Excitement was in the air and the sun was brightly shining on Friday, May 10, at C.E. Harlan Stadium as parents, family members, friends and neighbors gathered together to witness the 2019 Ava High School Commencement Ceremony. With stadium seats filled to capacity, many spectators stood in nearby common areas anxious to see their special student graduate.
Clad in blue caps and gowns, graduating seniors walked into the stadium while the Ava High School Band selectively played three pieces –– Black Tower Overture, You’ll Never Walk Along, and Pomp and Circumstance.
Dr. Jared Coberly, 1996 graduate of Ava High School, was the evening keynote speaker. As a student in Ava, Coberly was active in drama, music, and band. He was also a four-year letterman and state qualifier in track and field.
After graduating high school, Coberly earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with a minor in mathematics from the University of Missouri.
After college he worked as a senior software engineer at Boeing, developing cockpit control / display software for the F/A-18 Super Hornet jet fighter.
In 2008, Coberly left engineering to attend medical school at the University of Missouri. Today, he holds three board certifications, two patents and practices medicine as an assistant professor at the University of Missouri in Columbia where he works as a specialist in blood diseases.
Coberly urged graduating seniors to follow their dreams, even though their dreams may change. He said to stay focused, but flexible in all their goals.
Ninety-four seniors walked this year, and each graduate received a diploma from Bart Ellison, school board president.
Officers of the 2019 graduating class are Lauren Mendel, president; Dwight Emerson, vice president; and Stephen Copeland, secretary.
Seniors graduating Summa Cum Laude, 4.0 and above, are Stephen Copeland, Carter Crews, Dwight Emerson, Gavin Goss, Jacob Key, Brianna Meile, and Morgan Whitacre.
For the class motto, graduating seniors selected a quote from Tim McGraw: “Chase your dreams, but always know the road that’ll lead you home again.”