-- — Before the start of the 104th Batesville High School commencement exercises Saturday, June 7, teachers were having last conversations with their students. Band director Eric Stauffer was in the middle of the gym, surrounded by senior musicians, who had presented him with a handcrafted podium. "I've seen them grow up," he said with wonder.
Retiring science teacher Charlie Zimmerman went from classroom to classroom, where the young men and women were adjusting caps and awaiting the milestone. He belted out the same message, over and over as he progressed down the hallway: "Congratulations, everyone. I love you guys!"
Welcoming the capacity crowd, first-year principal Andy Allen noted, "Today is the day to celebrate each of the 169 young men and women who represent the Class of 2014 and have reached the pinnacle of secondary education." He pointed out these seniors and the Class of 1964, back for their 50th reunion and in attendance at graduation, “have made a tremendous impact on the direction and vision of Batesville High School."
He asked the teens to think of a time someone influenced them positively. He challenged them, "Did you tell that someone? ... Make it personal, go beyond the 140-character limit (of Twitter). Let them know part of your development was due to their impact."
Superintendent Dr. Jim Roberts deemed the class "fantastic .... I am proud of you as you have represented us well. I know you will have great success as you turn the page and begin this next exciting chapter in your own book of life."
Jim Waechter, representing the Class of 1964, reported, "We became farmers and factory workers, mothers and fathers" and many other professions. He was a lieutenant colonel, extension agent and museum curator; the late Anthony Moll was crew chief on Air Force One for two presidents; and the late Dave Hirt led Batesville Casket Co.