2008-05-31 / Top News

Six Earn Diplomas From Mackinac Island Public School

By Caitlyn Kienitz

Six students were graduated Friday, May 23, as the Mackinac Island Public School Class of 2008. Pictured are (back, from left) Caleb Straight, Kyle Sweet, Riley Chaffee, Woody Beardsley; (front) Sara Cowell and Karlena Mosley. Six students were graduated Friday, May 23, as the Mackinac Island Public School Class of 2008. Pictured are (back, from left) Caleb Straight, Kyle Sweet, Riley Chaffee, Woody Beardsley; (front) Sara Cowell and Karlena Mosley. The familiar strains of "Pomp and Circumstance" accompanied the six members of Mackinac Island's 2008 graduating class as they passed under ferns held by friends and family members into the school gymnasium for commencement Friday, May 23.

The members of the class of 2008 include Woodward Beardsley, Riley Chaffee, Sara Cowell, Karlena Mosley, Caleb Straight, and Kyle Sweet.

A message of gratitude to parents and families characterized the event from the start. The seniors were greeted with flowers at their seats, which Superintendent Roger Schrock asked them to present to people who had been important to them throughout their lives. The flowers were presented with hugs and tears before the seniors returned to their seats for the ceremony.

The seniors also were given an opportunity to thank their parents through videotaped messages that were part of the senior class video.

Following the ceremony, graduates greet family, friends, and members of the community outside the gymnasium. Following the ceremony, graduates greet family, friends, and members of the community outside the gymnasium. The video, put together by teacher Karen Allen and fifth grade student Jeremy Hepker, included video clips of the senior class trip to Puerto Rico, as well as clips of the students when they were younger.

Mr. Sweet addressed his classmates as valedictorian, joking that it should be no surprise that he'd finished his speech that same day. Procrastination, he said, wouldn't be an excuse once they were out on their own.

He encouraged his fellow seniors to do what makes them happiest.

"Go out and live your own lives," he said. "Make your own choices."

Mr. Sweet also took time during his speech to thank his mother, Laura Eiseler, for all the things she had done for him as he grew up.

The Reverend Vincent Carroll of The Little Stone Church, who was the guest speaker for the ceremony, continued the message of thankfulness, telling the seniors that gratitude and graciousness would carry them far.

"You have the gift of being able to say I love you and thank you," he told the seniors.

Rev. Carroll tied his speech in with parts of the senior video by making a connection with zip-lining, an adventurous activity that propels a person on a pully along a cable, enjoyed by the seniors on their trip to Puerto Rico.

"Zip-lines are a new way to see the world, a new perspective," said Dr. Carroll. "You've zip-lined your way electronically through a new world."

Diplomas were presented to the students by Dr. Schrock and school board president Ben Mosley, whose daughter, Karlena, was one of this year's seniors. Dr. Schrock took a moment before presenting each diploma to highlight each student's accomplishments and future plans.

School-awarded scholarships were also announced during the graduation ceremony. Mr. Beardsley, Miss Mosley, and Mr. Sweet all received the John E. Franks scholarship, as well as the Stella King and Boys of Mackinac scholarships. Mr. Straight also received the Stella King and Boys of Mackinac awards.

After the ceremony, Dr. Schrock spoke highly of the senior class, both as a group and as individuals.

"It's a bittersweet time," said Dr. Schrock. "I'm going to miss them greatly, but I know they'll go on to do great things in their lives."

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2008-05-31 digital edition