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August 11, 2020

6/3/2020 2:40:00 PM
Graduation 2020: Class leaders address the future
New graduates, relatives and friends walk from the gymnasium to have their photo taken at the listing of members of the Class of 2020 inside JCHS.
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New graduates, relatives and friends walk from the gymnasium to have their photo taken at the listing of members of the Class of 2020 inside JCHS.

There's no 'normal' life, so just get on with it

by Wyatt St. John
Class President

Good Morning. Before I start I would like to thank my friends and family for supporting me throughout the last 4 years. Although they did not understand why I was putting myself through the extra stress, they understood what it meant to me. I would also like to thank all of the teachers and staff I have come in contact with over the last 13 years. Nothing could be possible without them all working together each and every day. I also want to give the glory to God. He has given me the strength to do everything and deserves the credit for my accomplishments. Last but not least I would like to thank my fellow co-valedictorian, Emily Montgomery, for 13 years of good academic competition from Hayden Elementary to Jennings County High School.

From the time we're in kindergarten until we graduate, knowledge and problem solving skills have been drilled into us each and every day we are at school. This is so we are ready to walk out the doors and face the real world. We are taught that during tests we are to skip a problem if we do not know the answer and move on to the next. We are also told not to sit and worry about not knowing the answer to that one question. Our chances of performing well on that test increases if we focus on what we can do and not on what we cannot.

This is also useful in the real world. Life is full of tests, and we will not always know the answers. We have already witnessed this with the Coronavirus. Instead of us dwelling on what we missed in our senior year, we should focus on what we received and what is to come.

Our class has many great memories to reminisce about. We have sent numerous athletes past sectionals, listened to amazing performances from band and choir members, won five homecomings in a row, and have had many other achievements not mentioned.

This class is also full of potential, (even though we have a bunch of students going to IU). Our class will produce doctors, lawyers, businessmen, tradesmen, and military personnel. It is much better to think about the pleasant memories from our experiences here, and dream about the future than to fantasize about what can never happen.

In the movie "Tombstone," Doc Holiday says to Wyatt Earp, "There's no normal life, Wyatt, it's just life. Get on with it."

This is great advice. There will always be problems to face, but we cannot let them bring us down and hold us back from reaching our full potential.

Thank you and best wishes for my fellow graduates.

Make each moment the best one it could ever be

by Emily Montgomery

Good morning teachers, staff, family, and most importantly fellow classmates of the class of 2020. I would like to start off with a wholehearted congratulations and say that we finally made it. Although this may not have been how we imagined we would be going out, I know that there is no other class that would be able to handle this situation as well as the Class of 2020 could.

Over the past four years at Jennings County High School we have grown stronger together. We all have done amazing things as individuals and especially as a class. I am certain we will leave a legacy within this school and I know that we have made an impressive positive influence to leave behind. But none of this could have been possible without the help from our spectacular staff, teachers, and families.

You all have molded us into the independent people we are becoming and you have taught us so many things that we could never forget. You all are the ones who made it possible for us to even make it here today and be able to have some form of a ceremony to show off the hard work every student the Class of 2020 had put in.

This pandemic may have put a damper on some of our senior activities but I think everything happens for a reason. We have grown stronger together through this and have learned to always be there for each other in some way and we should never take what we have for granted and forever be thankful for the people and times that we have.

But even if we missed some things like prom or a senior trip, this class will forever be placed in history as the class that almost never graduated.

This is a memory that we can tell our families in the future to show them to never give up even when things get flipped on their head. Because of this I am so proud of the Class of 2020 and all of our accomplishments and how we are finally able to be here. I know we all will miss the things we did and did not get to do this year, but take them in as lessons and memories and learn from them.

Never forget the amazing times we had here as a class from the first days of school, to homecomings, the games, the finals weeks, and the last days we got to experience here at JCHS. From now on, learn to always take in the moment you are living in and make it the best moment you could be in. I am so thankful for all of you Class of 2020 and I cannot wait to see all the bright things our futures hold.

Before I leave, I would like to share a quote with you from Elon Musk. "When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor."

I think this should mean a lot to our class as recently it seems the odds have not been very much in our favor but these last few days and moments were so important to us we did everything we could to get them and now we are finally here.

Congratulations to the hardest working class that I have ever met and the class that I am so thankful to be a part of. Ladies and Gentleman of the Class of 2020, best of luck to all of you in your new coming futures. We finally made it. Thank you for everything.

We've accomplished much and are ready to do more

by Katie Pappenheim'

Hello, my name is Katie Pappenheim, oftentimes I'm confused with my twin sister Kayla Pappenheim.

I'd like to start by thanking the Jennings County High school students and staff for trying to tell us apart. Despite your great struggles and constant wrong guesses, the attempts always made me laugh and are greatly appreciated.

I'm truly honored to get to represent JCHS as the co-salutatorian with my sister.

Throughout our high school careers we have encountered many obstacles that have tested our twin relationship.

While Kayla and I have spent a lot of time together, junior year when we got our schedules we realized we were going to have to see each other now more than ever. We looked at our classes and realized we had every. single. class. together. Between constant arguing and bickering, somehow, we managed to survive.

These past 4 years we've accomplished a lot as a class. We've spent nights studying trying to finish our procrastinated papers and projects. We've spent even later nights trying to build and paint last minute homecoming props. With the help of my classmates, the JCHS staff, and the janitors, we've somehow managed to get five homecoming wins in a row.

As I'm not usually one for cheesy motivational quotes, I did stumble upon one quote that was too fitting of the times not to include. It said, "High school is a lot like toilet paper, you only miss it when it's gone."

As a class, we did not expect to walk out of the school on March 13th and never be able to return to regular classes as a senior. Even though we constantly complained about homework, waking up early, and taking tests, we did, in fact, miss the last couple months of school. We lost our last prom, our spring sports seasons, and many other awards, honors, and celebrations that could not be held.

Although we didn't get to completely finish our senior year the way we imagined, all the great people around us have found a way to make our high school experiences memorable.

Over the past four years the class of 2020 has done many things that make our high school days unforgettable. We've played in or attended sporting events, joined clubs, participated in the arts, or mastered instruments. All of these little things are what we value the most about attending Jennings county. In addition to our education of course.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me become successful throughout my years of high school. Special thank yous to all the JCHS staff for taking care of us these past four years and dealing with our teenage selves.

Most importantly I'd like to thank my mom, dad, brother Joey, sister, and grandparents for always encouraging me to do my best and supporting me throughout my life.

To all my fellow graduates, I wish you all the best of luck in the future, whether it be some sort of college or entering the workforce, I truly believe everyone here is capable of accomplishing their dreams.

Thank you

Set goals, set expectations high for your future success

by Kayla Pappenheim

Good Morning friends, family, and fellow graduates!

Class of 2020, we have encountered things that no other class will. The best months of our senior year have been taken away by a virus that has changed how the world functions. We have all heard the terms and phrases "unprecedented times' "quarantine'" "social distance" and "new normal" enough times to last a lifetime.

On the last day of school, we left the building unknowing if we would return. We asked questions like "What if they cancel prom?" and "What about graduation" to our teachers, hoping for answers that we wanted to hear. We received paper packets from our teachers with the instructions to turn them in on the first day we come back to school. Little did we know that we would never again enter the building as JCHS students.

Instead of focusing on everything we did not get to do as seniors, we should focus on what we did accomplish and the memories we were able to make here at JCHS.

I remember staying up late to paint banners and props for homecoming competitions and going on Spanish field trips to art museums. I remember accidentally killing some of my fruit flies in genetics.

I remember tie dying custom shirts junior year in my W7 APUSH class, and in freshman PE, I remember my gymnastics routine being a complete mess.

Good and bad, we all have made memories in high school that we will never forget. Making a list of all the little things I can remember about high school helps me appreciate everything I have done here at Jennings County.

Some of my favorite memories from the past four years happened because I played soccer. The summer before my junior year, Coach Gray told everyone we were going to be having "optional" leadership classes once a week before our regularly scheduled practices.

At first, I thought these classes were going to be a waste of time. Why would I want to do readings and homework for soccer? However, after attending a couple of these meetings I realized they were not a waste of time. They taught me not only about leadership, but about respect. We learned about what it means to be a good teammate, how we should have high standards and hold each other accountable. We set goals and listed our expectations for the upcoming season which led us to form stronger bonds and become more united as a team.

Overall, I learned that setting goals and having high expectations is a great way to lead yourself toward success on and off the field.

I want to thank all of the teachers, coaches and staff members for always pushing us to do our best and helping lead us toward success. I would also like to thank all of my classmates who have made these past four years memorable. Finally, I would like to thank my friends and family for being there to support me and helping me to get to where I am today.

Thank you!

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