2011-05-21 / News

Soon-to-be Graduates Share Their School Experiences

By Lauren Gibbons

Morgan Brodeur-Bunker Morgan Brodeur-Bunker Six students from Mackinac Island Public School make up the commencement Class of 2011 and will be walking down the aisle to accept a diploma from school officials Friday, May 27, at 7 p.m.

Morgan Brodeur-Bunker

As a lifelong student here, Miss Brodeur-Bunker has had plenty of opportunity to experience the benefits of being in a small community school.

“You get so much attention here. People want to help you, and they like to help you. They care about your future, and they’re willing to spend the time with you after school and during school,” she said.

She said these and other aspects of the school district have been a helpful asset to her education throughout the years. She said one of her teachers, mathematics teacher Susan Bennett, was particularly inspiring to her.

“She deals with so many kids, she’s been an influence, definitely,” Miss Brodeur- Bunker said. “She works really hard, and she cares about what she does, so I hope to be like that.”

Marie Bunker Marie Bunker Miss Brodeur-Bunker plans to attend Central Michigan University to study food service administration and nutrition, a continuation of a love for cooking she’s had throughout her life. She said she enjoys cooking almost anything, but Mexican food might be her favorite.

Meeting new people outside of the island community would be a beneficial aspect of going to a larger school for higher education, Miss Brodeur-Bunker said.

“They know me — probably more than I want them to — and I know them. You’re just starting over fresh in college, where nobody knows you and you can just meet new people,” she said.

Miss Brodeur-Bunker said her parents, Leanne Brodeur and Mark Bunker, and her brother, Darcy, have been influential in her high school success.

Maggie Chambers Maggie Chambers “I really looked up to [my brother] for doing so well in school, and my mom and dad really care. They want me to have more than they did, so they have encouraged me and helped me along,” she said. “I definitely would not be doing as well without them in my life.”

Playing sports also was a big part of Miss Brodeur-Bunker’s high school experience. She played basketball, volleyball, track, and soccer, and also participated in horseback riding. She said she would miss participating in these activities regularly when she went to college, as well as high school activities such as sporting event sleepovers, hosted on occasions when the Mackinac Island team travels to away games.

While Miss Brodeur-Bunker said she is slightly apprehensive of going off to college and being in a different environment, like any college freshman, she said the eventual rewards of continuing her education will pay off in the future.

Andrew Chambers Andrew Chambers “I’m nervous and scared, but I know it’s just a new chapter in my life that I have to do,” she said. “It will all be worth it.”

Marie Bunker

An attendee of Mackinac Island Public School since kindergarten, Miss Bunker spent a lot of time in high school playing sports, including volleyball, basketball and golf. She said she enjoyed all of these sports equally, and would take a lot of her sports experiences with her as she moved on in her life, especially the memories of the sports sleepovers.

Games are “a lot different than at other schools, because we actually spend the night at the other schools and play a night and morning game,” she said. “You had to pack an air mattress and a sleeping bag, so it was a lot of work, but it’s fun.”

Ashley Gough Ashley Gough Miss Bunker plans to attend Central Michigan University to study biology. She said science always has interested her throughout her school years, and she said she was considering studying for a graduate degree. She thinks biology would be a good place to start.

She has mixed feelings about going off to a large university, but said it would be an experience she is prepared for.

“I’m kind of excited, but at the same time kind of nervous because I’m not exactly sure what to expect,” she said. “I’m ready for the real world, not Mackinac Island anymore.”

Miss Bunker said her mother, Jennifer Bunker, and her grandparents have been supportive of all of her endeavors throughout her schooling.

“They came to every game, to every show, and to every awards banquet I’ve been in, and they’re supportive of what I want to do,” she said.

Tyler Joseph Tyler Joseph High school students who still have some time left should make sure to enjoy it, because it goes by fast, Miss Bunker advised.

Maggie Chambers

Miss Chambers has found her passion lies in the realm of art: drawing, painting, and photography.

“I just really have a connection with art…I’m in a good state when I’m drawing,” she said. “It’s the thing that I can see myself doing for the rest of my life.”

Miss Chambers said she plans to attend Alma College in the fall as a member of its art and design program to continue her passions in the art field. The dominant feeling as she prepares to leave Mackinac Island and move onto a new chapter in her life, she said, is excitement.

“I’m not really nervous; I’m more excited,” Miss Chambers said. “I feel like I’ve been here too long. I’m just ready to go. I need a change in my life.”

Miss Chambers said she will miss living in close proximity to her friends and family, however, and the freedom of traveling without cars on the Island.

Citing many of her friends as role models throughout her high school career, Miss Chambers said spending time with them often gave her new inspiration in her art endeavors.

“Most of my friends are all older than me, so I would always look up to my friends,” she said, adding that many share her interest in the arts.

During her time at the school, Miss Chambers was involved in a variety of activities, including art, basketball, volleyball, golf, soccer, and music. One of her major accomplishments in high school was being a part of an undefeated league tournament champion basketball team this year.

“We were on top, so that was exciting,” she said.

To students who are slated to be graduated in future classes, Miss Chambers said the important thing to remember is to get through high school while realizing different experiences will come after.

“There’s a lot more out there than there is here, just keep that in mind,” she advised.

Miss Chambers is the daughter of Mark and Jody Chambers and has four siblings: Emma, Richard, Robert, and Clara. She also has two dogs, Charlie and Stewart.

Andrew Chambers

Mr. Chambers said attending Mackinac Island Public School has been an interesting experience.

Mr. Chambers played football and basketball during his school career, is an avid reader, and worked for the Mackinac Island Service Company.

Mr. Chambers plans to attend Lake Superior State University to study criminal justice for his first year of schooling, and transfer to Northern Michigan University to study military science and participate in Army ROTC. He said he would like to continue his interest in football by trying out for the football team at Northern Michigan University.

His grandfather, Jim Chambers, was a big role model in his life, he said.

“He’s worked since he was about 15, nonstop — he’s 72 now,” he said. “He and my father have both really been huge inspirations on me.”

Mr. Chambers said he would miss knowing everybody in his general vicinity and being able to recognize everyone on sight, and he will miss the friends he’s made here.

Working hard in school is important for future seniors to keep in mind, Mr. Chambers said.

I’d tell them to “definitely reevaluate what you’re doing now and buckle down a lot more if you’re not already, because I’m starting to feel it right now,” he said.

Mr. Chambers is the son of Heather Chambers and James Bazinau. He has a brother, Jacob.

Ashley Gough

Miss Gough said her school years have been pleasant and she wouldn’t change her experience even if she had the chance to.

“I liked going to school here. I don’t think I would have moved to a different school, I wouldn’t have wanted to,” she said.

Miss Gough said she plans to attend Bay Mills Community College to study childhood development. She said she enjoys children and can see herself working with them in the future.

“I’ve been interested in this career for a long time,” she said.

“I think it’s nice to be done with high school and to finally be graduating. That’s a really big accomplishment, I think,” she said. “I’ve been waiting for this year forever, since kindergarten.”

Miss Gough participated in volleyball during her high school years, as well as volunteering at the Mackinac Island Public School preschool, babysitting, and working at a daycare center to obtain more experience working with children.

She is the daughter of Sherri Gough and has a dog, Jasmine.

Tyler Joseph

Mr. Joseph moved to Mackinac Island Public School from Las Vegas in his sophomore year. The size of his former school was incredibly different, he said, with Las Vegas having much larger class sizes, and he has enjoyed the experience of a small school.

“My grades became way better from the switch from Vegas to here. There’s just more understanding here,” he said. “The teachers explain better, and there’s more one-on-one attention… thanks to them, I completed credits that were missed in Vegas, and now I’m going to graduate on time.”

During his time in Mackinac Island Public School, Mr. Joseph played basketball, football, soccer, and ran track. He also enjoyed music, playing percussion and piano.

Moving into a new school was difficult at first, Mr. Joseph said, but he has since become friends with his classmates and will miss them and other people he’s met on the iIland when he leaves.

Mr. Joseph plans to join the Air Force, and would like to attend college for computer engineering while doing so.

The experience he had in high school was great, but the time has come to move on, Mr. Joseph said.

“I enjoyed it while it lasted. I can’t wait to graduate, though,” he said.

He said future students should make sure to stay focused in class throughout their school years.

He is the son of Zaveaire Tolbert, and Hunter and Brooklyn are his sisters.

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