RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY
PDT Staff Writer
CLAY TOWNSHIP — Graduating seniors from Clay High School on Sunday will forever enjoy the distinction of being the first class to graduate from the new Clay High School building.
“It’s been a great year. I think the kids have had a really good year,” Clay High School Principal Todd Warnock said.
He said it took a lot of adjustments to get used to being in the new school building this year.
“We have all grade levels in our new building now. I think the big difference is, some people are a lot busier but I think that gives the kids better service because we have an extra secretary and an extra receptionist, and if I have to go do something else (the elementary principal) can back me up or I can back him up. And the superintendent is right there with both of us, so if we’re both doing something he’s always available. Our office staff has made it a lot easier,” Warnock said.
Valedictorian Eli Kelley said it wasn’t too difficult adjusting to the new building.
“The new building is amazing. I mean, if you think about our old building that had asbestos tiles — that’s just what we called them — and the building was falling off the foundation. It had a lot of problems. It’s really nice to have something that was stable,” he said.
Kelley said he is excited to be part of the new school’s history as a member of its first graduating class. After graduation, he will attend Shawnee State University to study bio-medical sciences and plans to be doctor.
Graduation is Sunday at 3 p.m. in the new Clay High School gymnasium. Warnock said the new gym is larger and can hold many more visitors, and he enjoys the central air conditioning.
“Usually by about the end of May, the old gym is just really hot. Once those old buildings heat up, they don’t cool down. We had air conditioning in the individual classrooms but our gym was not air conditioned. Last year it was toasty in there, and this year I think it’s supposed to be 93-degrees on Sunday and what a blessing from our community to have a gym that’s going to be a comfortable 74 with low humidity,” he said.
Speaking at graduation this year is Clay Superintendent Tony Mantell, Valedictorian Eli Kelley, and Outstanding Vocational Student Jacob Harris. The Salutatorian, Kelsey Sidel, has decided not to speak.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or email@example.com.