Small class, big goals

Put-in-Bay graduates seven students
Alex Green
Jun 10, 2014

green@oc-register.com

Put-in-Bay students have been getting individual attention throughout their time on the bay.

It was no different at Friday’s graduation, as each of the seven graduates was lauded for his or her educational achievements.

The tiny graduating class has anything but tiny plans, however.

The University of California, the U.S. Air Force and Ohio State University are just some of the institutions where the graduates will continue their endeavors.

Like the vast majority of high school graduations, Friday was an emotional experience. But the students have a bond with one another that is perhaps incomparable to students of larger schools.

Salutatorian Madeline Pugh discussed the unique relationship she has with her classmates during her commencement speech.

It was littered with humor and inside jokes as she poked fun during one of her many stories at her classmate who scored a basket in the wrong net one time.

She then flipped the script and attempted to inspire her classmates by quoting Steve Jobs.

“We grow up, and the world is the way it is,” she said.

This is a limited perspective, she said.

“Life was made up by people no smarter than you or me,” she said. “Embrace it, change it, improve it. People crazy enough to think they can change it are the ones who do.”

A large chunk of the ceremony saluted student Arthur Wolf who enlisted in the U.S. Air Force.

Air Force personnel attended Friday’s commencement to commend Wolf on his achievement, and to put worried minds at ease.

“I have a son, too,” the officer said. “I would be very proud of him”

They stressed that Wolf is both attending college and enlisting in the Air Force, different from the perception that one must choose between the two paths.

It was a decision Wolf always knew he wanted to make.

“I always wanted to be a part of the military and the Air Force is a great fit,” he said.

His classmates admired his courage, though going their separate ways may be tough for this group of students that largely attended school together since kindergarten.

“We couldn’t be any closer,” Casey Pippert-Ladd said. “Going to school with each other (at Put-in-Bay) was something no one else experiences.”

Pippert-Ladd will attend Ohio State University next year.

Pugh will attend Bowling Green State Univeristy.

Christian Porche and Victoria Wertenbach will attend Kent State University.

Anna Rence will attend the University of Cincinnatti.

Nicholas Urge will attend the University of California, Santa Barbara.