BHS Grads Encouraged to be Resilient


The 2024 Bellefontaine High School graduates celebrated their many successes at Friday night’s commencement at AcuSport Stadium.

The 186 grads were recognized for some impressive academic accomplishments.

This year’s senior class was awarded over $1.1 million in scholarships.

Twenty-two seniors had a 4.0 or higher grade point average.

The keynote speaker was 1991 BHS grad Dr. Chad McKenzie.

Dr. McKenzie, who has served in the U.S. Navy for 28 years, encouraged the graduates to be resilient in their lives and careers.

His speech used several references from the Dr. Seuss book Oh, the Places You’ll Go.

McKenzie said, “High school has been a journey of growth. You stand on the threshold of a new adventure.

“Never underestimate the power of your dreams. Embrace opportunities with open minds and open arms.

“There will be detours and you may face failure, but be resilient and persevere. Success is not about not failing; it’s about growing and overcoming adversity.

“Always accept every opportunity to serve. Take risks and learn from every experience.

“Finally, never give up because the world is counting on you.”

McKenzie is the deputy director of the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center and commanding officer of the Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Great Lakes.

He’s received personal military decorations and unit awards including the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, four Meritorious Service Medals, five Navy Commendation Medals, Joint Meritorious Unit Citation, and two Meritorious Unit Commendations.

This year’s co-valedictorians are Elliana Lloyd and Oliver Moreland.

They each had a 4.6875 grade point average.

Lloyd will study mechanical engineering at the University of Cincinnati.

Her parents are Shawn and Jeannie Lloyd.

Moreland will study computer science at Harvard University.

Oliver was recently awarded a National Merit Scholarship for $2,500.

His parents are Thomas and Rachel Moreland.

The remaining top ten grads are Ella Kuba, Janelle Roberts, Emily Taylor, Jalyn Savage, Mason Stanley, Dominic Latimer, John Fulmer, and Mika Beck.

Alexis Buffkin, Ella Kuba, Elliana Lloyd, Janelle Roberts, Jalyn Savage, Emily Taylor, and Lauren Valdez earned their associate’s degrees from Clark State.

Cooper Harman and Wes Morris were spotlighted for enlisting in the military.

This year’s BHS Distinguished Alumni are Dr. Chad McKenzie (Class of ’91), Michael Hassel (Class of ’68), and Susan Insley (Class of ’63).

BHS Principal Jason Brown emceed the commencement.

He said, “I’m proud of the senior class. They were rising tides for us throughout the year. They helped us set a high standard at BHS. They set the tone for classes that will follow them.”

Listen to Brown’s comments about the class here:


Top 10

Here’s a list of the 2024 BHS grads:

  • Ashlyn Allaine Akers
  • Mika Joseph Beck
  • Deacon Adam Bensman
  • Jack Charles Bible
  • Kylee Belle Boggs
  • Tyler Steven Bond
  • Savannah Sue Bouler
  • Gabriel Bourne Boysel
  • Mandalynn Nicole Brazzle
  • Garrett Michael Brede
  • Peyton Michael Brisson
  • Jozlyn Nachell Brown
  • Mary Kay Brown
  • Raniyah Kennedy Brown
  • Taylor James Brueshaber
  • Alexis Kady Buffkin
  • Jayda Renee Butler
  • Payton Marie Campbell
  • Tegan Joseph Campbell-Shamblin
  • Ashton Marie Carey
  • Luis Angel Casanas Mejias
  • Brandon Isaac Case
  • Emily Brianna Clapp
  • Madison Jade Clark
  • Alexza Marie Clifton
  • Madison Paige Close
  • Carisse Maeleah Comstock
  • Ty Carter Conwell
  • Ella Julianna Costin
  • Emma Alexandra Costin
  • Nickalei Mykal Coulson
  • Emma Grace Crabtree
  • Saleen Marie Crain
  • Keely Elizabeth Crowden
  • Jada Marie Daniels
  • Chance Stoshua Darner
  • Demitri Kaine Dick
  • Gage Matthew DeLong
  • Cayden Micheal Downey
  • Kyra Lynn Downing
  • Zoey Alesa Dunlavey
  • Wesley Elliott Edward Dunn
  • Julia Grace Easton
  • Grant Malachi Erickson
  • Robbie Lee Ferguson
  • Garrett James Flack
  • Christopher DaJuan Fogan
  • Rianna Grace Fullerton
  • John Scott Fulmer
  • Kaiden David Furr
  • Caden Matthew Gibbs
  • Blake Allen Gilbert
  • Tannor Scott Gilbert
  • Kaeley Marie Gillenwater
  • Ashlyn Nicole Gonterman
  • Hannah Marie Gordon
  • Draven Alan Greive
  • Hayden Michael Hall
  • Isabella Angelina Hall
  • Gracie Marie Hammaker
  • Austin Robert Hammond
  • Angel Hampton
  • Avery Maclain Hankins
  • Steven Cooper Harman
  • Thurman William Kroix Harmon-Brown
  • Lora Nicole Hinshaw
  • Zandor William-Dain Hoffer
  • Rebecca Raelynn Hoffman
  • Destiny Lynn Holbrook
  • Carrsun Quinten Hood
  • Jaxon Richard Hoskins
  • Truman James Howell
  • Zayne David Huffman
  • Sebastian Alexzander Hunsicker
  • Avari Janelle Chenya Jacobs
  • Amiya Lachele Johnson
  • Kadence Lynn Jones
  • Bryce Jackson Keels
  • Landon David LaRue Kerrigan
  • Gabrielle Blondina Keykens-Robinson
  • Norman Edward Kinney III
  • Shaylee Elizabeth Kipker Johnson
  • Raelynn Marie Kirkpatrick
  • Sahvanna Elizabeth Rose Knasel
  • Skybree Ann Knotts
  • Parker Douglas Knox
  • Ella Sara Kuba
  • Owen Frederick Larison
  • Dominic Zachary Latimer
  • Elliana Grace Lloyd
  • Edgar Eduardo Lopez Barrientos
  • Gennevieve Faith Mabry
  • Elijah James Mahaffey
  • Kevin Quang Mai
  • Haiden Thomas Manns
  • Keylin Guadalupe Marquez Diaz
  • Marco Antonio Martinez
  • John Benedict Guinto Matela
  • Taylor Louann McCafferty
  • Alek Anthony Miller
  • Deakon Michael Miller
  • Phillip Landace Miller
  • Ellie Ruth Mitchell
  • Oliver Joel Moreland
  • Wesley Emmett Morris
  • Perri Louise Neeld
  • Riley Michael Neer
  • Jayden Anthon Nelson
  • Kyndal JoAnne Newkirk
  • Lucas Vance Nye
  • Mia Kathryn Oppy
  • Ethan Michael Orahood
  • Kailyn James Organ
  • Alden Lee Payne
  • Orianna Ann Michelle Payne
  • Parker Ann Penhorwood
  • Jason Michael Peters Jr.
  • Izabellia Elizabeth Mae Pfister
  • Dylan James Pickering
  • Taylor Renae Pine
  • Hannah Marie Poe
  • Lily Frances Marie Powell
  • Kimber Autumn Price Vance
  • Gracie Katherine Correne Purcell
  • Katie Lynn Ragland
  • Keaton Alan Ransbottom
  • Ella Jean Reier
  • Theodore Randall Reminder
  • Annika Marie Reynolds
  • Kari Breyanne Reynolds-Wickline
  • Kolton Duane Rice
  • Zoephia Jo Rister
  • Janelle Raeanne Roberts
  • Kelton Sterling Roberts
  • Alexis Mae Robinson
  • Xzavier Dominique Rogan
  • Jaeden Kaylynn Rollins
  • Mark James Runkle
  • Haylee Cheyenne Rutherford
  • Crimson Paige Salmons
  • Pierce Wade Salmons
  • Layci Michele Salyer
  • Jalyn Leigh Savage
  • Harper David Irwin Scott
  • Kinsley Ann Louise Scott
  • Toni Lynn Scott
  • Samantha Brooke Seay
  • Camryn Lynn Seiber
  • Evan Tyler Shaw
  • Crew Michael Sheeley
  • Alika Sky Shields
  • Shayna Ann Simpson
  • Ella Jean Elizabeth Smith
  • Cati Jo Snyder
  • Jenna Grace Snyder
  • Anthony Rae Stamm
  • Mason Robert Stanley
  • Cooper Cap Edward Sterling
  • Thatcher Scott Stevens
  • Anthony Cole Stewart
  • Layah Elise Stiggers
  • Caitlin Anne Stolly
  • Tyler Paul Tackett
  • Emily Faith Taylor
  • Seth Matthew Rieger Taylor
  • Trevan Quentin Taylor
  • Zane Christopher Tevis
  • Sadie Elizabeth Thompson
  • Caleb Christopher Torsell
  • Danielle Megan Turner
  • Olivia Michelle Turner
  • Lauren Renee Valdez
  • James Victor VanVleck
  • Sarah Jean VanVoorhis
  • Jack Nathaniel Varner
  • Karys JoLynn Varner
  • Averie Isabella Vigansky
  • Beckett Vilaysane
  • Kody Robert Watts
  • Camielle Marie Wells
  • Celleste Kristine Wells
  • Drayven Nathaniel Williams
  • Eleyna Kay Williams
  • Takara Rayna Williams
  • Curtis Jaylon Wilson
  • Logan Michael Wilson

You can see the entire ceremony at

Congratulations to the Class of 2024!