2009-05-30 / Top News

10 Earn Diplomas in Mackinac Island Public School Class of 2009

By Kerri Molitor

Mackinac Island Public School graduated 10 students in the school gymnasium Friday, May 22. The senior class of 2009 is (back row, from left) Levi Porter, Robert Chambers, Michael Gamble, Fuller Cowell, Darcy Brodeur-Bunker, Tyler McLean; (front row) Shay Mosley, Michi Mullings, Arial Leeper, and Danielle Wightman. Next year, the students will attend colleges across the state pursuing a wide variety of degrees, including radiology, history, and interior design. (Photograph by Marie Bunker) Mackinac Island Public School graduated 10 students in the school gymnasium Friday, May 22. The senior class of 2009 is (back row, from left) Levi Porter, Robert Chambers, Michael Gamble, Fuller Cowell, Darcy Brodeur-Bunker, Tyler McLean; (front row) Shay Mosley, Michi Mullings, Arial Leeper, and Danielle Wightman. Next year, the students will attend colleges across the state pursuing a wide variety of degrees, including radiology, history, and interior design. (Photograph by Marie Bunker) Mackinac Island's senior class was awarded diplomas as well as good memories and sound advice at the commencement ceremony Friday, May 22.

Earning diplomas this year are Levi Porter, Robert Chambers, Darcy Brodeur-Bunker, Fuller Cowell, Michael Gamble, Tyler McLean, Danielle Wightman, Michi Mullings, Arial Leeper, and Shay Mosley.

Commencement speaker Father Jim Williams emphasized the importance of school in a community, saying it has become the most important institution for bringing communities together.

"It is true that it takes a village to raise a child, but the reverse is also true," he said. "It takes a kid to make a village."

The senior class awaits the music signalling them to enter the gymnasium before commencement exercises Friday, May 22. There are 10 students in the Class of 2009. In the foreground are Robert Chambers (left) and Darcy Brodeur-Bunker. The senior class awaits the music signalling them to enter the gymnasium before commencement exercises Friday, May 22. There are 10 students in the Class of 2009. In the foreground are Robert Chambers (left) and Darcy Brodeur-Bunker. Fr. Williams compared the graduates' lives to a play by William Shakespeare, "The Tempest." The story is about a man and his daughter marooned on an island for 12 years. At the end of the story, when new people arrive, the man looks around and is amazed by the new and wonderful people he sees.

Shakespeare wrote the story when he noticed the new changes in the world around him. Fr. Williams said the world was changing as he was graduated from high school, and the world is now undergoing even bigger changes.

To further demonstrate the changing world, he referred to an Internet video, "Did You Know?" which demonstrates the complexity of the world today and how it is growing exponentially.

"All this means is we're living in exponential times," he said. "Times are a-changing. That's the world you're going into."

He cautioned the students not to be afraid of the coming changes with a reference to the sad ending of "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley. In the book, the main character ended his life because he was convinced the changes he saw around him would come to bad things. Fr. Williams told the students that their generation would decide how the future will be.

"The point is, it's up to all of us to make the happy ending," he said. "It's either going to go well, or it's going to go bad. It's up to you to determine how it's going to go."

Fr. Williams summed up his speech with words of advice for the graduates.

"Things are changing and I already told you don't be afraid of those changes," he said. "Enjoy all these brand new things. But remember and cherish the beauteous things and the goodly people here that formed you."

In his valedictory address, Fuller Cowell said his classmates weren't just friends, they were family. He also mentioned the special people in his life and his heroes, including his parents and grandfather.

"Everyone on the Island is my family," Mr. Cowell said. "Family has been the single biggest influence on my life."

A video of the senior class, created by Shay Mosley, was projected on the wall of the gymnasium. Grins appeared on the graduates' faces as each new picture was displayed and the crowd joined in with laughter and murmurs.

Student speaker Robert Chambers thanked school secretary Barb Fisher for everything she has done for the senior class. Mr. Chambers said Mrs. Fisher is more than a secretary, she is a mother to the students at Mackinac Island Public School. The class presented her with a gift and Mr. Chambers personally added a 72-pack of pencils, replacements, he said, "for all of the pencils I have stolen from her."

The ceremony began with the traditional graduation walk down an aisle of fern leaves held up by fellow students and with a prayer from Fr. Williams. The students each carried a red rose, which Superintendent Roger Schrock instructed them to give to someone special in their lives. The students presented their flowers with hugs.

Diplomas were awarded by Dr. Schrock and school board president Ben Mosley. After the ceremony, the graduates formed a line in the hall, where they received hugs and handshakes of congratulations from family and friends.

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