School cancelation surreal, says Conneaut valedictorian

Isabella Cleveland is this year's CHS valedictorian. Cleveland was a member of the National Honor Society, along with Youth Leadership and Youth Philanthropy. She will be attending the Ohio State University.

CONNEAUT — At first, Conneaut High School Valedictorian Isabella Cleveland initially thought the school closure due to COVID-19 was going to be an extended spring break. 

“At first, it was kind of surreal,” Cleveland said.

Then, it became clear that students would not be returning to school. The realization was sad for Cleveland.

“At Conneaut, it’s such a small school, there’s 100 kids in a class,” Cleveland said. “So there were so many people I knew that I was, like, never going to see again.”

Teachers spoke to students almost daily, Cleveland said.

“They would help all that they could, and it was nice to have that kind of support from the school,” she said.

The days of remote schoolwork blended together for Cleveland, she said.

Cleveland said she took being able to go to school every day for granted.

“I hated waking up in the morning and going to school every day,” Cleveland said. “And then when it was taken away, I was like, man. Every morning at 7 I would be up and ready to go and I would realize that I did not have to drive to school, and so honestly, I took it for granted.”

Cleveland graduated with a 4.0 GPA, she said. She was also class president all four years of high school, played soccer, was a member of Youth Philanthropy and Youth Leadership. Cleveland was a member of the National Honor Society, and served as president for her senior year.

Cleveland will be attending the Ohio State University, and plans to double major in Middle Eastern Studies and Human Relations, she said.

Cleveland shared her feelings on the Class of 2020.

“I would just like to tell everyone, this is corny, but thank you for the memories, and thank you for being like a family for the last 12 years,” Cleveland said.

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