Bear Lake Schools to graduate 25 on Friday

BEAR LAKE — “We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.”

That quote from an unknown source is the class motto selected by the 25 members of the Bear Lake Schools Class of



2018, which will be graduating at 7 p.m. on Friday at the school in the lower gymnasium. It will be the 111th annual commencement exercises held at the Bear Lake Schools.

This year the class valedictorian is Elizabeth Belinsky, who recorded a perfect 4.0 grade point average. She is the daughter of Michael and Denise Belinsky.

During her time at Bear Lake Schools she was very active in sports, taking part in cross country, basketball, track and soccer. She also was a member of the National Honor Society, band, honors band and pep band.

Belinsky also took part in the Leadership Summit, Legacy Program, Relay for Life, Manistee Area Polar Plunge and was a dual enrollment student taking college classes.

After graduation she plans on attending Concordia College in Wisconsin.

“I plan to study exercise science or athletic training and plan to participate in the cross country, and track and field teams,” said Belinsky.



The class salutatorian this year for Bear Lake Schools is Yuki Babinec. She compiled a 3.95 grade point average and is the daughter of Greg and Etsuko Babinec.

Throughout her years at Bear Lake Schools, Babinec was active in many things like Manistee County Community Foundation Youth Advisory Council, National Honor Society, Leadership Summit, Legacy Program and Speed E Camp. She also served as a class officer and took dual enrollment college courses.

Athletics also played a key role for her; she participated in basketball, cross country, golf, and track and field. Other activities included band, solo and ensemble, pep band and honors band.

“After graduation I will be attending Michigan State University to study kinesiology,” said Babinec. “After graduation I plan to become an osteopathic doctor.”

Other Bear Lake students who will be graduating with honors are Emily Belinsky, Paeslee Cockerill, Kaiden Hejl, Travis Johnson, Gary McBride, Dane Mertes and Noah Sutton.

Two graduates will also be asked to take part in an annual tradition at Bear Lake Schools with the Senior Drum. This tradition has been going on for decades, and one student will hold the drum while the other will strike it once for each of the graduates.

Class members selected the song “Glorious” by Macklemore as the class song. They picked the red tipped carnation as their flower and the class colors are black and silver.



Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at

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