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Keyser High graduates 172 in Saturday evening ceremony | Mineral County WV News and Tribune | wvnews.com – WV News

Partly cloudy skies. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 89F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph..
Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Low 66F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 60%.
Updated: June 1, 2022 @ 1:35 am
Waiting on the start of graduation, Keyser High seniors Cassidy Pancake, McKenzie Paugh and Summer Pepper take time to pose for a photo.
Keyser High seniors Luke Harvey, Garrett Hart, Braden Hardman, Hunter Hanlin and Nathaniel Hagner await the start of the graduates’ march into Alumni Field.
Led by valedictorian Averi Smith, Keyser High School’s Class of 2022 marches onto the track at Alumni Field Saturday evening.
A graduate waves to family in the bleachers as she and her classmates march onto Alumni Field for graduation ceremonies Saturday evening.
Graduates listen to one of the speakers Saturday evening at Alumni Field.
Jayden Delaney, one of the three co-salutatorians, speaks to the crowd during graduation Saturday evening.
Eric Harvey, one of the three co-salutatorians, delivers his message during graduation at Keyser High School.
Hunter Powell, one of the three co-salutatorians in the Keyser High School Class of 2022, speaks to the crowd.
Averi Smith gives the valedictory message during Keyser High School’s graduation ceremony Saturday evening.
Keyser High School senior Laurren Annable accepts her diploma from principal Lois Spencer during graduation ceremonies at Keyser High School.

Waiting on the start of graduation, Keyser High seniors Cassidy Pancake, McKenzie Paugh and Summer Pepper take time to pose for a photo.
Keyser High seniors Luke Harvey, Garrett Hart, Braden Hardman, Hunter Hanlin and Nathaniel Hagner await the start of the graduates’ march into Alumni Field.
Led by valedictorian Averi Smith, Keyser High School’s Class of 2022 marches onto the track at Alumni Field Saturday evening.
A graduate waves to family in the bleachers as she and her classmates march onto Alumni Field for graduation ceremonies Saturday evening.
Graduates listen to one of the speakers Saturday evening at Alumni Field.
Jayden Delaney, one of the three co-salutatorians, speaks to the crowd during graduation Saturday evening.
Eric Harvey, one of the three co-salutatorians, delivers his message during graduation at Keyser High School.
Hunter Powell, one of the three co-salutatorians in the Keyser High School Class of 2022, speaks to the crowd.
Averi Smith gives the valedictory message during Keyser High School’s graduation ceremony Saturday evening.
Keyser High School senior Laurren Annable accepts her diploma from principal Lois Spencer during graduation ceremonies at Keyser High School.
KEYSER, W.Va. (WV News) — The members of Keyser High School’s Class of 2022 faced what valedictorian Averi Smith called “one of the biggest loopholes of our lives … when COVID- 19 struck down our sense of normalcy.”
However, through their resiliency and dedication, she noted, they made it to Saturday night’s graduation with many honors and accomplishments to their credit.
In fact, co-salutatorian Eric Harvey pointed out that the Class of 2022 includes a total of 41 Goldsworthy Scholars, “over twice as many as any other class.”
Even with all the loops life threw at the class over their four years in high school, graduation night was no different as the ceremony had to be postponed for approximately 20 minutes while an ambulance crew from New Creek, assisted by the Mineral County Sheriff’s Department, took care of a person in the bleachers who had suffered a medical emergency.
Once the ceremony got started, a total of 174 seniors were awarded their diplomas in front of a packed Alumni Field.
Averi Smith, who also gave the valedictory speech, remembered her cousin Sarah Powell whom she called her inspiration.
Smith told the audience that, at the age of 12, she had sat at her very first graduation ceremony for the Class of 2016 — Sarah’s class.
“I was broken, and at the lowest point of my life,” Smith said, recalling that the “sixth seat from the valedictorian’s seat was empty.” It was to have been Sarah’s seat, but she had lost her battle with Cystic Fibrosis on the very same night she had attended the county Achievement Banquet, and two weeks before she was to graduate.
“She was someone who never gave up,” Smith said. “Despite the many hospital trips … my cousin Sarah was able to achieve one of the highest ranks in her graduating class.”
Smith said it was Sarah’s many accomplishments against all odds that helped her realize, “With God, all things are possible.”
Smith urged her fellow graduates to “appreciate the life you’ve been given and the people you’re with.”
The KHS Class of 2022 had three co-salutatorians — Jayden Delaney, Eric Harvey and Hunter Powell — and they spoke to the crowd as well.
Senior Haylin Cook led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Adalyssa Courtney sang the National Anthem.
Principal Lois Spencer presented the graduates to superintendent Troy Ravenscroft, and they were presented with their diplomas with the help of board of education members Donnie Ashby, Mary Jane Baniak and Tom Denne.
Senior Alec Stanislawczyk gave closing remarks.

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