Brethren and Bear Lake hold commencement Friday

MANISTEE COUNTY — Seniors from Brethren and Bear Lake high schools will both be receiving diplomas on Friday evening during commencement exercises at their respective schools.

Wojciechowski

Thirty-three members of the class of 2019 at Brethren will start their graduation activities at 6 p.m. in the high school gymnasium. Superintendent Marlen Cordes, who also is the dual superintendent at Bear Lake Schools, will do his first greeting to those in attendance to open the ceremony.

This year valedictorian honors are shared by Hunter Wojciechowski, Kylah Fischer and Charlee Schaefer, who all had perfect 4.0 grade point averages.

Wojciechowski is the son of James and Jennifer Wojciechowski, of Harietta. Besides excelling in the classroom he was also active on the athletic fields where he participated in football, basketball and baseball.

Fischer

During his time at Brethren High School, he was also active in National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society and Quiz Bowl.

Fischer is the daughter of Steve and Kelly Fischer, of Wellston. During her time at Brethren High School she has taken part in a variety of activities.

She has been vice president of both the National Honor Society and the National Art Honor Society. Fischer also was president of

Schaefer

student council, captain of the basketball team and a member Quiz Bowl, basketball and soccer teams.

The third valedictorian is Charlee Schaefer who is the daughter of Jack and Cheryl Schaefer of Brethren.

Schaefer was active in many areas at school as she was National Honor Society president, National Art Honor Society secretary/treasurer, Quiz Bowl captain, senior class president and member of the college ambassadors. She also played on the volleyball and basketball teams.

The salutatorian is Noah Kemler, who is the son of Jason and Jenny Kemler. He is graduating with a 3.87 grade point average.

Kemler

Kemler is a member of National Honor Society and was on the Prom Committee. He earned varsity letters in football, track and field, basketball, and cross-country. He has earned a $45,000 STEM FEE Scholarship to study Wildlife Biology at Michigan State University.

Other students graduating with a 3.5 grade point or higher are Heather Stewart, Cheyenne Schulte, Whitney Danks, Megan Macurio, Jacob Riggs, Brooklyn Cook and Heidi Lewis. Students graduating with a 3.0 grade point or higher are Robert Guenther, Gavin Asiala, Adrian Dean, Danielle Buzzo and Logan Tighe.

Many graduation traditions will also be in place, such as the popular senior slideshow and  the playing of the Battle Hymn of the Republic by the band.

Bear Lake Schools will presenting diplomas to 35 students beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at the school’s lower level gymnasium.

Cross

The processional of graduates will be led into the gymnasium by a color guard troup of Boy Scouts from Troop No. 106.

After receiving a welcome form principal Sarah Harless she will name the two students who will be striking the senior drum once for every graduating senior. The tradition began decades ago and remains a popular tradition.

This year the salutatorian address will be given by Olivia Hejl, who is the daughter of Julie Johnson and Greg Hejl. She recorded a 3.98 grade point average this year.

Hejl

Hejl was very active in sports as she was named academic all conference in volleyball, basketball soccer and golf. She also was active in a variety of community events volunteering at the Polar Plunge, Bear Lake Days Lions Club breakfast, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore cleanup and in special education classrooms.

Abigail Cross will give the valedictorian address this year. She is the daughter of William “Chip” and Amy Cross, of Bear Lake.

Cross has been active in volleyball, basketball, softball, National Honor Society, Student Council, Robotics, Michigan Blood Drives, dual enrollment, Sports eadership Summit, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore cleanup and Bear Lake community clean up.

Other students graduating with honors are Jonathan Adams, Zachary Belinsky, Alyssa Eisenlohr, John Evans, Kyle Fink, Trey Gilbert, Kevin Groll, Jonah Hengy, Curtis Kennedy, Luca Leffew, Hayley May, Reagan May, Cadence Miller, Gabrielle Pargeon, Eva Raspotnik, Julie Schmidt and Kennady Smith.

Serving as commencement speaker this year will be science teacher John Prokes.

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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 kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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