Approximately125 Johnstown-Monroe High School seniors are scheduled to graduate during the district's 131st commencement at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 23, in the school's football stadium, 401 S. Oregon St.
Approximately 125 Johnstown-Monroe High School seniors are scheduled to graduate during the district's 131st commencement at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 23, in the school's football stadium, 401 S. Oregon St.
Senior class adviser Tammy Ortman, who has known the group since they were freshmen, said the candidates for graduation have many positive attributes.
"I love this class, personally," Ortman said. "I had them as freshmen when I was teaching English and now in social studies.
"It's a group that works hard but they're fun," Ortman said.
"They're a respectful class. They have energy. We can trust most of them to do the right thing.
"There's an extreme amount of talent. There are some incredibly smart and talented students in this class."Cameron West
Ortman said in her 17 years of teaching she has never met a student more "put together" than senior class president Cameron West.
In his role as announcer, he has been the voice of what's touted as the pride of Johnstown -- the Big Red Band -- for five years. He has also been a student council, choir and National Honor Society member.
West said it's student participation in multiple activities that make Johnstown-Monroe High School a special place.
"People have asked me what's a Johnstown Johnnie?" he said. "Does anyone really know?
"I think what sets the school apart is that a Johnstown Johnnie is different from any other school," West said.
"A Johnnie isn't a special person, thing or animal. It's a small-town vibe. Everyone can be involved in so many different things.
"That's why the band is popular, and that's why the choir is popular," West said. "I think that makes Johnstown so special. Our school and community stand out because we're so different from everywhere else.
"A Johnnie is the value of being yourself. Do what you want to do, and don't follow expectations of others. Do you."
His life's ambition is to become the next Ryan Seacrest, who's a popular radio and TV personality.
"This is a big transition period in my life," West said. "I've had so many great experiences, but I'm ready for the next chapter."
West is the son of Brian and Monica West. He plans to attend Otterbein University this fall on a four-year President's Scholar Award to study public relations.
He will also spend this summer working at a local radio station.
"I'll know I've made it, if there's a sign (coming into Johnstown) that says 'home of Cameron West,' " he said.
"It's a great place to grow up. I'm proud of my hometown."Quinn Weinberger
Quinn Weinberger, daughter of Paul and Joyce Weinberger, will finish her high school career as valedictorian or salutatorian of the senior class with a grade-point average of 4.8.
Final exams still need to be tabulated to determine the top two spots.
Weinberger said it means a lot to her to finish at the top of the class, because she's a very hard-working, determined person.
"I put a lot of effort to be a top student in the class, so it's rewarding to see my hard work pay off," she said.
What she'll always remember about her high school years is the tight-knit community and how all her classmates are friends.
"I'll think about the teachers and how they really care about the students," Weinberger added. "There's so much love and support in the community. That's what I'll think of."
She said the Class of 2015 is very special.
"We have a lot of really smart students," Weinberger said.
"Not only are they smart, but they're involved in the community and sports. A lot of the students in the Class of 2015 are really well-rounded."
Weinberger, who's a member of the Big Red Band, said she'll already remember the group's trip to Walt Disney World in Florida her freshman year, as well as the class trip to New York.
"I have a lot of good memories from the activities I've participated in," she said.
When she addresses her classmates at graduation ceremonies, she will discuss perseverance.
"I'm going to talk about how no matter what circumstances you're put in, there's always a way to make yourself stand out and achieve what you want to achieve if you set your mind to it," she said.
Weinberger plans to attend the Ohio State University this fall. She has yet to declare a major.Travis Higgins
Travis Higgins is the other member of the Class of 2015 vying for the top spot. He said his grade-point is 4.805.
"It's a blessing," Higgins said. "It's very exciting. I've had wonderful parents who've helped me since elementary (school). They've encouraged me."
He's the son of Scott & Lisa Higgins.
He said it has been a goal since his freshman year to finish at the top of his class.
"I thought I had potential," Higgins said. "I tried my hardest to do the best I could. I've also gone with the flow. God will lead me in the direction He intends."
Higgins has participated in FFA, basketball, soccer and band.
He has also been active in local agriculture, being a 4-H member and showing steers at the Hartford Fair.
Higgins plans to attend OSU, first at the Newark branch campus, to major in business with a specialty in finance.
"I hope to carry that business degree to a sports team with the management aspect of the team," he said.
Higgins said he believes Johnstown-Monroe is more tight-knit than other schools.
"We're one giant family," he said.
"Everyone is supportive of everyone else who excels in athletics, academics or quiz bowl. I think that also sets our community apart."