2017-06-01 / News

LaSalle High School Graduates 50 Seniors at 126th Commencement Ceremony

By Kevin R. Hess


Members of the LaSalle High School Class of 2017 are (in alphabetical order, not as pictured) Kaylynn Anderson, Arron Bailey, Jordan Belleville, Peyton Belonga, Katherine Bentgen, Alysse Bentley, Sheridan Bigger, Cody Blair, Lydia Brown, Jenny Campbell, Jared Cece, Thomas Conguy, Micah Davis, Hannah Eby, Jade Edelman, Alex France, Sam Fullerton, Eileen Getzen, Andrew Glashaw-Will, Troy Hansen, Jared Helms, Callie Kammers, Garrett Kellan, Connor LaJoice, David LaVake, Michael Lennington, Hunter Marlatt, Austin Marshall, Drew Marshall, Preston Mayle, Dalton McLennan, Sierra Metz, Jazmine Orr, Jordan Osmon, Mitchell Peterson, Kenny Rickley, Kody Rickley, Robert Rountree, Heather Ryan, Sam Schlehuber, Everette “E.J.” Schultz, Steve Seccia II, Rozy Shimkovitz, Summer Sposito, Taylor St. Onge, Carter Tallaire, Whitney Taylor, Eric Ward, Alecia Whelpley, and Lauren Yoder. Members of the LaSalle High School Class of 2017 are (in alphabetical order, not as pictured) Kaylynn Anderson, Arron Bailey, Jordan Belleville, Peyton Belonga, Katherine Bentgen, Alysse Bentley, Sheridan Bigger, Cody Blair, Lydia Brown, Jenny Campbell, Jared Cece, Thomas Conguy, Micah Davis, Hannah Eby, Jade Edelman, Alex France, Sam Fullerton, Eileen Getzen, Andrew Glashaw-Will, Troy Hansen, Jared Helms, Callie Kammers, Garrett Kellan, Connor LaJoice, David LaVake, Michael Lennington, Hunter Marlatt, Austin Marshall, Drew Marshall, Preston Mayle, Dalton McLennan, Sierra Metz, Jazmine Orr, Jordan Osmon, Mitchell Peterson, Kenny Rickley, Kody Rickley, Robert Rountree, Heather Ryan, Sam Schlehuber, Everette “E.J.” Schultz, Steve Seccia II, Rozy Shimkovitz, Summer Sposito, Taylor St. Onge, Carter Tallaire, Whitney Taylor, Eric Ward, Alecia Whelpley, and Lauren Yoder. “I firmly believe that the caliber of this class reflects admirably on the school district and the St. Ignace community,” said Superintendent of St. Ignace Schools Don Gustafson when speaking about the LaSalle High School Class of 2017.


Friends and family congratulated seniors as they were graduated from LaSalle High School Friday, May 26. Pictured here, Michael Lennington (back row, second from right) is joined by some members of his family (back, from left): grandmother Goldie, brother Josh, father Ron, and (front) sister Sarah. Friends and family congratulated seniors as they were graduated from LaSalle High School Friday, May 26. Pictured here, Michael Lennington (back row, second from right) is joined by some members of his family (back, from left): grandmother Goldie, brother Josh, father Ron, and (front) sister Sarah. Of the 50 graduating seniors, 38 were graduated with honors at commencement Friday evening, Mary 26, meaning that they held a grade point average of 3.0 or greater. Six students were graduated with grade point averages above 4.0. Nineteen students carried a grade point average of 3.5 or higher for all four years of high school. Twenty-four students accumulated 120 hours or more of volunteer service in the community, and six students donned red cords indicating multiple blood donations.


Friends (back, from left) Hunter Marlatt, Dalton McLennan, Jordan Osmon, Eric Ward; (front) Heather Ryan, and Jazmine Orr gather outside of LaSalle High School awaiting the start of commencement. Friends (back, from left) Hunter Marlatt, Dalton McLennan, Jordan Osmon, Eric Ward; (front) Heather Ryan, and Jazmine Orr gather outside of LaSalle High School awaiting the start of commencement. In his address to the students, Mr. Gustafson encouraged them to “put the cup down,” sharing a lesson he was taught in his college days. He talked about his coffee cup that he often carries around school. The empty cup weighs 12 ounces. When full of coffee, the cup weighs 24 ounces. Mr. Gustafson shared that although the weight of the cup is not heavy, the longer that one holds onto it without putting it down, the more the body will ache and stress at the effort to continually hold on. He related this to reports that say teenagers today carry around a high amount of stress.

“At the end of every day, put the cup down,” advised Mr. Gustafson.


At right: This year’s graduating class at LaSalle High School had three valedictorians and a salutatorian, all with grade point averages above 4.0 on a 4-point scale. Pictured here are (from left) valedictorian Sierra Metz, salutatorian Drew Marshall, and valedictorians Lydia Brown and Preston Mayle. Sierra, Lydia, and Preston had grade point averages tied at 4.080 and Drew had a 4.068. Lydia earned the Alpha Beta Award from the school staff this year. At right: This year’s graduating class at LaSalle High School had three valedictorians and a salutatorian, all with grade point averages above 4.0 on a 4-point scale. Pictured here are (from left) valedictorian Sierra Metz, salutatorian Drew Marshall, and valedictorians Lydia Brown and Preston Mayle. Sierra, Lydia, and Preston had grade point averages tied at 4.080 and Drew had a 4.068. Lydia earned the Alpha Beta Award from the school staff this year. Along with encouraging students to put the cup down each day, Mr. Gustafson challenged parents to allow their children the room to fail and to learn to work through those failures and difficult times.

Jenny Campbell, senior class president, thanked all of the teachers from elementary through high school for investing in the lives of herself and her classmates.

Lydia Brown received LaSalle’s highest honor, the Alpha Beta Award, awarded by faculty and given to the student they deem best exemplifies dedication to scholarship, leadership, service, and attitude.


At right: Jenny Campbell (left) and Alysse Bentley prepare to lead the Class of 2017 into the gymnasium for LaSalle High School’s 126th commencement Friday, May 26. Fifty students were graduated. At right: Jenny Campbell (left) and Alysse Bentley prepare to lead the Class of 2017 into the gymnasium for LaSalle High School’s 126th commencement Friday, May 26. Fifty students were graduated. The Class of 2017 had three valedictorians and one salutatorian. Drew Marshall was the salutatorian with a grade point average of 4.068. Drew encouraged his classmates to live in the moment and take time to enjoy each day.

“Life goes by too fast,” he said.

Lydia Brown, Preston Mayle, and Sierra Metz were valedictorians, with each carrying a grade point average of 4.080. Lydia shared some of her favorite sayings from Dr. Seuss, saying that it is fitting Dr. Seuss would have such an impact on her as she heads to Central Michigan University to study elementary education. Her favorite lesson from Dr. Seuss is “everything happens for a reason.” Whenever she faces difficult moments, she said she tries to remember that everything happens for a reason and tries not to let it get the best of her. She encouraged her classmates to do the same.


The National Honor Society created flower arches for the Class of 2017 to walk under as they entered the gymnasium for LaSalle High School commencement Friday, May 26. Junior members of the society hold the arches in place. The National Honor Society created flower arches for the Class of 2017 to walk under as they entered the gymnasium for LaSalle High School commencement Friday, May 26. Junior members of the society hold the arches in place. Preston told of the closeness of their class. He said that when he and his family moved to St. Ignace in sixth grade, he made friends quickly because of the closeness and kindness of the class. He encouraged them to maintain those relationships and attitudes, whether they were going on to college, trade schools, or directly in to the workforce.

Sierra spoke about the confusion that can sometimes take place in their stage of life.

“On the one hand, we are told to enjoy the moment and to live for now, but we are also taught to prepare for our future,” she said.

She encouraged her classmates to find the proper balance in life of living in the moment while still thinking of and preparing for what is to come.

Arron Bailey, Jenny Campbell, Logan DeKeyser, and Dalton McLennan shared a slideshow they had created of each senior’s present and childhood photographs, as well as a tribute to parents and grandparents thanking them for all of their love and support.

Senior band members sat in with the band one last time to play a medley of songs from Journey.

Members of the St. Ignace school board handed out diplomas, and LaSalle Principal Gregg Fettig presented the class of 2017 to a packed gymnasium of family and friends. The seniors moved their tassels from left to right before tossing their caps in the air, many of the caps adorned with their college of choice or special messages to friends and family.

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