Wheeling Central Catholic High School Graduates 90
Compiled by Staff
WHEELING — The 90 members of Wheeling Central Catholic High’s Class of 2018 crossed the stage at Oglebay’s outdoor amphitheater to collect their diplomas Saturday morning after hearing some tips for the future.
Commencement speaker Robert P. Fitzsimmons, a 1970 graduate of Central, offered some insight into what the students may face in the years to come. Fitzsimmons found success in the field of law which brought him national attention. He and two renowned physicians founded the Brain Injury Research Institute after learning of that many pro football players had suffered life-altering brain injuries.
In talking to the graduates, Fitzsimmons offered some insight into their futures. He said they will be faced with driverless cars, drones that deliver their food, the possibility of meeting life from another planet and cloning. Fitzsimmons said he is the only college graduate among his parents and siblings. He said he decided to become a lawyer after he was able to convince his family that his .7 grade point average as a freshman in college meant he earned a 70 percent grade.
He reminded the graduates that they are “never alone because God is always with them.”
Also sharing their thoughts were valedictorian Patrick Brown, son of Geoff and Beth Brown, and salutatorian Alexis Dick, daughter of Heather Robbins and Brent Dick.
“The expectations at Wheeling Central are always high as everyone is expected to live up to the image that amazing people set for us when they walked the halls in the past,” said Brown. “I was privileged to have had the opportunity to follow in these remarkable and extraordinary footsteps of countless incredible alumni … the Class of 2018 is yet another remarkable testament to just how special and influential Wheeling Central truly is on all who walk through those doors.”
“The opportunities and lessons provided to me while at Central have led me down a path to success that I will carry with me through college and life,” said Dick. “The teachers, staff and friends I had at Central have shown me compassion and strength, and I appreciate each and everyone of them.”
Among the awards presented to the graduates were: Riley Bennington, West Virginia Center for Independent Essay Scholarship; Grace Taylor, Kiwanis Club of Wheeling Scholarship; Riley Blaha, The Raymond B. Craig Scholarship; Patrick Brown and Christophe Costain, The Bordas & Bordas Fighting for Justice Award; Isaac Kinneer, Jamie Hannig Memorial Scholarship; Lexie Saunders and Olivia Carpenter, David McFadden Memorial Scholarship; Carley Pajak and Lexie Saunders, Heather Miller Memorial Nursing Scholarship; Rachel Dmach, Emily Emmerth and Daniel O’Leary, Bishop Whalen Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians Scholarship; Kenzie George, EQT Student of Excellence Scholarship; Jack Stryker, EQT Student of Excellence in Engineering Scholarship and Wheeling Elks Lodge Sportsmanship Award; Nathan Blair, Wheeling Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship and Wheeling Elks Lodge Most Valuable Student; Julia Padden and Derek Dearth, Distinguished Athlete Award; Paul Denard, Scholastic Excellence Award; Grace Taylor, Williams Lee TAG Scholarship; Patrick Brown, WVSSAC Academic Male Athlete; Olivia Carpenter, Wendy’s High School Heisman State Finalist; Daniel O’Leary, Wendy’s High School Heisman State Winner, Upper Ohio Valley Italian Foundation Scholarship and Wheeling Elks Lodge Most Valuable Student; Luke Lawrence, Patrick Johnson Memorial Engineering Scholarship; Maria Murphy, Gene DeProsperis Memorial Scholarship; Grace Taylor and Nathan Blair, Polish American Patriot Club Scholarship; Shelby Imer, Comcast Leaders & Achievers Scholarship,Wheeling Island Community Association & Wheeling Island Lions Club Scholarship; Patrick Duffy, Elks National Foundation Legacy Scholar & Wheeling Elks Lodge Most Valuable Student; Alexis Dick, Knights of Columbus Scholarship; Marissa Garlitz, OVAC Amanda Rosepapa Memorial Softball Scholarship; Sarah Booth, Paul Volpe Memorial Scholarship.
Shelby Imer took home the Mater Dei Award.
Twenty-eight of the graduates earned the West Virginia Promise Scholarship. Of the 90 graduates, 43 students are legacy graduates who are at least the second generation in their families to attend Central.