Facing her fears was one of many lessons learned on her journey through high school, valedictorian Julianna Zubrod said Sunday during the graduation ceremony at Adams Central Junior/Senior High School.

“I was pushed to face my fears at Adams Central, and I’m so thankful for it,” she said.

Zubrod was one of six students to join the newly formed Adams Central girls wrestling team. The school added the fledgling program this year.

“When I heard about adding girls wrestling over the school intercom, I felt like a kid on Christmas,” she said.

Despite her eagerness, Zubrod said, she worried about her reputation and being involved in a sport in which she had no prior experience. She hesitated in trying out for the team, but eventually took the plunge.

People told her she was too tall to wrestle and her asthma would make the workouts too hard, but she stuck with it.

And she’s glad she did. She said it was a great experience and she made five new remarkable friends in the process.

“Remember to never let fear be a factor in determining your future,” she said.

Zubrod thanked the teachers, faculty and parents for supporting the Class of 2022 through their educational journey. Though disrupted by the novel coronavirus disease pandemic, she was proud to see her fellow classmates attend virtual classes when it would have been easy to become lax in the situation.

“This was a choice we had to make every day,” she said.

Salutatorian Brianna Stroh said that though the Class of 2022 was disrupted by COVID-19, they were glad to be able to come back to class, even with masks. She said they wanted to take advantage of every opportunity they could.

Stroh compared the high school journey with lyrics from Taylor Swift’s “Long Live.”

“You held your head like a hero

On a history book page

It was the end of a decade

But the start of an age.”

Stroh said those lyrics encompass their time as high school students. She said her fellow classmates showed resilience and perseverance through the trials they faced. Giving up was never an option for the class, she said.

Now, like the song lyrics say, Stroh said, her class is ready for the next chapter in life.

“Even though it is the end of a decade for us, we look forward to the start of an age,” she said.

The Class of 2022 included 73 graduating seniors.

Taylia Huyser offered the opening prayer and the closing prayer was by Mari Conant.

The Senior High School Band performed “Black Sails” as an instrumental selection, and the choir seniors sang “Rest Not!” and “A Million Dreams.”

Superintendent Shawn Scott encouraged the graduates to take ownership of the accomplishments they’ve made through their high school years.

While teachers and parents provide support, he said, seniors’ hard work led to them growing great together.

“As you go forward from here, take that knowledge with you,” he said. “You are great.”

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