The ceremony began with the traditional "Pomp and Circumstance" processional, played by the RHS band. After the playing of the National Anthem, Principal John Myers welcomed guests and introduced senior Breanna Shelton, class president. In her comments to the class, Breanna talked about growing up with her fellow classmates, and how they were about to experience a huge world after leaving the small town of Russellville. "We’re going to miss it, there’s no doubt," she said. Leaving friends is always difficult, particularly in a small class where friendships are so close.
After her address, a senior video was shown, which highlighted each class member’s growth from babyhood to high school graduate.
Perhaps one of the most significant parts of the ceremony was the announcement of student awards and scholarships. Mr. Myers began by recognized the honor graduates who were wearing gold honor cords. This year, First Southern National Bank honored the top ten graduates with $25 gift certificates with which they could open checking accounts. Pictures of these students will be displayed in the bank for a year. This year’s top ten graduates are Morgan Armistead, Eric Goddard, Chelsea Hall, Emily Hann, Megan LeVan, Lauren Peters, Paul Sansom, Breanna Shelton, Browning Smith and Oliver Townsend.
Mrs. McDaniel took to the podium to announce the Presidential Education Awards. Students were recognized for educational excellence (GPA of 3.5 or higher) and educational achievement (GPA of 3.0-3.4). Mrs. Vonlehman then awarded Commonwealth Diplomas to five seniors who met the rigorous set of criteria for that honor. Students who received Commonwealth Diploma this year were Eric Goddard, Lyndsey Ison, Megan Levan, Paul Neal Sansom, and Oliver Townsend.
Mr. Myers announced students from the class of 2010 who received scholarships to aid them in furthering their post high school education. Scholarship recipients were: Morgan Armistead – Rotary Scholarship Drafting Technology, Auburn Banking Company, Sally Flowers Moody Scholarship, Joseph Emberger Scholarship, KOSSA Certificate, communications; Tori Carnall – Kelly Russell Scholarship; Trevor Clark – Logan County Cattleman’s Association Scholarship, KOSSA Certificate, marketing; Dakota Cowan – Eagle Scout Award; Kelsey Cross – Alpha Kappa Alpha Scholarship; Courtney Dickerson – Rotary Scholarship, office technology, Moore insurance; Ethan Edward – Rotary Scholarship, welding technology, Logan Memorial; Quinton Gilbert – Mid-Continent University Athletic Scholarship; Eric Goddard – Wilkins Scholarship, Sewanee: The University of the South, University Grants, Sewanee, 2010 Emerson B.A. Purcell Memorial Scholarship; Emily Guffy – Mary Hope Henry Scholarship; Chelsea Hall – Leona Carrico Memorial Scholarship, Masonic Lodge Scholarship; Corey Hall – Lindsey Wilson Athletic and Academic Scholarships; Emily Hann – Trustees Scholarship, University of Louisville, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, First Presbyterian Church, Logan County Republican Women’s Club Scholarship, KOSSA Certificate, communications; Bryan Harris – Lindsey Wilson Athletic and Academic Scholarships; Jonathan Hindman – Russellville Alumni Association Panther Spirit Award, Oddvar Berg Scholarship, Logan Memorial Hospital Healthcare Study Scholarship, Lindsey Wilson Athletic and Academic Scholarships, KOSSA Certificate, communications; Lyndsey Ison – Jean Cole Scholarship, Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana; Provost Scholarship, University of Kentucky; Megan LeVan – Russellville Alumni Association Panther Spirit Award, Diana C. Hutchings Scholarship, Glasgow, ARC Scholarship; Darrin Murphy – Kelly Russell Scholarship; Deon Patterson – Woodford R. Porter Scholarship, University of Louisville, Rodney Williams Legacy Scholarship, University of Louisville, Marvin D. Mills Scholarship, Murray State University, NAACP Scholarship; Lauren Peters – KOSSA Certificate, allied health; Kyle Pomeroy – Rotary Scholarship, automotive technology, First Southern National Bank; Cooper Ray – KOSSA Certificate, marketing; Paul Neal Sansom – Athletic Scholarship, Middle Tennessee State University, Presidential Academic Scholarship, MTSU, CIC Scholarship, Leachman Academic Golf Scholarship; Zach Shannon – KOSSA Certificate, communications; Breanna Shelton – Singletary Scholarship, University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture Scholarship, University of Kentucky, Logan Memorial Hospital Healthcare Study Scholarship, Region 4 KAPOS Scholarship, Stella A. Gilb Scholarship; Browning Smith – Morrison Scholarship, Transylvania University; Darrell Todd – KOSSA Certificate, marketing; Oliver Townsend – Joseph Hardy Memorial Scholarship, KHEAA Robert Byrd Honors Scholarship, American Private Enterprise System Award, Boardwalk Scholarship, University of Mississippi Academic Excellence Scholarship, University of Mississippi CME Fellow Award, Engineering College; Kyle Townsend – Rotary Scholarship Account and Finance, Lewisburg Banking Company, Mike Smith Scholarship, KOSSA Certificate, financial services; Erin Waggoner – Teachers of Logan County Scholarship, Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance Agents Association Scholarship, Mike Smith Scholarship; D.J. Watkins – Lindsey Wilson Athletic and Academic Scholarships; Andrew White – KOSSA Certificate, communications.
This year, a new scholarship was announced by Judy Cowan, who has offered a scholarship in memory of her Grandson, Malachi Cordell Richmond, who died in infancy. The scholarship is for a Russellville High School graduate who is pursing a career in the medical profession. This year’s recipient is Katie Hindman.
Jimmy Davenport, a member of City Council, announced the recipient of the DeGraffenried Award, awarded by the city of Russellville to an outstanding student, as determined by a vote of the faculty. This year’s award recipient was Oliver Townsend, valedictorian of the class of 2010.
Each year, trophies are presented to the top three seniors based on the final grade point average. This year’s top three graduates are Brenna Shelton, third place, Paul Neal Sansom, second place (Salutatorian), and Oliver Townsend, first place (Valedictorian). After receiving his valedictorian trophy, Townsend came to the podium to give a short valedictory address. In his address, he thanked his teachers, his family, his friends, and God. He stated that he started his high school experiences as a "one man wolf pack" but his friendships grew as the years passed. "Life is short… ask for help…follow your dreams," were the kernels of wisdom Townsend imparted to his fellow graduates.
After the awards part of the ceremony concluded, Mr. Leon Smith, superintendent, presented the class of 2010 to the school board and stated that they had met all of the requirements for graduation. Mr. James Milam had some comments to give and then conferred the diplomas. Milam stated that the class of 2010 "had class". His sentences were short but directly to the point. "Do a little bit more", "Remember your roots", and "Y’all are tops", were his heartfelt comments to a class which has distinguished themselves in many ways.
After the singing of the high school alma mater, moving of tassels, and closing remarks by principal John Myers, the RHS 87th annual commencement came to a close, with exactly 87 senior graduates greeting family and friends.