Trenton Scroggins, left, and Garel Blanchard joke while getting ready for the ceremony to begin. This year’s graduating class had 18 members. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Trenton Scroggins, left, and Garel Blanchard joke while getting ready for the ceremony to begin. This year’s graduating class had 18 members. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Friends and family gathered Sunday as members of Shawe Memorial Junior Senior High School's Class of 2014 transitioned from students to alumni.

The 18 seniors in the class wore the school's green and white colors as they accepted their diplomas.

Connor Boone was valedictorian, and Taylor Grote was salutatorian.

In his address to his classmates, Boone quoted a passage from the Rudyard Kipling poem "If."

The poem gives advice to Kipling's son. The poem reviews the many scenarios of life.

If you can "talk with crowds and keep your virtue, or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch, if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, if all men count with you, but none too much; if you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds' worth of distance run, yours is the earth and everything that's in it, and - which is more - you'll be a man, my son."

Boone said he chose the poem after studying it for a school project.

"There are just so many ifs in life," Boone said. "If you take advantage of all the opportunity given to you, they can add into something."

Boone's grandmother Donna Jackson gave the commencement address. Jackson was a member of Shawe's Class of 1958 -  the school's first graduating class. 

Jackson spoke about the differences between the school she attended and the school today.

The real difference, she said, was the faculty.

"We had priests and nuns," she said. "They were just a great bunch of people to work with - a great bunch of people to respect and admire."

Jackson said she could look out the window of her Latin class and see the priest mowing the grass between classes. 

"That was the kind of stuff we had."

Grote spoke to her fellow classmates about what they can look forward to in the future, and the four years they spent together. 

"Since we've shared the past four years together, we've learned how to fit in with each other," she said. "It's all worked out perfectly."

Members of the graduating class are:

Casey Ryan Applegate, Garel Blanchard, Christopher Connor Boone, William Keith Cole, Jr., Addie Armstrong Davis, Caleb Andrew Deeg, Madison Carole Drumm, Nyctasia Danielle Fitton, Megal Elizabeth Goebel.

Shelby Elizabeth Greene, Catherine Taylor Grote, Chase Anthony Heaton, Paul Koronkevich, Andrew David Ott, Sara Emily Sanders, Trenton Kaine Barkley Scroggins, Zachary Evan Tingle and Nash Alexander Uebel.