GRADUATION: Valedictorians’ words of wisdom


<strong>ELI ARBOGAST</strong> offered words of thanks to any number of people: to teacher David Hathaway “for showing me how bad I am at math in the nicest way possible”; to the OHS drama club “for showing me there are other people in the school as weird as I am”; to teacher David Reece for “brainwashing me into loving podcasts and mindfulness”; to school secretary Brittney Palermo “for secretly running the whole school”; to teacher Donna Shurr, known affectionately as “Mother Shurr”; and many more.“All jokes aside, I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who allowed me and my grade to survive high school,” Arbogast said.

ELI ARBOGAST offered words of thanks to any number of people: to teacher David Hathaway “for showing me how bad I am at math in the nicest way possible”; to the OHS drama club “for showing me there are other people in the school as weird as I am”; to teacher David Reece for “brainwashing me into loving podcasts and mindfulness”; to school secretary Brittney Palermo “for secretly running the whole school”; to teacher Donna Shurr, known affectionately as “Mother Shurr”; and many more.“All jokes aside, I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who allowed me and my grade to survive high school,” Arbogast said.


ISABELLE OLAES knows she has had opportunities not afforded to others, and so doesn’t take them for granted . “There is no secret sauce. You have to put in the hard work,” she said. Olaes is atennis tournament champion who woke up to practice two hours every day before school: “A champion has power, passion, and perseverance. Effort is free. If you want to be the best, you have to work harder than the rest.” Her brother Ethan has autism and sisters Isabelle and Claudia travel to talk to others about looking past a person’s disability to see their ability. Olaes said she hopes to be remembered as a compassionate person who simply cannot ignore the social injustices of hunger and homelessness, drug addiction, gun violence, and economic inequity. She challenged classmates to rise up and change the world .


KATYA SCHANE spent just one year at Oberlin High but said there is a universality at all schools. “High school is a time you discover your values, when you decide what kind of impact you want to have on the world,” she said. Graduation marks the time when teenagers become responsible for their futures, and the commitment and thought you put into something determines how much you get out of it, she said.


HANNAH SCOFIELD had considered not making a speech but decided she wanted to talk about the one thing she believes in with 100 percent certainty: that the people who work at Oberlin High School are some of the most amazing people she’s ever met. “The work they do, it means so much to us and it will go miles for those who come after us,” she said.


ZACHARY SLIMAK talked about the memories that shaped his personality, thanking his mother for comforting him when he cried every day in preschool and for making him go to school when he pretended to be sick. From third grade pushing matches that resulted in long friendships, to seventh grade student council secretary race, to senior year surprise party thrown by his true friends, he’s watched every single member of the Class of 2018 grow. “I know most of us can’t wait to leave high school but I’m sad to say goodbye,” he said.


Photos by Jason Hawk | Oberlin News-Tribune

Where other high schools may showcase the minds of but one valedictorian, Oberlin High School traditionally puts forward many. Five top scholars took the lectern Friday at Finney Chapel to deliver remarks from the inspiring to the comedic — and all of them heartfelt.

ELI ARBOGAST offered words of thanks to any number of people: to teacher David Hathaway “for showing me how bad I am at math in the nicest way possible”; to the OHS drama club “for showing me there are other people in the school as weird as I am”; to teacher David Reece for “brainwashing me into loving podcasts and mindfulness”; to school secretary Brittney Palermo “for secretly running the whole school”; to teacher Donna Shurr, known affectionately as “Mother Shurr”; and many more.“All jokes aside, I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who allowed me and my grade to survive high school,” Arbogast said.
https://www.theoberlinnewstribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/44/2018/06/web1_DSC_1790.jpgELI ARBOGAST offered words of thanks to any number of people: to teacher David Hathaway “for showing me how bad I am at math in the nicest way possible”; to the OHS drama club “for showing me there are other people in the school as weird as I am”; to teacher David Reece for “brainwashing me into loving podcasts and mindfulness”; to school secretary Brittney Palermo “for secretly running the whole school”; to teacher Donna Shurr, known affectionately as “Mother Shurr”; and many more.“All jokes aside, I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who allowed me and my grade to survive high school,” Arbogast said.

ISABELLE OLAES knows she has had opportunities not afforded to others, and so doesn’t take them for granted . “There is no secret sauce. You have to put in the hard work,” she said. Olaes is atennis tournament champion who woke up to practice two hours every day before school: “A champion has power, passion, and perseverance. Effort is free. If you want to be the best, you have to work harder than the rest.” Her brother Ethan has autism and sisters Isabelle and Claudia travel to talk to others about looking past a person’s disability to see their ability. Olaes said she hopes to be remembered as a compassionate person who simply cannot ignore the social injustices of hunger and homelessness, drug addiction, gun violence, and economic inequity. She challenged classmates to rise up and change the world .
https://www.theoberlinnewstribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/44/2018/06/web1_DSC_1799.jpgISABELLE OLAES knows she has had opportunities not afforded to others, and so doesn’t take them for granted . “There is no secret sauce. You have to put in the hard work,” she said. Olaes is atennis tournament champion who woke up to practice two hours every day before school: “A champion has power, passion, and perseverance. Effort is free. If you want to be the best, you have to work harder than the rest.” Her brother Ethan has autism and sisters Isabelle and Claudia travel to talk to others about looking past a person’s disability to see their ability. Olaes said she hopes to be remembered as a compassionate person who simply cannot ignore the social injustices of hunger and homelessness, drug addiction, gun violence, and economic inequity. She challenged classmates to rise up and change the world .

KATYA SCHANE spent just one year at Oberlin High but said there is a universality at all schools. “High school is a time you discover your values, when you decide what kind of impact you want to have on the world,” she said. Graduation marks the time when teenagers become responsible for their futures, and the commitment and thought you put into something determines how much you get out of it, she said.
https://www.theoberlinnewstribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/44/2018/06/web1_DSC_1803.jpgKATYA SCHANE spent just one year at Oberlin High but said there is a universality at all schools. “High school is a time you discover your values, when you decide what kind of impact you want to have on the world,” she said. Graduation marks the time when teenagers become responsible for their futures, and the commitment and thought you put into something determines how much you get out of it, she said.

HANNAH SCOFIELD had considered not making a speech but decided she wanted to talk about the one thing she believes in with 100 percent certainty: that the people who work at Oberlin High School are some of the most amazing people she’s ever met. “The work they do, it means so much to us and it will go miles for those who come after us,” she said.
https://www.theoberlinnewstribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/44/2018/06/web1_DSC_1814.jpgHANNAH SCOFIELD had considered not making a speech but decided she wanted to talk about the one thing she believes in with 100 percent certainty: that the people who work at Oberlin High School are some of the most amazing people she’s ever met. “The work they do, it means so much to us and it will go miles for those who come after us,” she said.

ZACHARY SLIMAK talked about the memories that shaped his personality, thanking his mother for comforting him when he cried every day in preschool and for making him go to school when he pretended to be sick. From third grade pushing matches that resulted in long friendships, to seventh grade student council secretary race, to senior year surprise party thrown by his true friends, he’s watched every single member of the Class of 2018 grow. “I know most of us can’t wait to leave high school but I’m sad to say goodbye,” he said.
https://www.theoberlinnewstribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/44/2018/06/web1_DSC_1823.jpgZACHARY SLIMAK talked about the memories that shaped his personality, thanking his mother for comforting him when he cried every day in preschool and for making him go to school when he pretended to be sick. From third grade pushing matches that resulted in long friendships, to seventh grade student council secretary race, to senior year surprise party thrown by his true friends, he’s watched every single member of the Class of 2018 grow. “I know most of us can’t wait to leave high school but I’m sad to say goodbye,” he said.