burton Gymnasium at Paden City High School greeted the members of the PCHS Class of 2013 in a rare pre-noon graduation ceremony. Veterans and civic organizations, as well as individuals, made awards presentations and two of five board of education members, along with the superintendent of Wetzel County Schools, presented diplomas to the 21 graduates.
After the processional, Jarred Harris led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by Senior Class President Kelsey Loy's official welcome. Introductions of various speakers and presenters were made by Tiffany Palmer, Dana Becker, and Mara Greathouse. Lynnsie Parsons presented the history of the class. Drew Bidwell provided the Salutatory address, reminding the audience of the power of community spirit and the positive impact it has on the school. The Valedictory was delivered by John Bates. Bates commented on his deep desire to continue attending Paden City High School even after his family relocated to another part of Wetzel County. His perseverance and dedication paid off as he attained the highest academic standing in the class.
James Ingram presented the Michael Ingram Memorial Scholarships to Drew Bidwell and Kelsey Loy. Bill Anderson, representing American Legion Post 86, presented Bidwell and Lynnsie Parsons with scholarships.
The Paden City High School Class of 2013
Paden City Foundation President Rodney McWilliams then presented the Foundation Scholarships to the class. All told, each member of the class received a scholarship to help defray the cost of education beyond high school. The scholarships and corresponding recipients are: Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6327, Lynnsie Parsons; PCHS Class of 1961, John Bates; Hannah Croasmun Memorial, Dana Becker; PC Alumni Association, Drew Bidwell and Kelsey Loy; Wildcat Boosters, Jarred Harris; Erika "Hank" Bennett Memorial, Lynah Stanley; Bob Bowers Memorial, Valerie Palmer; PC Lions Club, Jefferson Palmer; PC Eagles Lodge, Shelby Billings; Gary and Ruby McWilliams Family Memorial, Samantha Lyons; Dr. R.F. and Libby Family, Tiffany Palmer; Owen and Hope McKay Memorial, Logan Cosper; G. R. Berger Memorial, Gabrielle Cooper; Jesse Brown Memorial, Hailey Wade; Sheldon S. Buck Memorial, Rebecca Harter; Debra Blatt-Pryor Memorial, Gabrielle Cooper; PC Foundation President's Scholarships, Mara Greathouse, Ronald Howell Jr., Matthew McIntyre, Aaron Higgins-Barton, and Evan Nelson.
Principal Jay Salva then presented the Valedictorian and Salutatorian awards to Bates and Bidwell and presented the class to the Board of Education for graduation. In her acceptance of the class on behalf of the board, Board Member Carolyn Gatian gave a personal and appreciative nod to the class members, offering advice and congratulations as well as best wishes for bright futures. Then, Gatian, Board Member Mike Blair, and Superintendent Diane Watt, along with Salva, presented the class members with diplomas while PCHS Teacher Cindy Kocher announced the students' names and their intentions for life after high school.
Kelsey Loy and Jefferson Palmer led the class in turning their tassels to symbolize their official graduation. Lynah Stanley delivered the benediction and the class recessed to the middle of the gym to toss their mortar boards to the music of "The Middle." Special thanks goes to Cindy Kocher for assuming organizational responsibility for the ceremony and the PCHS band and director Steven Ross for providing music.