Brethren Bobcats celebrate 2019 annual commencement

Brethren High School seniors stand before the Board of Education during graduation night. (Ashlyn Korienek/News Advocate)

BRETHREN — Thirty three Bobcats walked across the Brethren High School stage on Friday, marking the Class of 2019’s official graduation.

It was a celebration for students, parents, faculty and community members, as everyone looked back over years of memories.

This year’s class motto is, “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory,” by Dr. Seuss. The class flower was a blue hydrangea and the class song was a popular hit, “You’re gonna miss this” by Trace Adkins.

Superintendent Marlen Cordes congratulated the graduating class on their accomplishments.

“When I walk down the hall and I see these kids, they set the tone for tolerance, they set the tone for respect and they set the tone for appreciation,” Cordes said. “For that, we thank you parents and guardians for sending us some great young men and women.”

Welcoming his classmates, salutatorian Noah Kemler inspired his peers to make their wildest dreams come true.

“The only limits are the ones that we set for ourselves,” Kemler said. “I would like to leave you all with a Walt Disney quote, ‘First, think. Second, dream. Third, believe. And finally, dare’.”

Valedictorians Hunter Wojciechowski, Kylah Fischer and Charlee Schaefer gave a joint speech.

Wojciechowski started by greeting the crowd, “On behalf of the Class of 2019, I would also like to thank those who have helped us reach this point.”

Looking back at the good times, Wojciechowski remembered the friendships that were created.

“Through it all, we continued to grow closer and closer together, creating strong bonds that would carry on into high school,” he said.

Fischer continued the speech by sharing fond memories made throughout high school.

“People will tell you all the time that high school is the fastest four years of your life,” Fischer said. “I never realized how right they were until now. The last four years of our lives have been a whirlwind of nicknames, inside jokes and many great memories.”

In closing, Schaefer made a heartfelt comment that Brethren High School was more than just a place to learn.

“Brethren High School has become a second home for many of us,” she said. “Between school, sports and various organizations and clubs, a majority of our class has spent more hours here than at their actual homes.”

A farewell speech was also made by Jalen Guenther, senior vice president, who reminded his peers to cherish their memories throughout life.

“The memories we’ve made together are something to forever hold on to,” Guenther said. “These moments and memories we have created are nothing to just forget and throw away. Take these memories and hold on to them.”

Class advisers Jonathan Randall and James Wojciechowski also said parting words to the senior class. The presentation of the class and diplomas then followed, after the Brethren High School band played the traditional “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”


Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or

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