CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Winfield High School Senior Class of 2024 say they are ready to take the next big step into their futures.

A little over 200 graduates from the Putnam County high school walked across the stage to receive their diplomas Tuesday night.

It was Winfield High’s 97th annual commencement ceremony, and one of the several that have already been held at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center so far this May.

Winfield High School seniors line up to graduate

Two graduating seniors Wyatt Kinder and Drew Dillard were waiting with much anticipation to walk across the stage Tuesday.

Kinder said he was more than ready.

“So excited to finish high school, I mean its been 13 years of my life and it’s going to be sad because I’ve been in school with all of these kids, I’ll miss them but I’m excited to move on,” Kinder said.

Dillard agreed that he’s looking back fondly but also excited to move forward.

“It’s good to finally be done, I mean it is sad because we’re not going to see a lot of these people anymore but it’s cool to just move on to a new stage of life and stuff,” said Dillard.

Dillard and Kinder told 580 WCHS that they met in about fourth grade and have been best friends ever since.

They now plan to go to Marshall University and room together for their freshman year. Dillard said he wants to pursue pharmacy and Kinder physical therapy.

Two other graduates Tuesday, Madi Arthur and Kendall Atkins were also ready to graduate and move forward into their futures ahead. They too are planning to attend Marshall this fall.

Atkins said she is going to study psychology and minor in pre-professional healthcare studies in hopes to one day become a psychiatrist.

Arthur said she plans to go into nursing. She said she’s had a lot of people inspiring her to pursue that along the way.

“I took a lot of classes that really pushed me to the career, and I had a lot of role models like my aunt and a lot of friends around me to push me to do that,” Arthur said.

However, Atkins said she can’t help but look back a little on graduation day and remember everything she’ll miss about her high school years.

“I’m definitely going to miss the fun of TOC which is Tournament of Classes that we do at Winfield, Homecoming Week, and all of the things we do that are like just limited to high school that we won’t get again,” said Atkins.

And Dillard said that Winfield High School was a great school that prepared him to make the giant step into his future with confidence and ease.

“I think Winfield has awesome teachers, they’re hard but they teach you what you need to know and they know how to have fun and stuff, so Winfield was an awesome school,” Dillard said.

Poca High School also in Putnam County will be next up for graduation. That gets underway at the coliseum Wednesday, May 29 at 7 p.m.

Then, Buffalo High School will hold its graduation ceremony Friday, May 31, and Hurricane High next week on Tuesday June 4.

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