Harding and River Valley graduates reflect on high school’s future
Two hundred and sixty senior citizens of Marion Harding High School closed the chapter on their high school years at the 2021 opening ceremony on May 22.
One of those people was Caden Morris.
The 18-year-old is the son of Sean and Ann Morris, of Marion. He said one of his favorite things in high school was playing sports with his friends. Morris was on the basketball and football teams and is currently finishing the track season.
Morris became the Division I regional finalist in the long jump, qualifying for the Division I state meet.
In the fall, Morris will attend Ashland University on a football scholarship. He plans to specialize in education.
“With me wanting to be a teacher, this was one of the best schools for it,” Morris said. “Sports are good too. I’ll play soccer and go there, so that seemed like the best option.”
The teenager doesn’t know what grade he wants to teach, but he knows he wants to teach history.
“I like to know why things are the way they are now and what life was like back then,” Morris said.
Meanwhile, Mashayla Berry enjoys expressing herself through art.
The 17-year-old has taken all of the art classes offered at River Valley High School three times as well as an independent study class. In addition, she has participated in several art exhibitions and the Mid-Ohio Fine Arts Society.
The senior is one of five Valedictorians in the 2021 class, along with Olivia Fogle, Carson Bollinger, Mindi Klaus and Lillian Wagner. The students were recognized at the opening ceremony of River Valley.
Berry is the daughter of Eric and Laura Berry, from Caledonia. In addition to MOFAS, the teenager participated in choir, bowling, the Teen Institute and the National Honors Society during her four years of high school.
Berry credits science teacher Kecia Stewart-Slob and art teacher Holly Gardner as influences in his life.
“She always encouraged me to do better and she pushed me,” she said of Gardner.
In the fall, Berry will attend Ohio State University, where she received a full scholarship through the Land Grant Opportunity scholarship. She plans to specialize in environmental sciences and a minor in art.
“I want to become an environmental scientist,” Berry said. “I don’t know exactly where yet; I hope to find a job somewhere in Columbus.”
Olivia Fogle lives in Marion and is the daughter of Michael and Laura Fogle. She said one of her favorite things in high school was being on the basketball team, where she played point guard. Fogle also enjoyed taking dance lessons at Jo Anne’s School of Dance.
The teenager will stay close to home for college while attending the Marion campus at Ohio State University. Fogle said she wasn’t sure what she would study, but was thinking about sports or art. She said she could become a teacher or therapist after college.
Carson Bollinger is the son of Mark and Melissa Bollinger. He said one of his favorite things about River Valley is getting out of your comfort zone and making new friends.
“I got to participate in a lot of different activities, like soccer and tennis and performing choir,” Bollinger said. “I’ve met some really cool people over the years.”
In addition to these three activities, the 18-year-old was involved in the theater. This year’s school production was High School Musical, based on the hit Disney film. Bollinger said he played the lead role of Troy Bolton, a basketball player who wants to try out for the school musical.
“I played basketball growing up and hadn’t played in years, then all of a sudden I was told I had to dribble a basketball on stage and that was probably there. ‘one of the most scary things, “he laughed. .
Bollinger will be attending Ohio State, majoring in Occupational Therapy. “I grew up being a Buckeye fan and have always loved the idea of going to the state of Ohio,” he said.
Bollinger hopes to become an occupational therapist, where he can help recover patients at a rehabilitation center.
Mindi Klaus will be attending Wesleyan University in Ohio in Delaware, where she will double major in Zoology and Microbiology. The 18-year-old plans to stay on campus.
“I’m so excited,” Klaus said. “I love Delaware, it’s such a beautiful city.
Klaus is the daughter of Michael and Shana Klaus, of Marion. She has participated in volleyball, cheerleading, performing choir, Teen Institute, NHS and the Science Matters program in River Valley.
Klaus said the teachers who made an impact were science instructor Pam Holman and math instructor Matt Stuckman.
After graduating from OWU, Klaus plans to pursue a career in veterinary microbiology.
“Growing up I wanted to be a zoologist, but as I got older and took more advanced science classes, I realized that I also had a passion for microbes,” she said. “Veterinary microbiology is the perfect way to combine these two because I would save animals, but I would identify parasites and bacteria.”
Lillian Wagner is also interested in animals. She is a member of the Future Farmers of America, the 4-H club and is chair of the Marion County Fair Junior Fair Board of Directors.
“I have pigs that I show at the fair and I like to do that,” she says.
Additionally, Wagner is a student leader at River Valley, a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and dances at Bethlehem Dance Education in Prospect.
The 18-year-old is the daughter of Dale and Kelly Wagner, of Marion. She will be studying agriscience education in the fall at the Agricultural Technical Institute at Ohio State University in Wooster. Wagner will complete the two-year program and then complete his undergraduate degree at the Columbus campus.
“When I went there for my visit it was very welcoming and the people were friendly,” Wagner said of the Wooster campus. “It made you feel like you’re already connected with family. I wasn’t sure if I would go to the main campus yet just because it’s so big and I felt overwhelmed. ATI is smaller. and I think it would. be a good start for me. “
Wagner is still deciding on her career path, but she wants to become an agricultural teacher, FFA advisor or 4-H educator.
“Once I’m in class I think I’ll be able to choose which direction I want to go more and go with that.”