Hayes High School seniors gathered together for one last lunch Thursday for the annual senior picnic before they graduate Saturday.
Seniors got together at Mingo Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday to eat lunch, play games and hang out.
“It’s crazy,” said senior Shyanne Burns. “One day you’re a freshman, and the next you’re graduating.”
Fellow senior Bree Brimhall also said her time at Hayes flew by.
“It went by pretty fast,” Brimhall said. “It went faster than I thought it was going to.”
Brimhall said despite how fast time went by, she enjoyed her years at Hayes.
Dalton Phelps, a senior, said he is glad the year is over so seniors can get out into the real world.
“I think it’s a good thing. We can move on,” Phelps said. “Whether it’s work, college or the military, I wish everyone the best.”
Phelps added he has enlisted in the National Guard and begins in July.
Senior Katelyn McKee agreed that time went by so fast, and her words of advice for underclassmen and younger students would be “enjoy it while it lasts.”
“I’m not glad it’s over, but I’m excited for the future,” she said.
Hunter Clarke said his senior year at Hayes had been “life-changing.”
“I’ve learned a lot and changed a lot,” Clarke said. “It made me a better person. The responsibility and activities at (Hayes) have helped me become a person I’m proud to be.”
Clarke added he was glad the year was over, but only so everyone can move on with their future.
“I’m really thankful for everyone I’ve met,” Clarke said.
Zoe Workman said she was fairly new to Hayes and only began attending two years ago.
“It’s bittersweet,” Workman said. “I’m grateful for everyone I’ve met … I’m sad to see them go. but I have a lot of gratitude.”
Clarke and Workman said they have both enlisted in the Navy, and Workman said she hopes her classmates keep working hard to accomplish their goals.
Hayes Principal Richard Stranges said Thursday that the outgoing senior class was unique and will be missed at Hayes.
“The class of 2018 has left a legacy at Rutherford B. Hayes High School, and their impact will be felt for generations to come,” Stranges said. “They are the highest achieving class in our history, and their contributions to our school and our community have been impactful. They will truly be missed.”
Graduation is 10 a.m. Saturday at Cornell Stadium.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.