Willard High School announces top 5 academic students

Cary Ashby • Updated Jun 4, 2018 at 4:23 PM

WILLARD — Willard High School had about 104 graduates receive their diplomas during the 128th annual commencement exercises Sunday.

The top-five academic students said they will miss a variety of things during their time as Crimson Flashes — from their “amazing teachers” to their extra-curricular activities to “being in an environment where everyone knows everyone.”

Those recent graduates are: Gavin Buurma, Levi Hill, Olivia Lowery, Jenna Robinson and Acacia Smith.

, the son of Aaron and Chasity, said his fondest Willard memories are “growing up with the most amazing group of friends that anyone could ask for and getting to laugh with them so hard that we all cry.”

“I will miss being in an environment where everyone knows everyone. Strangers, that I have never even talked to, have become familiar to me and it’s going to be weird not having that anymore. The strangers will just be strangers now,” he added.

Buurma’s advice to underclassmen is try their hardest to be positive.

“High school goes by fast and as much as you want it to end you’ll miss it. You won’t miss the work or coming to class every day, but you’ll miss all the people who made it that much more bearable for you,” he said.

Buurma’s achievements, activities and awards include: National Honor Society, varsity swimming, WHS theater, student council, 4-H, Teen Leadership Corps (TLC), district honors choir and class of 2018 treasurer.

In the fall he will attend Heidelberg University to double-major in business finance and musical theater.

“I see myself with an amazing job helping run a theater company or playhouse (in 10 years),” Buurma said.

, the son of Amos Hill and Karen Hill, said his fondest WHS memory are his years of competing on the swim team. He said he will miss “singing show tunes with friends” the most.

His achievements, activities and awards include: Zick Memorial Scholarship winner, class of 2018 salutatorian, honors diploma and being an honors graduate.

Hill plans to attend The University of Toledo, pursuing a degree in pharmacy.

Lowery, the daughter of
 Tina and Dustin, listed her fondest Willard memories as the junior and senior proms.

“I will miss the amazing teachers of Willard High School and all of my friends,” she said. “My advice to underclassmen would be to get out of your comfort zone and try new things; you (will) gain new skills, new friends and new memories.”

Lowery’s achievements, activities and awards include: Honors diploma, graduating with honors, class president, National Honor Society (secretary), cross country, swimming, theater and the FFA leadership group.

“Next I will be attending the Firelands Regional Medical Center School of Nursing. In 10 years I hope to be a traveling nurse and participating in medical mission trips,” she said.

, the daughter of Jason and Tiffany, said her fondest memory was “when I sang ‘International Harvester’ at the senior breakfast.”

“I will miss being in a place where I know everyone and having a designated place to see my friends every day,” she said. “Work hard when you are an underclassman because it may seem unrewarding, but it really pays off (your) senior year.”

Robinson’s achievements, activities and awards include: Centennial Scholarship winner, Conservation, Century 21 and Chamber of Commerce scholarships, varsity cheerleading, Academic Challenge, 2016 Miss Festival in the Park, show and symphonic choirs, social chairwoman of the senior class and National Honor Society.

In the fall, she will attend Kent State University.

“In 10 years I hope to be graduated from college and working very successfully at whatever makes me happy,” Robinson said.

The fondest WHS memory for Smith
, the daughter of Jeremy and Jenni, was junior prom. She advised underclassmen to “get involved with different extra-curricular activities and sports.”

“I will miss the school activities and the friends I’ve acquired over the years,” Smith said.

Her achievements, activities and awards include: Graduating with honors, receiving an honors diploma, College Credit Plus scholarship, National Honor Society, TLC, student council, theater, cheerleading, volleyball and swimming.

“(In) the fall I will be attending North Central State College and pursuing a degree in marketing. In 10 years I hope to own company,” Smith said.

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