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‘End of an era’

Published: Sat, June 2, 2012 @ 12:01 a.m.




Jayme Easton plans to be a lawyer. Emmett Conner intends to be a doctor, and Everett Jackson hopes to one day open a wildcat sanctuary.

They are among the 72 graduates in the Chaney Campus Class of 2012 who received their high-school diplomas Friday during commence-ment at the school.

Jackson plans to study pre-veterinary medicine this fall at Malone University in Canton. He was in the biotechnology program at Choffin Career and Technical Center.

“I just feel like I’ve achieved so much,” he said.

Conner will study pre-med at Youngstown State University in the fall.

“I’m just excited and really happy,” Conner said. “I’m ready for the next chapter in my life.”

Easton will major in business and pre-law next year at YSU and says she, too, is excited about the future.

The class’s motto is “The end of an era, the beginning of a legacy.”

“We’re the last class to be at the school from our freshman to senior year,” Easton explained.

Chaney became a Science, Technology, Engineering and mathematics and Visual and Performing Arts school this year, but students who were seniors this year had the option of finishing their high school careers at the school.

Lauren Kowal, class valedictorian, believes the Class of 2012 is a special class.

“They saved the best for last,” she said. “This class is filled with so much potential.”

Janae Ward, class president, said that while the class has accomplished a lot, they “have much more to achieve.”

Michael Ray, a 1995 Chaney graduate and the Fourth Ward city councilman, expressed similar sentiments as he delivered the commencement address.

“You control your destiny,” he said, urging students to be active either on their college campus or in their community.


Number of graduates: 72

Valedictorian: Lauren N. Kowal

Salutatorian: Brandon G. Egolf

Class officers: Janae Ward, president; Beverly Hecka-thorn, vice president; Chelsea Gregory, secretary; and

Tianna Shannon, treasurer.

Class motto: “The end of an era, the beginning of a legacy.”


1jimmyd123(196 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Looks to me like a gang sign not high five in the picture....

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2suefull(22 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

The school board/politics of Youngstown achieved what they wanted. Ruin the West Side and their schools. I lived on the same street for 50 yrs. I graduated from Chaney as did my husband and my son. My daughter did not. Youngstown forced us and many other good people away. My father had a business. I now live out of town. It saddens me to see what has happened all over Y-town. A great city ruined. Am I angry? Yes! How many times have you heard this question? Why are people moving out of Y-town. I say to politicians along with the school boards of the last 30 yrs. LOOK IN THE MIRROR!

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3gdog4766(1491 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Idiots, that's exactly what he's doing, he throwing signs. My goodness, how thick can these editors be to not see that. Years ago, at a cheerleaders gathering at YSU that my daughter attended the same thing happened. A (dance group) from youngstown put on a demonstration. Right in the middle of one dance parents began to complain because this teen girl began to throw gang signs. Don't give these heathens any publicity.

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4Lifes2Short(3875 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Of all the pictures they could have shown of the graduation, they show some fool giving a gang sign. smh

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5Knightcap(698 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Sue, you are right. Politics and the BOE killed the westside. This was a strong structured part of Mahoning county at one time. To tell people you were a westsider or went to Chaney meant something. From academics to sports to neighborhoods to playgrounds, nothing but the best. Fond memories. I swear you knew everyone on the westside back in the day. Now you are afraid to know who's in the house next to yours.

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6allstar720(253 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

How in the hell does a class that big only manage to graduate 72 people? It's so damn easy to graduate from high school. All you have to do is attend, try a little, and don't cause disturbances. That's all it takes. How hard is that in 2012?

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7misslady(20 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Idiots!!!! instead of downing the poor kid at least he was one of the 72 kids that made it... People like you sickness me and have nothing better to do but sit on vindy.com talking crap... yes the picture may not look right in your eyes but this young black man still managed to get stay in school and get his diploma.

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8allstar720(253 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Kids will be kids and show out. Most of the comments are dissing the Vindicator for picking that photo.

On the other hand, I can't figure out what's so hard about graduating from high school. Go to school, don't act like an idiot and they give you a diploma. It's that easy. If you want to impress somebody, graduate from bootcamp or college. That's a challenge.

High school is so easy it's a joke and anyone who tells you different is lying.

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9misslady(20 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Allstar720 I agree with you high isnt easy at all and now with the ogt test it's even harder for the youth the test now is when this young one's go off to college @ redeye1 kids show off and do things for attention what's sad to me was the other have of the kids that didnt make as something as little as the ogt or dropping out..

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10marlowe16(1 comment)posted 2 years, 3 months ago


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11jimmyd123(196 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Class motto: “The end of an era, the beginning of a legacy.”. This kids legacy will end up in the court system I'm sure. Misslady; you need to think about this.. Putting up gang signs???? Ya that deserves a diploma.. Marlowe; Great for your sister. I'm sue she will do great in life. No one was putting her down or any of the others.

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12Not_Gilligans_Ginger(128 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm proud of all 72 Chaney graduates. It's not the same as when I graduated from there, but these students each achieved a high school diploma. Yes, yes, yes, the boy in the picture has his fingers contorted into a "sign," but I didn't see any true gang signs matching what he's doing. From what I saw online, that's a sign for "I'm OK." People have to stop getting so hyper and reacting prematurely to things! Geesh! I'm also an educator and in the past I was a substitue teacher, afterschool teacher, and summer school teacher for Youngstown City Schools. A lot of our city school kids don't have a great life. Instead of downing them, help lift them up! It's the Christian thing to do.

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13city_dweller(194 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Every other graduation story that has been published has been full of comments congratulating the graduates on their achievement, but the story about a Youngstown school is followed by comments already condemning these students before the ink is dry on their diploma. That kind of prejudice is indefensible, and if these kids come up against discrimination in their lives, it's because people like those on this board judge them based on where they went to school or the color of their skin instead of on their achievement and potential. And THAT"S what's wrong with this city and this country.

CONGRATULATIONS Chaney Class of 2012! You worked hard, and you earned your day on the front-page.

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14misslady(20 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Well said city_dweller and Not_ Gilligans_Ginger they must not have got passed the first page because the mahoning county school graduated with 38 kids I dont care how many is in a class to graduate or whats on the page of the cover there is another child that has completed school and is willing to move on to the next chapter of there lifes what ever that may be.. so yes congratulations chaney class of 2012 and all the 2012 students that worked hard to get to were their at!!!!

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15danikytn(248 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Uh, ya, thats not high 5, thats definitely a gang sign...Typical Youngstown hoodlum behavior.

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16jimmyd123(196 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Hey city.... Did you see any other kids doing gang signs in those pictures???? Didn't think so.

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17yasky(18 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Marlowe16.....Yes, congrats to the deserving graduates, but seriously....you can't deny, the thug in the picture is flashing gang signs.

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18jonnyquest(20 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Chaney is NOT a messed up school. True, the past few years were rough, but not this year. Chaney's 2012 senior class only had 78 seniors total. This year Chaney became a STEM/VPA school. For those of you on this board who don't know what that means, you can google it. Kids from 6th through 12th grade had to interview or audition to come to Chaney this year. The seniors were given the option of graduating from East, or Chaney. 78 seniors stayed. 6 seniors didn't pass all 5 parts of the OGT. That's a 92% graduation rate. I doubt that many on this board could pass all 5 parts of the OGT. I have a masters degree and I'd have trouble with Math and Science!

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19Education_Voter(858 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Thanks jonny. The Vindicator shouldn't have had the headline "End of an Era." The end of the era was last year when Chaney was closed as a high school.
That is the reason so many kids left. Check out the huge size of the East graduating class.
These are the kids who were allowed to stay on as students in the new school.
They are kind of in a "no man's land" not belonging to old Chaney, not really graduating with 4 years at new STEM.

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20allstar720(253 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Thing is, that's a huge building. What size is the freshman class this year? By the way, 92% is awesome. Personally, I just don't see the big deal because graduating is pretty easy for anyone who goes to school and tries.

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