Utica Shale Academy graduates 22

SALINEVILLE — The Utica Shale Academy graduated 22 of its newest alumni during it commencement ceremony on Thursday.

Seniors from the main site at Southern Local High School and the satellite location at Columbiana High School joined family, friends and school leaders for the event at Salineville. USA Director Eric Sampson welcomed the crowd to the fourth annual exercise and thanked officials at both schools for partnering with academy and benefiting the students.

“I would like to thank each and every one of you for being here this evening as we celebrate this one brief moment in time that, for these graduates, has been many years in the making,” Sampson said. “Tonight is a celebration of accomplishments of the individuals that sit here before us. Graduates, each of you have traveled a path that has brought you to this destination. Some of those paths may have been very similar, and some probably couldn’t be more different. But each of those paths brought you to this point in time to celebrate the accomplishments of the last 13 years of your journey in education. We are proud of you and we wish you nothing but great things going into the future.”

Keynote speaker for the evening was Amanda Greathouse, operator of Safety Pro Training and Consulting of Lisbon. Greathouse encouraged the graduates to leave their comfort zones and take advantage of opportunities before them. She noted her own initial anxieties about taking her knowledge into schools and working with students but said it has been a rewarding experience.

“It was very exciting and I was so glad that I did that,” she said. “I’m very proud of all of you. Over the past couple of years we’ve gotten to know each other and I?m grateful for you attentiveness, patience and eagerness to learn.”

She added that while it was easy to be caught up in being comfortable, people should take advantage of opportunities because they can be very exciting. Greathouse added that the grads should also have a plan of where they want to be in the future.

Sampson and Utica Shale Academy Board President Dr. Charles Joyce then presented diplomas to graduates Hailey Brock, Alexis Campbell, Chase Cook, Zackery Cox, James Downie, Joshua Hanshaw, Alante Jones, Kaitlyn Jones, Joseph Matheson, Dylan Mercer, Hanna Oates, Kevin Reaves, Zachary Robinson-Hunley, Nicholas Scott, Logan Snay and Kristy Soos. At the conclusion, Soos presented her peers as the latest graduating class.

For more information about USA’s programs, contact Sampson at 330-420-5353 or through the website at uticashaleschool.com.