Hugs all around

by Charlie Koenig - Posted on Jun 22, 2011 - 04:48 PM

Photo: Mathews High School graduate Sharese Jarvis gives principal Dave Malechek a hug as he presents her with the school’s General Excellence Award during Saturday’s commencement. Photo by Charlie Koenig.

Mathews High School graduate Sharese Jarvis gives principal Dave Malechek a hug as he presents her with the school’s General Excellence Award during Saturday’s commencement. Photo by Charlie Koenig.

Photo: Valedictorian Sally Taylor hugs fellow graduate Emma Druhot before the ceremony. A total of 100 students received diplomas during the school’s 72nd commencement. Photo by Charlie Koenig.

Valedictorian Sally Taylor hugs fellow graduate Emma Druhot before the ceremony. A total of 100 students received diplomas during the school’s 72nd commencement. Photo by Charlie Koenig.

"You have set a legacy that will last forever," Mathews High School principal David Malechek told the members of the MHS Class of 2011 during Saturday afternoon’s graduation ceremony, which was held in the school’s Harry M. Ward Auditorium.

Malechek commended the 100 graduates for distinguishing themselves academically, athletically, "but, most importantly, as outstanding young men and women."

At one point during Saturday’s service, the MHS principal, who earlier this month announced his retirement after 34 years in education, got a bit choked up when announcing the winner of the school’s General Excellence Award.

In presenting the award to Sharese Jarvis, Malechek listed the qualifications sought in the recipient (leadership, high academic standing, participation in extracurricular activities and a cooperative attitude), saying that Jarvis is the student who best exemplifies these qualities throughout his entire career in education.

"She’s always positive," he said of Jarvis. "She’s everything we want young people to be."

Malechek also presented another special award to a deserving graduate—giving the Lazarus Award to Graham Robbins. This award recognizes a student who, over the course of his or her high school years, "finds the courage to change the direction of his or her life by setting positive goals and developing the perseverance to meet those goals." The award also includes a $1,000 scholarship.