OHS bids farewell to Class of 2024

Owensboro High School said goodbye to the Class of 2024 with its commencement Friday night at the Owensboro Sportscenter.

The class of 267 students excelled in the classroom, earning more than $10.6 million in scholarships, with graduates headed to Harvard and Johns Hopkins, along with many other higher learning institutions.

“I think this class definitely demonstrates resilience,” Principal Jennifer Luttrell said. “They spent their freshman year with Google Meets, most of their sophomore year behind masks here at school, and they came out strong, and finished this year with that great Red Devil spirit that we wanted to see, with them very involved. They excelled and thrived, and we know they’re going to do great things.”

Jakson Lindsey was surprised by being named the class’ honor graduate, recognizing his commitment to the school in the classroom and through extra-curricular activities, including football.

“Just the family culture,” said Lindsey of what made his time at OHS special. “The way people treat each other. I just feel like it’s not like any other school district. I just feel like we’re so intertwined and connected with each other, it’s just like a relationship we all have with each other, and I feel like it’s unmatched compared to other school districts.”

Lindsey will attend Southern Illinois University. He will play football and plans to study history education to be a teacher.

“I’ve had it on my mind for a long time, and I decided that’s something I really want to do,” said Lindsey, who is anxious for the next challenge. “(Graduating) is bittersweet, but I’m excited for the next chapter. I really enjoyed high school, but I’m ready to move on and get started with the next part of my life. So I’m really excited.”

Lizy Phillips echoed Lindsey’s “bittersweet” assessment of the night. She also can’t believe her high school days are over.

“It flew by; people say it flies by, and we really don’t think it until we’re in the moment, but now that we’re here, it’s ‘Whoa, I’m about to graduate,’ ” she said. “It’s kind of crazy, because we didn’t think we were going to get a senior year just because of COVID; we thought COVID was going to last forever. But we got to come back our sophomore year, and it’s our first graduation in a while, since we didn’t get an eighth grade graduation.”

Phillips credited OHS’ ”teachers and diversity” with being a big help. She’ll be attending the University of Kentucky in the fall, studying occupational therapy.

“I took a lot of health classes in high school, and we went on a trip to a therapist (facility),” said Phillips of what helped her decide on a major. “I always wanted to be in the health field, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do until I went there and toured around and realized that’s kind of what I want to do. I had thought sports medicine, but occupational therapy goes with every day (people) instead of athletes.”

Elyas Karimi began attending OHS when he arrived in Owensboro in 2021 as a refugee from Afghanistan. He said his experience at the school couldn’t have been better.

“Owensboro High School is a great school,” he said. “I improved a lot in this school, and I love the people in the school — the students, teachers, principals, everyone is good.”

Karimi will attend Brescia University in the fall. He plans to study business.

“I want to own my own business,” he said.