Forty-four seniors became the graduated class of 2018 Saturday at Atchison County Community Junior/Senior High School in Effingham.

Principal Deanna Scherer, ACCJHS, offered the opening remarks to kick off the 127th commencement ceremony in the school’s history. Scherer told the audience it was earlier in the week when she discovered a calling card with a message mysteriously left for her in the office.

“Kiss the Class of 2018 goodbye,” Scherer said. Throughout the week she had garnered a collection of calling cards from the prospective graduates. Collectively the individual messages inspired her.

Scherer said she thought about what the class members’ calling cards might say as they go through life. Some might represent various professional career paths. Others might advertise businesses or deliver messages of different natures.

Within the foreseeable future there are five students who have secured employment. Four students plan to attend Washburn University and two are heading off to Washburn Institute of Technology.

Twenty of the graduates expect to attend Highland Community College. Three will be off to attend Missouri Western State University. Others individual students expect to follow their respective paths to Wichita State University, Benedictine College, Sterling College, University of Kansas, Emporia State University, McCook Community College and one graduate remained undecided. One graduate is set to enlist for military service.

Cameron Cooper, Savannah Gann and Curtis Stirton are all National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta members. Cooper and Stirton have maintained cumulative 4.0 grade point averages.

Cooper, a Governors Scholar, looks forward to U.S. Navy service with an expectation to specialize in nuclear propulsion and engineering.

Gann, a National Honor Society member and Mu Alpha Theta distinction, plans to pursue a journalism degree at Wichita State University. She has been awarded the following: Clubs for Kids Scholarship, Distinguished Scholarship Invitational Scholarship, Freshmen Merit Scholarship and a Cohen Honors College Scholarship.

Stirton, earned a FFA Gold empblem, expects to pursue agriculture business and accounting at Highland Community College. He has been awarded a HCC agriculture scholarship and a John Deere Heritage Tractor FFA Scholarship.

Erin Hamilton, Hailey McConnaughey, Katilyn Nitz and Sara Razo earned the distinction as class salutatorians.

Hamilton, Nitz, McConnaughey and Razo are all National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta members.

Hamilton plans to pursue linguistics and anthropology at University of Kansas. Nitz expects to pursue secondary education in mathematics at Emporia State University. She earned the Courtney, Hinshaw and Morgan scholarships.

McConnaughey has carried a cumulative 4.0 grade point average. She plans to attend Washburn University to pursue physical therapy assistant studies.

Razo has set her sights to attend Missouri Western to study nursing.

There were 19 scholarships collectively awarded to the senior class members.

Mary Meyers can be reached at

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