Wheeling Park High School Graduates 350 Students at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling

Photo by Drew Parker Wheeling Park High School graduates 350 students Sunday at WesBanco Arena.

Wheeling Park High School’s 350 graduating students were sent off with encouraging words and millions in scholarship funding Sunday.

Jina Moore, senior foreign correspondent for Buzzfeed News and a 1998 Wheeling Park graduate, was announced as an outstanding alumnus during the ceremony, and addressed students regarding her work as journalist covering issues such as Ebola in Liberia and women’s issues in Rwanda.

“In Rwanda, the idea of ‘together’ is really important. The genocide happened because politicians tried to divide that country by convincing people that one group of Rwandans was less worthy than another group of Rwandans,” Moore said. “It was a lie and it was the same kind of lie that Hitler told before he killed 6 million Jews in the Holocaust. It’s a lie that I have heard all over the world. I will bet everything I have on this one thing: If there is a powerful person in the world trying to convince you that someone else is a threat just because of who they are, that person is lying.”

While addressing his classmates, valedictorian Adam Craig said he regretted not being able to intimately know all of his classmates.

“While I’m honored to be standing up here in front of you all, I’m humbled to know that many of you, I’ve never met,” Craig said. “Some of you I don’t even know your names and for that, I apologize, not because I think your life would have been automatically better If I had been a part of it. I’m sorry because every single one of you has an intriguing story to tell that I truly wish I could have heard walking through the hallways of that castle on a hill.”

The class was awarded more than $8 million in scholarships and grants. Of the 350 graduating seniors, 99 are West Virginia Promise Scholars.

Class president Luke Knollinger, as well as salutatorian Emma Blair, offered praise for their classmates. Ohio County Board of Education president Zack Abraham and Wheeling Park Principal Amy Minch also offered words of encouragement to the class of 2017.