Class of 2018 graduates

Elora Ramon, left, and Iliana Ramon prepare to receive their diplomas at Fairmont High School commencement exercises on Sunday.

FAIRMONT — The Fairmont High School Class of 2018 said farewell to their “Cardinal” days on Sunday as 126 students received diplomas. Seven students reached the highest academic honors with 23 earning high honors and 36 achieving honors.

Fairmont Area Superintendent Joe Brown called the class “exceptional.”

“I’m confident that this class will make the world a better place,” he said.

Student speakers Laura Hartke and Lucas Simpson reflected on the closeness and unity of the graduating class and all that its members achieved in athletics, fine arts, academics and extracurricular activities.

“We all put in our best effort to get to this point in our lives,” Hartke said, pointing out the number of students and teams who reached the state level of competition. “We have set the bar for other classes.”

Simpson, who introduced himself as a future teacher, called the class “loud, noisy whippersnappers,” many of whom were graduating with academic honors.

“In life, we must all climb our mountain. Go climb a mountain and see what the world has to offer,” he said.

Kim Niss, high school principal, told the graduates they would be leaving the security and sense of belonging within their class as the head on to future endeavors.

“It’s okay to be afraid, but you need to have the courage to fight that fear. Take control of your fears and your future. Chase your dreams,” she said.

Claudia Bleess, class president, announced roll call as students came forward to receive their diplomas from Dr. Rufus Rodriguez and Danielle Schutz, members of the Fairmont Area Board of Education.

The Fairmont High School concert band and concert choir, under the direction of Kate Kallenbach and Molly Bleess, respectively, provided music for the commencement exercises.

Graduates were ushered by Bailey Chaffee, Jordan Ehlert, Dustin Schultz and Jordan Wolter.