by Richard Lamb–Advance Editor
Class president Daniel Bielas gave the command to turn the tassels Sunday, sparking a celebration for Rogers City High School’s Class of 2019. Commencement exercises at the high school found 60 students earning a diploma. The one-hour event featured speeches by co-valedictorians Sophia Schiepek and Chasta Ganske and salutatorian Amanda Wirgau.
Following three musical selections by the high school band, under the direction of Edward Wilbert, superintendent and high school principal Nicholas Hein introduced salutatorian Wirgau. Before that Hein congratulated the students, and offered a few words of advice.
“We are talking about success and what success is. Success for a lot of people could mean being a doctor, a truck driver, a teacher or a lawyer. I remember someone giving a speech here not too long ago and they talked about what success meant to them. They said quite simply they wanted to get married and have a large family, and that is success, too because the one thing that you have to remember in this life, and don’t ever forget it, is that you have to live it for you,” Hein said.
Living a life that you are proud of and living a life that represents what you want to be and where you want to go is important, he told the graduates.
“Always be proud of who you are,” Hein advised.
“We are officially entering the real world with real problems, not the minor issues we have had in previous years,” Wirgau. “From this moment on we cannot remain in our comfortable group of friends, but rather expand our selves to further our connections.”
She thanked all who supported her during her high school years.
Ganske, the daughter of Bruce and Diane Ganske, thanked teachers, coaches, family and friends for supporting her in her life.
“To all of the members of the community, thank you for being so supportive of the students and athletes of this school. All of the wonderful things that have happened would not have happened without you,” Ganske said.
She said the class is like a family that struggled through ups and downs together. High school, especially senior year, felt like a roller coaster, she said, all strapped in for a ride with twists and turns of a fun ride that finally came to an end.
Schiepek the daughter of Kasha Mulka, finished the seniors’ speeches by offering her take on the day.
“Pretty much all through high school, this has been my goal, to never let an opportunity slip away. I’ve heard from a speaker who came to one of my old schools that you rarely get an opportunity twice. So take advantage of every opportunity you get,” Schiepek said.
She said volunteering, joining clubs and other activities have taken her out of her comfort zone including opportunities in the robotics club and a trip to Europe with a musical group. Getting involved will open the door to new opportunities, she said.
With that, Hein called the graduates up row-by-row and board of education members, led by board president Devin Pommerenke, handed out diplomas to the class.