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With friends, family and loved ones looking on, Farmington High School graduated 261 seniors Sunday afternoon at the Farmington Civic Center.

Before conferring degrees upon the Class of 2015, Dr. Nathan Hostetler took a moment to boast about the accomplishments of the graduating class during their four years at Farmington High.

“Ladies and gentlemen, sitting before you you have 261 graduates,” Hostetler said. “You have two Bright Flight Scholars, two Missouri Scholars, 138 A-plus students, six with a 42 hour college block, 18 with associate degrees, six entering the military, an average ACT of 21.53, scholarships approaching $3 million, a 67 percent winning average on the athletic field, 18 conference championships, 17 district championships, and four top four state finishes. That’s quite a lot ... congratulations.”

The graduation ceremony began with the Farmington High School Symphonic and Concert bands playing the “Star Spangled Banner,” as the AFJROTC presented the colors.

Student Council President Montana Krause welcomed the graduates, families and friends to the ceremony and recognized the six members of her class who were entering the military as well as those who have already served in the American Armed forces.

Following Krause’s recognition of her fellow classmates entering the military, the AFJROTC presented all five military flags while the band played “Armed Forces Salute.”

Before presenting the Senior Class Challenge, Blake Worley, senior class president, wished only the best for his classmates. During his address Worley quoted Mark Twain saying, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

Worley added that his greatest hope for his classmates is they all find out why they are on this Earth. He told them they were all destined for greatness and that they had the heart of lions. He concluded his address to his classmates by saying he hoped they would all find their greatness.

Worley then turned his attention to the senior challenge and the junior class. His first challenge was inspiration. He told them you could never know where or when inspiration can strike.

Second, Worley challenged next year’s seniors to find their passion. He told them to never settle for ordinary and never settle for average.

The senior class president’s final challenge to his the junior class was to always be a dreamer. He challenged them to find a dream and never let it go.

Following Worley was Junior Class President Kelsey Krause, who presented the junior response to Worley’s challenges.

Krause told the audience that as Junior Class President it was her job to accept the challenge that was bestowed upon them and it was time to say good-bye and thank you to the senior class.

Following the junior response, Choir Director Kevin Nicoletti and the A Cappella choir sang the senior song, “Time of Our Lives”, followed by the Men of the Choraliers performing “I Will Never Pass This Way Again.”

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The ceremony's keynote speaker, Robert Upchurch, was picked by the senior class. Upchurch, an English Language Arts instructor who taught speech to many of the seniors, began by wondering if they picked him as an elaborate act of revenge for all the speeches he made them give. Upchurch acknowledge if they had ... it worked. He confessed speaking before them was terrifying.

Upchurch explained his youthful appearance to the parents in the audience with the same type of humor. “Let me explain to the confused parents,” Upchurch said. “I really am a teacher at the high school and not a confused student who stood up at the wrong time.”

As Upchurch continued he told the Class of 2015 he wanted to leave them with four points. First, live for something greater than yourself. Second, find your place and purpose. Third, develop a character worth being true to; and fourth, make the kind of difference that matters.

“While striving for excellence, do not become a slave to recognition and selfish ambition,” Upchurch said. “Pride taints everything, but a humble heart accomplishes more because it’s not seeking glory for accomplishing anything.

"Humility recognizes that at the end of the day this life isn’t all about you. Do not fall victim to vanity. Live for something beyond yourself.”

Upchurch continued and told the graduating seniors not to limit themselves, but to try many different things. He told them they may slip and fall but eventually they would find the right way.

He told them they will know they have found the right place “when you find you not only love what you’re doing, but see it benefiting those around you.”

Upchurch finished his talk to the seniors with a final note. “If you live for something greater than yourself, find your place and purpose, and develop a character worth being true to, then you’ll make the kind of difference that matters.”

Next Associate Principal Jamie LaMonds presented Gregory Mynear with the Knight of the Year Award.

Folling the Knight of the Year Award, LaMonds awarded Amatisa Pearson with a plaque for perfect attendance for her entire academic career, kindergarten through high school.

Dr. Hostetler followed with the presentation of the top ten students: Ashley Tetrault, Corrine Reeves, Kayla Kocher, Lisa White, Ian Powers, Aaron Wilson, Samuel Nickelson, Alana Warenberg, Salutatorian Brenna Norton and Valedictorian Mackenzie Weakley.

Before the presentation of medals and diplomas, Weakley addressed her class one last time as a Farmington Knight.

Upon conferring degrees, the following students graduated: Brian Adams, Aeyoub Mohammed Alabdali, McKinsey Shyane Amonette, Jake Richard Andrews, Jordan Scott Ankrom, Haydan Linae Applebury, Rodigo Armada, Levi Cole Asher, Austin Scott Aubuchon, Cody Daniel Ayers, Victoria Zelma Maria Baker, Hunter Michael Ballew, Rebecca Dare Banger, Wyatt Jay Barger, Mattie Kay Barnes, John Richard Barr IV, Ethan Miles Barron, Corey Sage Beeson, Dylan Blake Benscoter, Bailey Ann Bertram, Kala S. Bertram, Zoe Sue-Rhiannon Binder, Cynthiana Summers Bishop, Audra Telsie Black, Kelsie Marilyn Black, Carissa Dawne Blair, Sarah Lynn Blum, Brayden Mark Bohn, Hali Marie Boyd, Martha Marie Bradley, Amanda Victoria Brady, Anthony Michael Todd Breakfield, Samantha Britton, Madison Leslie Brown, Melanie Ann Brown, Royce Lee Brown, Ajaii Micole Bryant, Eric Michael Bunch, John Christopher Burcham, Anthony Scott Burkhart, Talon Steele Camden, Melissa Kay Chadwell, Aaron Michael Champion, Haley Michelle Chandler, Nathan Chang, Shyann Chaplain, Payal Sanjay Chaudhari, Taylor Renae Chilton, Kayla Elizabeth Chuchian, Tabbitha Clay, Markus David Clinton, Jacob Ryan Cluck, Miriam Grace Colligan, Marissa Colleen Cook, Dalton M. Cooper, Britnie Lynn Copeland, Kyle Everett Crawford, Trenton Crocker, Johnny Ray Crump Jr, Randi Lynne Crump, Grayson Murphy Cummins, Seth Redmond Currington, Ethan Wayne Davis, Haylen S. Davis, Kevin Tyler Davis, Sabrina Lynne Dougherty, Wyatt Lee Eckhoff, Emil Eland, Jonathan Lee Ellis, Cyla Marie Ely, Jordyn Nayomi Ely, Starr Bre’Anne Ferra, Brendan Caleb Ferris, Tyler James Finch,William Cameron Fletcher, Conner Trent Forsythe, Connor James Gaige, Samantha Lynn Gann, Allison Nicole Gaston, Angelica Leah Gibson, Clarissa Jade Gibson, Kaitlyn Dawn Gilliam, Nathan Marcus Gonz, Joshua Paul Gore Jr, Joshua David Govero, Rebecca Lynn Govero, Gary Joseph Green, Phoebe Grubbs, Gregory Joseph Guiher, Haley Renee Hahn, Carmen Haines, Brooklyne Marie Hall, Veron James Doulas Hamlett, Derek Hankins, Aaron Tyler Hargiss, Logan Everet Harman, Tyler James Harman, Jason M. Harrington II, Mitchell Ray Harrington, Jessica Ray Harris, Mitchell John Harris, Tristan Michael Hastings, Corey Douglas Hayes, Jessica Lynn Heberlie, Kaedan Zerek Henderson, Clayton Drewery Hendrix, Brianna Linn Henson, Benjamin Thomas Herbst, Paul Herrnberger, Alyssa Colleen Hickey, Amber Hicks, Amanda Hinkle, Jason T. Hinkle, Alecsander Lee Hodge, Trevor W. Holloway, Ciarra Hood, Heather Ann Howard, Cole Wesley Hurst, Mason Valentine, Huskeym Lacee Nicole Jenkins, Lawrence Michael Johnson II, Ashley Lynn Jones, Ian Roger Jones, William Jeffrey Jones, Derick Wayne Junge, Dallas Dean Keehl, Trevor Lee Keith, Dylan Michael Kelso, Grayson Bailey Kennedy, Logan Richard Kennedy, Dallas N. Klingensmith, Kourtney Deshay Knox, Kayla Renee Kocher, Hailee Marie Komaromi, Montana Denning Krause, Kyle Alan Lacy, Brooke Lea Lappe, Matthew Andrew Larson, Jacob Dylan Lawrence, Duyen Anny My Le, Alyssa Erin Lewis, Yvonne Christine Lippert, Bailey Reid London, Dakota James Luye, Emily Faith Mack, Hannah Lynn Mahurin, Caroline Kensey Martin, Kaylin Renae Martin, Emily Anne Matheny, Tessa Lea McCain, Ethan Lee McDonald, Della Madilynn McEntire, Garrett Wade Meder, Bethany Lynn Melone, Ryan Hamilton Merritt, David Wayne Miner, Justin Charles Minks, Stephanie Dawn Minks, Alexis Dawn Modglin, Lindsey Taylor Moniz, Victoria Rose Moore, John Talbot Morgan, Gregory Allen Mynear, Ashlynn Jordan Nash, Kaila Marie Nash, Kristen Nicole Nash, Courtney Danielle Nicholson, Samuel Dwayne Nickelson, Brenna Nicole Norton, Elizabeth Anna Olive, Hannah Lee Oliver, Jacob Matthew Pace, Cole Allen Parker, Katelynn Rhea Jean Paro, Amatista Edrienne Pearson, Brandi Ann Petrie, Stephanie Hope Pettus, Alyssa Nicole Pfister, Jordan Ethan Pfister, Logan Grant Pfister, Ken Pham, Alec Logan Pigg, Jack William Pinkley, Michael Warren Pinkley, Addie Dennis Jun Pogue, Ian Scot Powers, Brett Michael Rawson, Jordan Kay Rawson, Kristen Ann Rayfield, Dallan Lee Rector, Lauren Elizabeth Reed, Corrine Elise Reeves, Samuel Tanner Reid, Lauren Ashley Reiter, Charles Madison Rhodes Jr, Kendra Leann Richards, Kiersten Marie Ritter, Treston Michael Robbins, Joseph Scotty Roberts II, Sigrun Roensholm, Jordan Daniel Roney, Breslin Elizabeth Rose, Christen Leigh Row, Sarah A Rudroff, Mason Savage, Sydney Renee Savage, Saphire Paige Schafer, Erica Ann Seibert, Christopher Ian Semar, Derrick Cole Sheets, Levi Nathaniel Sims, Wyatt David Sitzes, Erica Lynn Skiver, Emily Nicole Sloan, Christian Allen Smith, Christian David Smith, Colton Bradley Smith, Madison Rose Smith, Christopher David Snyder, Carter James Southern, Kiley Breann Stockton, Heaven Michelle Stotler, Holden Alexander Strait, Tyler Michael Sullivan, Shania Layne Sweeney, Alyssa Michelle Tetrault, Ashley Marie Tetrault, Andrew Scott Thomlinson, Hunter Daniel Thompson, Jessica Todd, Rosa-Lia Marie Torres, Maddison Avery Tyree, John Van Brunt, Shelby Lynn Vance, Alec Michael Vanstavern, Garrett Lee Wagner-Garner, Joshua Thomas Ward, Alana Joy Warenberg, Randy Allen Warren, Mackenzie Angelique Weakley, Zachary James Weber, Kathryn Elizabeth Weidenbenner, Elizabeth Lauren Weiland, Devin Jacob Weston, Melissa Angela Wheat, Aaron James White, Lisa McKenzie White, Trenton Douglas Wideman, Samantha Jo Wild, Emily Jane Wiles, Jacquelyn Lorraine Wiles, Ellen Rose Wilfong, Thomas Everett Wilfong, Joshua Willhelm, Faith Arica Williams, Gabrielle Marie Williams, Andrew Scott Willis, Meagan Alicia Willis, Aaron Michael Wilson, Brittney Ann Wilson, Logan Scott Winder, James Earl Wolf, Nathan Womack, Blake Michael Worley, Lorrie Woten, Alexis Kennedy Wright, Jacob Andrew Wright, Tristen David Yost, Colten Michael Young, Nautica Tia Renee Young, Michael Andrew Zehrt and Nedal Jamal Zereik.

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Craig Vaughn is a reporter for the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-518-3629 or at cvaughn@farmingtonpressonline.com

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