Sunday, June 4, 2023

Tasia Dillman and Kailey Mun conclude a rendition of "Journey On" during yesterday's commencement excercises. | photos by KRISTIAAN RAWLINGS

Yesterday’s Shelbyville High School commencement exercises showcased the graduating class’s achievements and abilities, and student comments reflected the mindset of a unique era.

“Without question, I am sure that not one of the students in front of us today expected to go through a global pandemic during their time in high school,” Principal Amy Dawson said. “Through this, they have demonstrated a level of resilience that will serve them well throughout their lives.”

Whatever comes next, the class of 2023 is prepared. Nearly three-fourths of graduates will be extending their education beyond high school through higher education or military service, and 43 percent of the class earned either an Academic Honors diploma or a Technical Honors diploma, Student Council President Ashlyn Clark said.

Senior class president Emma Sandman opened the 10 a.m. ceremony and invited Connor Zobel, who has enlisted in the Navy to specialize in Information Technology, to lead a packed Garrett Gymnasium in the Pledge of Allegiance, which was followed by the National Anthem played by the high school band. Sandman also instituted a moment of silence in memory of classmates who have passed away: Maxwell Musgrave, Rushelle Boswell and Nathan Gibson.

After the top 10 academic students were recognized, salutatorian Cooper Lay, the son of Corrinna and Bill Lay, encouraged classmates to “look around and take a moment to truly appreciate the life we’ve grown accustomed to.” Lay told his classmates to “approach life deliberately, whether at college or your own path out in the world.” He is opting for Purdue University, where he will study Computer Science.

After the Choral Department seniors performed “Just Believe,” Valedictorian Isabella Bradburn, the daughter of Vince and Dr. Christina Bradburn, spoke on “living as both an individual and a part of a whole.” She encouraged graduates to embrace individuality while practicing empathy. “These two mindsets are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they complement each other,” she said. “This fusion is actually so important that people have even called it the Golden Rule: treat others how you want to be treated.”

In addition to advising graduates to practice a growth mindset rather than be “burdened by a failure,” Bradburn also delivered a touching tribute to her sister, Abby, a rising junior at SHS. Isabella will attend Northwestern University to study Biology and Linguistics.

Seniors Tasia Dillman and Kailey Mun then performed “Journey On,” and Mrs. Dawson presented the class to school board president Curt Johnson for the formal granting of degrees. The graduates’ names were read by Ashlyn Clark, Ava Ruschhaupt and Maraya Aranda. After students received diplomas, National Honor Society President Beau Kenkel led the ceremonial turning of the tassel.

The graduates then exited the gym, past members of the Class of 1973, who had been recognized earlier by Dr. Matt Vance, superintendent.

See over 30 photos of yesterday's commencement on our new Facebook page here.

Elijah B. Baker checks out the scene while entering the gymnasium prior to yesterday's commencement.
Class of 2023 President Emma Sandman prepares to make introductory remarks at yesterday's SHS commencement.
Long-time friends Jenin Julian Caballero, Kimberly Ramos Aguilar and Cinthia Castillo reunite after the ceremony.


  • McKinley Correll was announced valedictorian of Southwestern High School. Jonah DeArmitt was salutatorian. Josee Larrison was named valedictorian of Waldron Junior-Senior High School, with Lucas Mitchell, salutatorian. Maggie Lutes is valedictorian at Morristown Junior-Senior High School, and Chase Theobald, salutatorian.
  • STATE NEWS: Tax abatement has been approved for a potential electric vehicle battery-making plant that would employ a projected 1,600 people outside New Carlisle. It’s now up to General Motors and Samsung to decide whether to go ahead with the estimated $3.5 billion investment. The St. Joseph County Council on May 23 voted unanimously in favor of tax abatement on the development that would be on a site of close to 700 acres on Ind. 2. Officials said that is the same site General Motors and LG Energy Solution singled out last year for building a $2 billion-plus EV battery operation with a projected similarly sized workforce. The plans were scrapped when LG Energy Solution broke away from the partnership, but later revised when General Motors and Samsung joined to construct a facility to make batteries for electric vehicles. (Munster Times of Northwest Indiana)

This Day in Shelby County History

2018: The Waldron High School commencement featured addresses by twin brothers Zachary and Andrew Montgomery. Zachary was valedictorian and Andrew was the class salutatorian.

2013: Over 200 Shelbyville High School graduates received diplomas. Jordan Tinkle was valedictorian. Senior class president Phebe Drake referred to the 1999 "Closing Time" song by Semisonic in her speech.

2008: Two second-grade teachers at Waldron Elementary School retired. Linda Wilcox had worked her entire career of 35 years for Shelby Eastern. Celestia Bradburn had worked 34 years for Shelby Eastern out of her 36-year career.

2003: Gene and Helen Ellis, announced Lady Victoria's Hamilton House, 132 W. Washington St., would be closing. It was the third iteration of the restaurant. Shelby County Development Corporation Director Dan Theobald noted that the entertainment and food industry had been hit hard by the recent economic downturn.

1998: Members of the Shelbyville Rotary Club became Paul Harris fellows. They were Vic Rammelsberg, Bob Thopy, Anne Campbell (accepting the honor for her late husband, Paul Campbell), Jim Cherry, Jess McDaniel, Larry Tipton, Kevin Williams and Russ Sanders.

1993: Leigh McCain and Jeb Stewart were named queen and king of the Waldron Junior-Senior High School prom. Other members of the court were Alicia Edwards, Greg Ryhal, Lori Jackman, Nathan George, Jill Veerkamp, J.R. Ross, Erin Dobbs and Nathan Sipes. Paul Wendel and Monique VanNamen were announced king and queen of the Southwestern prom.

1988: Winners of major sports awards at Shelbyville High School were Tammy Girdler, Dian Wilkins, Jamie Beyer, Laura Harris, Sarah Stieneker, Cindy Welage, Samantha Zell, Helena Andersson, Brad Morrow, Jeremy Wayman, John Walker, Mark Williams, Mark Murphy, Amy DeBaun, Traci Stieneker, Francis Hartman and Julie Campbell.

1983: Newspaper photos showed the Parks Department's "Life: Be in it" activities, hosted at Morrison Park. Parks supervisor Brenda Kelsay was shown filling helium balloons and Shannon Metzger, 5, was shown getting her fingerprints taken by Police Officer Mary Jo Phares.

1978: Bob Moore and Clyde McDonald were honored at a retirement party at Shelbyville High School. Moore was retiring as director of building and grounds after 19 years with the system. McDonald had been maintenance superintendent for 29 years with the system.

Cato Corp. announced plans to open a store on Public Square. Also, Dee Bonner, owner of The Browse About, announced he was moving the gift shop from 37 Public Square to 112 S. Harrison St. The Browse About had opened in 1970.

1973: Children's librarian Mrs. Ray Sears organized an introduction to art course. A newspaper photo showed Ann McCoy, Terry Sheehan, John McCoy, Lisa McCoy, Maureen Sheehan and Eileen Sheehan reviewing primitive art and Romanticism works.

1968: Triton Central High School announced a 33-game summer schedule for the baseball team. Team members were Mark Tresslar, Kent Gambrel, Bob Gibson, Steve Crafton, Dave Hensley, Gary Wright, Billy Bob Scott, Gary Hensley, Bob Speece, Doug Green, Larry Helms, Art Harkema and Kent Tresslar. Larry Morgan was manager.

1963: Hall's Outlet Furniture celebrated its first anniversary in business and Swinford Lumber Company marked two years in business.

New officers of the Omega Nu Tau Sorority, elected at a meeting hosted at the Chicken and Steak Inn, were Mrs. John Leap, Mrs. Stan Beaman, Mrs. James Brown, Clara Long, Mrs. Raymond LeClerc and Mrs. Lee Gravely.

1958: Local veteran auctioneer Oliver Clay, 618 S. Tompkins St., "cried" his 9,000 sale. Clay, 80, had been an auctioneer for 56 years. He had also served in various local political positions.

1953: The first scholarship award to be given annually by the local branch of the American Association of University Women to a Shelby County girl was presented to Helen Risley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Roger Risley of Acton. Miss Risley, a 1952 Moral Township High School graduate, was a student at Franklin College.

1948: Honor Roll medals were given to Colescott school students Buddy Clements, Suzanne Stine, John Wetnight, Gail Hern, Jim McKeand, Sandra Oldham, Michael Silbert, Marilyn Cooper, Joyce Amos, Francella Basey, Carl Cawood, Richrd Oldfield, Amelia Stuart, Floyd Thurston, Sheila Collins, Roberta Davis, Kay Ferleman, Evelyn Mall, Jane Ann VanWay, Floyd Wiley, Delight Brown, Marcia Cherry, Norman Bennet, Susan Kolkmeier, Phil Brown, Virginia Hites, Nina Shull, Sharon Billingsley, Michael Hinshaw, Ronald Howell and Jimmy King, which included all grade levels.

1943: Donald Wickizer, head of Tippecanoe Press, was installed on the city's board of education. Lawrence Parker was elected president of the board and Otto Holbrook, treasurer.

1938: The federal Public Works Administration issued a check to add an addition to the Morristown school gymnasium.

1933: The three Shelbyville High School commencement speakers - Betty Bryant, Miriam Meloy and Isabelle Whitcomb - were all members of the graduating class, introduced by Charles Reimann. Miss Bryant noted that the recent movement for a 30-hour work week showed the need for training on the effective use of leisure time. She also advocated for play. "I would rather have a playground without a school than a school without a playground," she said. Diplomas were distributed by Henry Joseph, president of the school board.

1928: "Pussyfoot Johnson," known nationally as an advocate for prohibition, spoke at First Methodist Episcopal Church.

1923: "Steam roller methods, not of the political variety, have been used to such an extent on the streets of this city during the last five years that the roller is worn out...," The Shelbyville Republican reported. The council approved purchasing a new roller for $5,000 (approximately $90,000 in today's money). The council also accepted a bid from a local company to oil the streets for 4.5 cents a square yard.


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