Liberty Union-Thurston Alumni
Liberty Union High School Alumni Association
P.O. Box 55

 Baltimore, Ohio 43105
Liberty Union High School Alumni Association

Class of 2011


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Class of 2011

BALTIMORE -- At the beginning of the school year, Tiffany Lawless made a promise that if she became senior valedictorian, she'd place cookies and other goodies under the seats of her fellow classmates' chairs at graduation.

While she fulfilled that promise Sunday, cookies weren't the only gifts the Liberty Union High School senior ended up bestowing on the members of her graduating class -- she also gave them some parting words of wisdom.

"Live for yourself --I don't mean to become selfish and stop caring for others," Lawless said. "I simply mean to make your own decisions; up until this point in our lives, many of our decisions have been made for us, whether that be by our teachers, coaches or good old Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe."

"But now the time to start thinking for ourselves begins."

Lawless was one of nine valedictorians to come out of Liberty Union High School's 2011 senior class and one of two to give a speech during Sunday's commencement.

Valedictorian Helen Cothrel encouraged her classmates to use their experiences from the past four years to move forward in life while Salutatorian Tricia Steffen thanked family members and friends for their encouragement throughout the years.

"Our class has suffered great losses and celebrated great victories ... we have set records and have endured defeat ... while others have been waiting for life to begin, we've been living it," Cothrel said. "Having finished our first journey, we begin the next without hesitation; with knowledge in our minds and kindness in our hearts, we will go far."

Liberty Union was the last high school in Fairfield County to celebrate commencement this year. Students started the 2010-11 school year later then usual as a result of workers completing renovations at the high school.

Liberty Union High School Principal Ed Miller said the class earned $227,000 in scholarships for just their freshman year and an excess of $770,000 for all four years of college.

"I would like to thank the senior class -- it's been a pleasure to be associated with's been very memorable," he said. "This is an excellent group of young adults."

Liberty-Union Thurston Superintendent Paul Mathews agreed.

"This class has really earned an amazing amount of scholarships and truly remarkable achievements, not only academically, but in the very wide range of activities we represent," he said. "But they're also very caring -- they care about each other, they support each fact, they've really demonstrated that they have a foundation of character and that's ultimately made them as successful as they have been."