PHS Class of 2015 graduation

Commencing the rest of their lives
Jamie Piontkowski

Plymouth High School graduated 186 students June 7 at Plymouth City Park with hundreds of family and friends in attendance.

The Commencement Band, directed by Jason Sebranek, performed the processional and recessional.

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Maggie Chandler, Student Council president. She also announced the new inductees to the Plymouth High School Alumni Hall of Fame: Gilbert G. Gilman, Sharon (Blanke) Chappy and Roger Boeckmann.

Julia Novotny, president of the PHS National Honor Society, welcomed those gathered and later directed students to shift their tassles.

PHS Principal Jennifer Rauscher explained the school’s cum laude system and the different color cords worn by students: bronze for cum laude, silver for magna cum laude and gold for summa cum laude, the highest recognition.

Rauscher also explained how the class exemplar is chosen - the selection committee looked for a student who is a team player, a visionary and a risk-taker, who most importantly gives back to his community.

They chose Matt Olig, who talked about how proud he is to be part of the Class of 2015, which he found to be full of many beautiful souls.

Matt noted that his classmates have different interests but can all follow their own passions. He urged them to let go of self-doubt, because that is the only way to reach their potential.

“Don’t let others determine your dreams or your life or your self worth, Matt said. “As we let our own light shine, we will liberate others to do the same,” he said, before leading his classmates in a lively rendition of the school song.

The Senior Choral Ensemble, directed by Amanda Gaura, sang “The Call” by Regina Spektor.

Superintendent Carrie Dassow told the students that they leave PHS prepared for the next step in their lives. “You are the future, and your dreams will become our dreams,” she said. “Dream big.”

Dassow introduced the commencement speaker, Dan Francis of Francis Chiropractic, who was chosen by the seniors to give the address.

Francis illustrated the difference between the wisdom of an 18-year-old and the wisdom of a 47-year-old.

The 18-year-old’s wisdom involved three practical tips for surviving a speeding ticket. The 47-year-old’s wisdom focused on three guiding principles:

Habits: Remember that two habits together tend to multiply, whether good or bad.

Gratitude: Remember that you’re not in this alone. If you are grateful to those who help you in the low points, they will become high points.

Limits: “You have been blessed with tremendous gifts and talents,” he told the graduates. “Don’t limit yourself.”

Board of Education members Jamie Gambrell, Pam Holzhaeuser, John Klemme and Bob Travis presented diplomas to students.

Class president Tyler Willeford gave the closing remarks. The ceremony concluded with PHS senior Carter Krzyzaniak singing a song he wrote for the Class of 2015.

Review photos byEmmitt B. Feldner Review photos byEmmitt B. Feldner

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