2005-05-20 / People

Four Seniors To Be Graduated From Mackinac Island School May 27

Class of 2005: Jamie Andress, Blisse Beardsley, Emma Chambers, Richard Chaffee

Jamie Andress
Jamie Andress

By Leslie Rott

This year, Mackinac Island Public School will send four seniors out into the world. All of the seniors, with various summer plans, will attend college in the fall.

The class of 2005 has been together almost their entire lives, so as they leave Mackinac Island, they will be filled with wonderful memories from childhood through high school.

Commencement will take place in the gymnasium at Mackinac Island Public School Friday, May 27, at 7 p.m. Blisse Beardsley, this year’s valedictorian will give a speech and share with the community many of her fond memories of attending school on Mackinac Island. Father Jim Williams, pastor at Ste. Anne’s Church, will be the commencement speaker and Superintendent Jack Dehring will join School Board President Ben Mosely in awarding diplomas.

Blisse Beardsley
Blisse Beardsley Teacher Karen Allen and the yearbook students will present a video to commemorate this year’s senior class.

Immediately following the ceremony, the parents of the graduates will hold a party in honor of their children in the all-purpose room at the school.

Graduates will be Blisse Beardsley, Emma Chambers, Jamie Andress, and Richard Chaffee.

Richard Chaffee
Richard Chaffee Blisse Beardsley

Blisse Beardsley, the class valedictorian, has lived on Mackinac Island with her parents and younger brother her entire life. She said she has enjoyed going to school here because she likes how everyone knows everything about everyone else. She describes her relationship with other students in school as “like a big family.”

While attending school on the Island, Blisse was a member of the volleyball, soccer, and track teams and participated in Travel Club and Close-up.

Emma Chambers
Emma Chambers She said she loved growing up here, but looks forward to college in a bigger city, where she will enjoy being a face in the crowd, rather than known by all. She will have that opportunity this fall, when she attends the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she hopes to study science.

This summer, she will work at JoAnn’s Fudge, where she has worked for the past five years. Someday, Blisse hopes to own her own house on the Island.

Emma Chambers

Emma Chambers has lived on the Island and attended school here her whole life. She has five siblings, ranging in age from 11 months to 18 years. While attending Mackinac Island Public School, Emma participated in coed soccer, volleyball and track and was co-captain of the soccer and volleyball teams.

She has enjoyed the smallness of the school here and the close friendships everyone shares.

This summer, she will work at Windermere Doghouse and at the Chippewa Hotel.

Emma will attend Ferris State University, in Big Rapids, in the fall, where she plans to study nursing. She wants to live and work on the Island after college and would like to have between six and 12 children.

“I’m going to miss the Island,” she said, but “I’m really excited to go, also.”

Donald “Jamie” Andress

Jamie Andress has attended school on the Island since preschool. He has enjoyed it because he said the teachers give each student a lot of attention.

“Whenever you have a question, you can always get an answer,” he said.

He looks forward to being on his own when he goes away to college. He enjoys summers on the Island, but says there is not very much to do during other times of the year. Nevertheless, he still wants to visit the Island after college.

This summer, he will work at Mackinac Island Bike Shop and will attend Michigan Technical Education Center in Gaylord in the fall, where he will study electrical technology.

He hopes to become an electrician.

Richard Chaffee

Richard Chaffee has attended Mackinac Island Public School since he was in kindergarten. He and his family commuted to Haslett during the winters, until he was in second grade. Once they spent a winter here, he said, they liked it so much they could not leave. Since third grade, he has lived on the Island year-around.

He said he has enjoyed going to school on the Island because the teachers give a lot of attention to students and that he has been able to be friends with everyone.

He has been a member of the soccer, basketball, and track teams.

Richard describes the senior class as very close and says that they are like cousins. He hopes never to miss a summer on the Island, describing them as “too much fun” and says that he plans to work on the Island during the summers throughout his college career.

He does not have any concrete plans for the summer, although he has applied for several Island jobs.

In the fall, he will attend Central Michigan University, in Mount Pleasant, where he plans to study business.

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