Whether their plan is to enter the work force, attend trade school, join the military, or attend a college or university after graduation, seniors at John Hardin High School were applauded Tuesday morning during a Decision Day celebration.

Each student’s name was called, and their plans for the future were announced. When they were called forward, the students used markers to write their decision on a T-shirt that read, “JHHS De­ci­sion Day I’m going to ...” The students also wrote their name and decision on a heart and paw print cutout that they placed on a banner that said, “Wherever you go, go with all your heart. Class of 2021.”

Transition Coach Jennifer Cobb said “Decision Day” is a shift from National Decision Day, which is just for colleges and universities.

“We wanted to open it up for career, military and college,” she said. “This is the first time we’ve ever done that. ... We want to celebrate no matter where they are going.”

Senior Kailey Paskanik plans to attend Transylvania University, where she’ll major in molecular biology and potentially minor in Latin. Her goals currently include attending medical school and become a coroner.

Ever since sixth grade, Paskanik said career tests she took recommended the same two career choices for her: a coroner or a puppeteer. The coroner option interested her, so she started taking more science classes.

“Last year, I took AP biology and thought, this is my niche. This is what I’m good at,” Paskanik said.

Fellow senior Isaiah Butler decided to join the U.S. Air Force. He will leave June 22 for training. Butler said his father is in the U.S. Army and he looks up to him.

Butler said he liked Tuesday’s Decision Day and being able to show his 2021 classmates where he’s going with his life.

The guest speaker at the event was Ricardo Croft, a graduate of John Hardin High School and business manager at Swope Nissan in Elizabethtown. After sharing a few of his life experiences with the seniors, he encouraged them that “no matter what happens in this life, no matter what happens in these next few years, if you set plans, go after those plans.”

“But if something interrupts those plans, keep pushing. Find a way,” he said. “... The world is in your all’s hands and I firmly believe the world is in good hands with you all.”

Mary Alford can be reached at 270-505-1417 or malford@thenewsenterprise.com.

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