Graduation ceremony on horizon


Seniors at Hayes High School picked up their caps and gowns Tuesday as school officials prepare for the upcoming commencement ceremony scheduled for 7 p.m. on May 19.

Hayes senior Peyton Fowler said picking up his cap and gown was a strange feeling.

“It’s something I never thought I’d be doing,” he said. “It felt like it’d be forever since I’d graduate and now it’s here already.”

Fowler said he’s looking forward to graduating with his friends and attending the University of Findlay, where he will play soccer. Fowler added he has enjoyed his senior year because it has been “less stressful” than previous years.

“The only stressful thing is (that I’m) taking college classes,” he said. “But I feel like that prepared me for the workload of college and how that will be. (Hayes) was a great experience. I loved being here.”

Senior Devin Haagen said he’s “really excited” for graduation.

“I think it’ll be really cool and really nice to get out in the world,” said Haagen, who is considering joining the Navy after his four years in the school’s ROTC program made him “feel like the military would be the way to go.”

Haagen added his time at Hayes was “really good” but not without challenges.

“COVID brought my grades down, but I was able to recover and get everything on track,” he said. “I’m going to miss the building and a lot of the teachers here. It’s really exciting, and everything that I’ve done has (given me) a good career option.”

Andy Eyerman said they were “nervous but excited” about graduating and leaving the school.

“I’m not sure what’s going to come next but that’s what I’m excited for,” Eyerman said. “I’m excited to move on to something new that’s not school every day.”

Eyerman said they feel like the last four years have been “very long,” and they are looking forward to being done with high school.

“It was good, but I’m definitely glad to be leaving,” Eyerman said. “I love the teachers, and most of the people are really good. I love my art classes.”

Eyerman said they enjoyed volunteering with special needs students, and the experience has made them consider a career in that field. Eyerman said they plan to attend Columbus State Community College this fall to get their general education credits while they figure out their major.

Senior Abdullahi Musse said he’s excited for graduation day.

“I’m looking forward to having a lot more freedom,” Musse said. “When I get to college, I’m going to be able to do a lot more stuff. … I won’t have to wake up early, and I’ll no longer have a curfew.”

Musse said he plans to become a software developer and work in IT.

“I’m excited to do something I want to do,” he said.

Musse added he enjoyed his freshman year at the school, but his sophomore and junior year were different because of the pandemic. He said this year has felt mostly back to normal.

Reflecting on his senior year, Dillon Simpson said he’s “kind of excited for it to be over.”

“I liked Hayes a lot. It was fun,” he said. “I’ll be looking for a good career after graduation.”

Simpson said the years at Hayes heavily affected by COVID were “not fun,” but this year was “enjoyable again.” He said that even though he’s excited for graduation, he will miss some of the teachers at the school.

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

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