2019 OCHS graduates’ milestone reflects community achievement

The 2019 graduating class of Osage City High School. OCHS photo.

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – A community came together on May 19, 2019, to celebrate its collective accomplishment – sending 41 graduates of Osage City High School out into the world. Guided by its class motto, “Growing apart doesn’t change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I’m glad for that,” by author Ally Condie, leaders of the OCHS class of 2019 recognized that all of their achievements were tied together.

During the graduation ceremony, the class’ top honor students, Claire Crawford and Aliks Serna, offered gratitude to parents, school administration and faculty, and their fellow classmates for helping the students achieve their goals and believing in them.

I’m so grateful for the people that believed in me when I failed to believe in myself,” Crawford said. “If that taught me one thing, it’s that the value of not giving up on people is so important. So don’t give up on others, because we’re human.”

In her comments, Serna echoed Crawford’s gratefulness, “You all believed in us when we didn’t believe in ourselves and for that we’ll never be able to repay you.”

Crawford noted, “Without people … we have nothing – no purpose to laugh, work hard, be successful, or do anything we want to do.”

She said the graduates’ accomplishments happened with their families’ support. “I believe it’s important that I thank my amazing family for loving me through everything,” she said. “I can’t say enough how undeservingly blessed I am to have been able to grow up with them standing by my side.”

Serna agreed, “To all our families, thank you for the endless love and support that you’ve given all of us. Without you we wouldn’t be the individuals that we are today.”

Serna reminisced that her high school years began with feelings of being alone.

“Now that my four years have ended I feel as if I have a whole tribe behind me leading me into my next chapter of life,” she said. “In four short years of high school I’ve gained friendships, mentors, and received outpouring support from my family and the community.”

Both honor students urged the class to give back to the community that supported them and know they will also have an impact on those around them.

“This town may be small but you can guarantee that the class of 2019 always found a way to make it feel big,” Serna said. “On the fields and courts of Osage City we learned how to win with pride and lose with dignity together … we’ve learned how to give back to our community as a whole.”

Crawford encouraged the class to remember they can make a difference on people around them.

“Be the kind of friend that you would want to have,” Crawford said.

“You can make a difference by being the person you are, wherever you are: smiling at people, acknowledging them, and making them feel worth your time,” she said.

Serna noted the class shouldn’t forget all they accomplished with help from others, but “We’ve created so much together but now it’s time to go create something great as individuals.”

With final speeches delivered, OCHS Principal Tony Heward presented the class for graduation. USD 420 Board of Education members Todd Peterson and David Williams presented diplomas.

The 2019 graduating class of Osage City High School included Marcus Wesley Aills, Candice Marie Klofkorn, Shelby Lynn Anderson, Kevin Mychal Lauber, Shana Danae Bolyard, Olivia Faith Lloyd, Krimzyn Lloyd Clark, Miah Amanda McCue, Derrik Hayden Cooley, Coleton James Mitchell, Emilee Charlene Corley, Logan Russell Moreland, Nichlas Trent Couch, Ethan Allen Osborn, Royce McCall Cowan, Trenton Robert Plinsky, Claire Irene Crawford, Colton Dean Prunty, James Dean Curtis, Mycah James Ritchie, River William Davis, Tristen Gage Ritchie, Brant Neilson Dayhoff, Jolson Howard Robert, Jordan David Ehrhart, Crystal Ann Ruiz-Pineda, Lane Charles Aiden Fager, John-Dale Erwin Schoepflin, Kaitlyn Jane Farmer, Aliks Olivia Serna, Wyatt Matthew Green, Caleb Ray Smith, Cierra Elisabeth Marie Hamlin, Joy Divine Steele, Cole Eugene Hill, Connor Michael Wallace, Keggin Nichelle Hill, Colton David Williams, Amanda Marie Kendall, Taylor Jeanette Woodward, and Makayla Ray Zeller.

Faculty assistants for the commencement were Lesli Harmon and JT Crawford. Junior attendants were Leslie Hultgren, Ryan Lauber, Adam Delekta, and Walker Stromgren. Program attendants were Dawson Butter, Kenna Butterfield, Dylan Shaffer, and Britney Wilkins.

USD 420 Board of Education members are Jay Bailey, Todd Peterson, PJ Heptinstall, Mike Pitts, Corey Linton, David Williams, and Sarah Peterson.

Administration includes Troy Hutton, superintendent, Tony Heward, principal, Kathy Camarena, high school counselor, and Jennifer Hokanson, high school secretary.

OCHS faculty includes Brock Baxter, Luanne Jacobs, Gail Bean, Kevin Kramer, James Bellinger, Justin Lee, Travis Bilyeu, Kyleigh Lohmeyer, Dana Bruna, Steven Rathert, Vickie Buenger, Anna Ryan, Donna Crane, Rick Schmidt, JT Crawford, Marrion Smith, Dennis Fort, Lynn Tice, Renee Gallagher, Mike Tovar, Andrew Gantenbein, Tracy Watkins, Tommie Gonsalez, Dawn Wilkins, and Lesli Harmon.

Awards and scholarships

  • American Legion Scholarship and School Awards – Royce Cowan, scholarship recipient
  • American Legion School Awards – First place, Claire Crawford and Trenton Plinsky; runners up – Aliks Serna and Colton Williams
  • American Legion Auxiliary Scholarship – Claire Crawford and Aliks Serna
  • Osage City High School Alumni Association Scholarship – Royce Cowan and J.D. Schoepflin
  • FCA Scholarship – Aliks Serna and Colton Williams
  • Kay Haskins Memorial Scholarship – Claire Crawford and Aliks Serna
  • Conrad Carlson Memorial Scholarship – Claire Crawford and Katie Farmer
  • Chapter IQ P.E.O. Scholarship – Katie Farmer
  • Sorosis Club Scholarship – Claire Crawford
  • Kiwanis Club Scholarship and Academic Awards – Nichlas Couch, Aliks Serna and Colton Williams
  • Booster Club Scholarship – Aliks Serna and Colton Williams
  • Lion’s Club Scholarship – Krimzyn Clark and Cole Hill
  • Chamber of Commerce Scholarship – Royce Cowan and Aliks Serna
  • Spanish Club Scholarship – Claire Crawford and Aliks Serna
  • Reading Community Development – Claire Crawford
  • R.E. French Family Educational Foundation Scholarship – Claire Crawford, Katie Farmer, Aliks Serna and Colton Williams
  • Heather Lynn Arnold Scholarship – Katie Farmer
  • MFA Ag Choice Scholarship – Claire Crawford
  • Kansas Board of Regents Awards – Marcus Aills, Shelby Anderson, Claire Crawford, Aliks Serna, and Colton Williams
  • Gamble Scholarship – Royce Cowan
  • Community Service Awards – Claire Crawford, Royce Cowan, Cierra Hamlin, Candice Klofkorn, Kevin Lauber, Jolson Robert, Joy Steele, and Colton Williams
  • Thespian Society Awards – Claire Crawford, Jolson Robert, Aliks Serna and Colton Williams
  • Perfect Attendance Awards – Ryan Lauber, Jeffrey Vandehey and Elayna Yanez
  • Dale Dennis Award – Trenton Plinsky
  • Honor Student Recognition Certificates – Summa cum laude (GPA of 4.0), Claire Crawford; magna cum laude (GPA of 3.90 – 3.99), Aliks Serna; cum laude (GPA of 3.80 – 3.89), Shelby Anderson and Colton Williams.
  • All League Academic/Activities Awards All League Academic and Activities Awards, Sarah Allen-Custodio, Trista Anderson, Brian Bailey, Nicholas Bailey, Kaylyn Burk, KayLee Butcher, Jerra Butterfield, Kenna Butterfield, Elijah Collins, Aleese Courtney, Royce Cowan, Claire Crawford, Reid Crawford, Grace Croucher, Laci Davenport, Sara Davis, Brant Dayhoff, Gavin DeBaun, Kaitlyn Farmer, Gunnar Fort, Trenton Green, Cierra Hamlin, Savannah Hamman, Jenna Hastert, Kaitlyn Heiserman, Leslie Hultgren, Hannah Jones, Amanda Kendall, Danielle Kerns, Taylin Kirkpatrick, Ryan Lauber, Bailey Linebarger, Mila Little, Brody Littrell, Wyatt Littrell, Aurora Lowery, Nova Lowery, Lucy Martin, William Martin, Miah McCue, Shawnecey McIntosh, Tyler Medlen, Isabella Melgren, Carl Merrifield, Coleton Mitchell, Kason Moon, Blake Murphy, Bryson Murphy, Shane Orender, Wyatt Orender, Trenton Plinsky, Jade Potter, Devin Prim, Auralee Pritchard, Jordan Sage, Tanner Schaefer, Madison Schubert, Dallie Senft, Aliks Serna, Hayden Serna, Dylan Shaffer, Noah Smith, McKenna Stump, Susanna Thimmesch, Dane Whalen, Britney Wilkins, Colton Williams.
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