February 24, 2024

RACINE- Family, friends and students gathered in the gym to support the Class of 2023 during the Southern Local High School Awards Assembly on May 19, 2023. 

To start the ceremony, the graduating seniors gracefully walked into the gym one after another while the SHS band welcomed them with all the right notes. As they greeted the crowd, the soon-to-be graduates were decked out in their caps, gowns, and smiles. Loved ones snapped pictures, waved and cheered on the dozens of high school seniors as they strolled to the stage. 

Southern High School Principal Daniel Otto welcomed those in attendance and then introduced senior Hannah Smith, Student Council President, who led the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Mr. Otto then proudly announced senior honors. Those who received honors diplomas were Gregoria Herrera, Damien Miller, Layne Reuter, Jake Roush, Hannah Smith and Aubrey Stobart.

The students ranked in the top ten of SHS’s 2023 graduates were Braydon Essick, Gregoria Herrera, Colten Lavender, Damien Miller, Dannika Savage, Hannah Smith, Malachi Smith, Aubrey Stobert, Layne Reuter (Salutatorian) and Jake Roush (Valedictorian). 

The educational leader then presented the Agriculture/FFA honors. Those who received the 2023 Agribusiness and Productions Systems Certification were Cassidy Bailey, Jonathon Black, Kylee Circle, Braydon Essick and Chloe Smith. 

Seniors with three or more Agriculture courses were Cassidy Bailey, Theron Black, Kylee Circle, Brayden Essick, Trenton Owens, Brayden Sellers, Chloe Smith and Kodi Rife.

The Outstanding FFA Senior was awarded to Cassidy Bailey. The Travis Adams Achievement Award was handed out to Braydon Essick.

Gregoria Herrera, Trenten Owens, Jayla Pickens and Hannah Smith were all honored with the American Red Cross Donation Achievement Award.

Principal Otto then introduced Amy Perrin, who presented the Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Award to senior Cassidy Bailey. Cassidy Bailey, Hannah Smith, and Gregoria Herrera were honored with a certificate for their hard work with the All About Hope Mental Health Summit for Meigs County high school students. 

Mr. Otto then turned the floor over to Petty Officer 2nd Class Gabriel Riffle who honored senior Kodi Rife with a United States Navy Recognition. Rife was given a $250,000 sign-on bonus. 

Staff Sergeant Brandon Pryor, an Army Recruiter, expressed how proud he was of Braxton Bare during the United States Army Recognition. 

Other special awards that were presented were: Cassidy Bailey -The Ohio AgriBusiness Association Agirbusiness & Productions Systems Certification; Jonathon Black – Ag Key; Cruz Brinager – Larry R Morrison Male Athlete Award; Braydon Essick – Citizenship Key; Gregoria Herrera – Social Studies Key, Spanish Key; Grace Hoover – OHSAA Archie Griffin Sportsmanship Award; Madison Jones – Work Study Key; Layne Reuter – Southern Locals Nomination for OHSAA’s 2023 Scholar Athlete Scholarship, OHSAA Scholar Athlete Award, OHSAA Archie Griffin Sportsmanship Award; Jake Roush – Math Key, Science Key, WSAZ Best of the Class Award, Holzer Science Award; Hannah Smith – English Key, Activities Key, Citizenship Key, Southern Locals Nomination for OHSAA’s 2023 Scholar Athlete Scholarship, Larry R Morrison Female Athlete Award; and Kolten Thomas – OHSAA Courageous Student Award.

The event then moved on to a marathon of scholarships. Mr. Otto welcomed presenters who were kind, passionate, giving and big supporters of Southern High School. Thousands of dollars in scholarships were awarded to the class of 2023. 

Here are the scholarship recipients:

Chase Roush Memorial Scholarship ($1,000 each)

Kolten Thomas – Layne Reuter

In Memory of Chase Roush Scholarship ($2,400)

Jake Roush

Jordan Hardwick Memorial Female Athlete Scholarship ($500 each)

Hannah Smith – Grace Hoover

In Memory of Shirley Yvonne Beegle Scholarship ($5,000 each)

Hannah Smith – Damien Miller – Kolten Thomas

In Memory of Shirley Yvonne Beegle Scholarship ($2,500)

Gregoria Herrera

Miss Suzanne Scholarship ($300)

Kylee Circle

Todd Grindstaff Memorial Scholarship ($300)

Cruz Brinager

Cruisin’ Saturday Night Car Show ($1,000 each)

Hannah Smith – Layne Reuter – Kylee Circle – Jake Roush

RACO Scholarships ($1,000 each)

Kylee Circle – Gregoria Herrera – Layne Reuter – Chloe Smith – Hannah Smith  – Jake Roush – Cruz Brinager – Damien Miller

Jim Adams Memorial Scholarship ($1,000)

Hannah Smith

Clarence and Ruth Bradford Memorial Scholarship ($600) 

Hannah Smith

Vinas Lee Educational Scholarships ($1,000 each)

Damien Miller – Jake Roush

Jean Alkire Memorial Scholarships ($300)

Jake Roush

Plus 2 Sponsored by Rod and Jean Littlefield (2 @ $300 each)

Jake Roush

Carl B. Weese Memorial Scholarships ($750 each)

Kylee Circle – Damien Miller

Kathryn Hart Memorial Scholarships ($500 each)

Andrew Riffle – Hannah Smith

Frank and Delores Cleland Memorial Scholarship ($750 each)

Andrew Riffle – Chloe Smith

Roy and Alice Adkins Educational Scholarship ($500) 

Hannah Smith

River Shine Car Wash Scholarship ($500)

Layne Reuter

Multi-Purpose Medical Scholarship ($500)

Jake Roush

Southern Class of 1972 Scholarship ($735)

Chloe Smith

Rio Grande Community College Jake Bapst Scholarship 

(2 years of free Tuition valued at around $10,000)

Grace Hoover

Ohio River Producers Scholarship ($1,500)

Cassidy Bailey

Ohio River Producers Scholarship ($1,000) 

Kylee Circle – Chloe Smith

Racine Party in the Park Queens Scholarship ($500)

Hannah Smith

American Red Cross Blood Services High School Scholarship ($250 each)

Layen Reuter – Gregoria Herrera

Mick Winebrenner Memorial Scholarship ($500)

Layne Reuter

Ronald “Ron” Hill Memorial Scholarship ($1,200)

Layne Reuter

Roma Sayre Memorial Scholarship ($500)

Grace Hoover

Gary G Lee Memorial Scholarship ($2,500)

Layne Reuter

Mr. Otto then shared the Racine-Southern Scholarship Association’s scholarships.

Helen Coast Hayes Memorial Scholarships ($500)

Jake Roush

Wayne Roush Memorial Scholarship ($500)

Chloe Smith

George M. Sayre Memorial Scholarship ($500)

Hannah Smith

Dave Diles Memorial Scholarship $500 

Layne Reuter

Maude Sellers Scholarship ($500) 

Gregoria Herrera

Edith Jividen Memorial Scholarships ($500)

Grace Hoover

Hilton “Big Fooze” Wolfe, Jr. Memorial Scholarship ($500) 

Damien Miller

Marilyn Wolfe Memorial Scholarship ($500)

Kylee Circle

Alumni Scholarship ($500) 

Cruz Brinager

Principal Otto then gave a heartfelt thank you to the presenters for attending the event. He also expressed his deepest gratitude for the thousands of dollars awarded to the students at the assembly and past assemblies. 

The educational leader then recognized the Class of 2023’s Salutatorian Layne Reuter and Valedictorian Jake Roush. Mr. Otto congratulated them on their achievements and all their hard work. 

He also congratulated the entire Class of 2023 before closing the assembly.  

The graduation for Southern High School is Sunday, May 21, 2023, at 7:30