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Congrats to the VCHS Class of 2023


A large crowd filled the Vandalia Community High School gym on Saturday night to celebrate the graduating class of 2023.

Christian DuPlayee, graduating with the highest GPA, said during his commencement speech, discussed the transition from high school to adulthood and the hurdles that might lie ahead.

“Just remember though in the face of uncertainty and adversity, you have the power to make a change,” DuPlayee said. “Do not underestimate the impact of your actions, no matter how small they may seem. The ripple effect of a single act of kindness, a heartfelt conversation or an innovative idea can create a cascade of positive transformation.”

DuPlayee also encouraged his fellow graduating seniors to forge on into their futures and pursue their passions to their fullest extent.

“Class of 2023, I pray we will become the leaders, innovators and change makers of tomorrow,” he said. “There is no doubt in my mind that we will make our mark, leaving it a better place than when we found it.”


Check out our gallery from the ceremony below.

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In addition to academic achievements, there were several scholarships announced at the ceremony, including:

Vandalia Alumni and Friends Foundation Scholarship, which was awarded in the 8th grade. The winners were Holly Lidy and Johanna Shields.

Vandalia Alumni and Friends Alumni Scholarship: Matthew Hagy.

Vandalia Alumni and Friends, Class of 1987 Scholarship: Alexandra Goldsberry

Dr. Douglas R. Rames Character Award Scholarship: Zoe Satterthwaite

Old Capitol Foundation Larrey Gale: Christian DuPlayee

Charles Evans Scholarship: Christian DuPlayee

Old Capitol Foundation Scholarship for Fayette Co. residents: Morgan Dagen, Anna Forbes, Matthew Hagy, Emma Hamilton, Megan Lupton, Eric McKinney and Chase McNary.

Taylor Wollerman Memorial Scholarship: Anna Forbes

Golda Schulman Memorial Scholarship: Avery Isringhausen presenting, Peyton Brehm

Vandalia Unit Teacher Association (VUTA) Scholarship: Zoe Satterthwaite

Joy in the Journey Scholarship, in memory of Jenna Protz, $1,000: Matthew Hagy, Aubrey Hebenstreit, Lauren Kaiser, Zoe Satterthwaite and Reid Well

Jennifer Rogers Knebel Memorial Scholarship: Shelby Bowles

Holly Lidy Memorial Scholarship: Madison Berry, Shelby Bowles, Faith Budny-Clymer, Morgan Dagen, Gracie Davis, Christian DuPlayee, Lane Evans, Anna Forbes, Alexandra Goldsberry, Matthew Hagy, Emma Hamilton, Aubrey Hebenstreit, Lauren Kaiser, Emma Kershaw, Delaney Kopp, Megan Lupton, Eric McKinney, Chase McNary, Owen Miller, Jillian Mouser, Gracie Philpot, Anna Osborne, Areianna Rush, Zoe Satterthwaite, Johanna Shields, Reid Well, Ellika Whiteman, Josie Womack and Madison Jackson

The commencement also included special honors for  Holly LIdy and Jenna Protz, who were killed in an accident in November 2019. In addition to their chairs set up with the graduating class, each graduate wore a button honoring their classmates.