Poca High School completes 100th year

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — To cap off its centennial year, Poca High School graduated its class of 2023 in downtown Charleston.

This years group of seniors mark 100 years for the high school. They received their diplomas from inside the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center Tuesday evening.

It was indeed a special year, and principal David Harper said it was also a more normal year for the first time in a while.

“I would say this was the most normal year we’ve had in the last three years,” Harper said Tuesday inside the Coliseum.

Just like any school over the last three years, many students experienced strange and much different scenarios compared to classes that graduated before 2020. This was a class that finally got to experience normalcy in the classroom.

“They have seen a lot of change,” Harper said about the 2023 class. “A lot of things got interrupted with this group.”

But, they made it, and graduated in front of a supportive audience of family and friends Tuesday.

Two good friends Jessalyn Riddle and Nadea Potter said they went through high school with great help from the teachers and staff.

“They really did care about us,” said Riddle. “A lot of the staff are really good.”

The level of care shows too. Riddle and Potter both said they achieved GPAs this year above a 3.8.

Principal Harper also spoke very highly to the work of his staff at Poca.

“I couldn’t do it without the staff, we’ve got an excellent group of teachers that really care about our kids,” he said.

Riddle has decided to join the Army as a combat medic, while Potter will travel up north to WVU and study animal nutritional science. They both agreed their class was more on the crazy side, but everyone knew everyone and they all stayed close.

“We’re pretty small, but just about everyone knows everyone, and everyone is different in their own way,” Potter said.