As an estimated 500 Davidson High School seniors walked across the stage at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on May 22 to accept their diplomas, three took center stage with Superintendent Dale McVey.

As an estimated 500 Davidson High School seniors walked across the stage at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on May 22 to accept their diplomas, three took center stage with Superintendent Dale McVey.

Aliza Kumpinsky as valedictorian, Tiffany Yang as salutatorian and Kelsey Sulc as historian were the top three students in the Class of 2008.

Davidson has served as a home to the senior class, according to Kumpinsky who is headed to Youngstown State University where she will start out in the life sciences for pre-medicine.

"When we came through those hallowed halls four years ago," she said of Davidson, "the building was overwhelming and, quite frankly, scary."

As freshmen, she said, they experienced time travel, with clocks displaying "wildly different" times depending on the hallway used.

The students, Kumpinsky said, went to the "media center," a term they never heard before arriving at the Hilliard institute of higher learning.

Once they became seniors, she said, they parked in a body of water when it rained hard.

Another unusual experience was the technology of the day.

"A computer calling home to tell our parents their student has missed one or more periods of class today, even though we were at school the whole day," she said.

Fire alarms, according to Kumpinsky, instinctively went off on the coldest days of the year.

As seniors, she said, they learned to elbow their way through the crowds and discovered which hallways to avoid if they did not want to bump into a particular monitor.

"Imagine how these places will appear to us when we return years from now," Kumpinsky said, helping her classmates project into the future with suggestion. "Even if we don't remember the details, Davidson has changed our lives, our plans and shaped the way we see our future. And time can never take that away."

Sulc seemed to be in agreement with Kumpinsky.

"Every weekday for the past four years, our days have, in general, been the same," said Sulc, who will head to the University of Cincinnati in the fall to study pharmacy. "We wake up, hit the snooze multiple times and drag our reluctant bodies out from under the warm covers. We get ready. We hop into the car. We hit every red light on Davidson Road. We park five miles away from the school. We lug our backpacks around from class to class. We are told to take notes, listen to mind-numbing lectures. The clocks seem to move backwards. Finally we go home only to realize we have even more work to do than when we woke up. Day after day: unchanging, unending, uneventful. And when we look at it that way, school becomes unbearable."

She was thankful that she realized there is more to it than that.

Sulc turned to Ernest Hemingway for words of inspiration.

"Every man's life ends the same way," she said, quoting the American novelist. "It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another."

The people at Davidson, with whom she interacted, transformed the school day for Sulc.

Teachers, substitutes, friends and hall monitors break up the wearisome routine, she said.

"These people we will permanently remember, despite the limited, sporadic contact we've had with them," she said. "We will never forget the little things they did every day that became something to look forward to. This just serves to validate what Hemingway said. What we do every day makes us who we are. And in the end, it is the way we lived our life, what we did and how we did it that will be remembered. It is our actions and our choices that differentiate us from any other person. Every day we have a chance to impact someone else's life."

Yang, who will attend the Ohio State University where she plans to study biology premed, counted down the minutes until her class was officially done with high school.

She claimed that it took four years, 728 days, 314,496 minutes.

"Eighteen years of our lives have passed, each more quickly than the one before it," she said. "Even today feels shorter than yesterday. But over the past four years here, we have managed to momentarily capture and conquer fleeting time. We made these four years our four years. We have defined our time as a composition of superior academics, athletics and arts. And this last year, seemingly the shortest of them all, has been our masterpiece and crowning achievement."

It was unheard of to eat lunch before 10 a.m. until they arrived at Davidson, she said.

"And we will always remember the March blizzard of '08," said Yang. "Gusting winds or no, I think 20 inches of snow counts as a blizzard. Which of course, had to happen on a weekend -- further proof Mr. McVey is God."

There are more than tardy slips and orange lockers awaiting the graduating class, according to Yang.

"We are all about to find out exactly what that is, very, very soon," she said. "It is time to move forward."