Grayling High School conducts graduation ceremony for the Class of 2017 on Sunday
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
Grayling High School celebrated the graduation of the Class of 2017 – a group that earned more than $900,000 in scholarships and performed close to 8,000 community service hours, according to school officials – during a commencement ceremony held at GHS on Sunday afternoon.
The school held the graduation event indoors in the Grayling High School gymnasium due to weather forecasts earlier in the week predicting rain. Also, Grayling High School, for the first time ever, streamed its commencement event live on social media.
Grayling High School Principal Donna Boughner, during her speech at the beginning of the commencement ceremony, said the Class of 2017 had a lot of great individual achievements, but what stood out about this year’s seniors was their unity.
“Every year in the fall we ask our seniors to end their K-12 education as leaders and try to impress upon them the importance of positive mentoring for all of the underclassmen. The request did not need to be made to this class; they have always been positive role models. The Class of 2017 has all of the outstanding individuals of classes in the past, but as a group they have stood out,” Boughner said. “This is a group of free thinking, opinionated, unique, caring individuals that thrive when working together. The Class of 2017 had forethought and courage to ask for things they wanted from their school, and were willing to put in the work to get it. From extra time in the weight room, hours rehearsing with others, to working with mentors after school, this class was willing to go the extra mile.”
“They created a ‘comfort crib’ for their school mates to go when feeling overwhelmed and needing a break. Many in this class were part of starting and maintaining our Viking Food Pantry. Groups worked to make the school better by brainstorming ideas to help seniors prepare for college, or work, and helped prepare an alumni database we will be using for years to come. If you listened to them on the radio after a big game, or read their bios in the hallway after a production, you could get the feel for how this class values their relationships by celebrating the team over individual performances. It is very rare to see a class with so many unique big personalities work so well in a crowd,” Boughner said.
The Class of 2017, according to school officials, “earned a total of $922,800” in scholarships, including “nearly $60,000 dollars in local scholarships.” The final number of their community service hours came to 7,920.
“These students participated in thousands of hours above and beyond our graduation expectation,” Boughner said.
Boughner also highlighted the group’s extracurricular activity participation during her speech.
“These students have been busy,” Boughner said. “They have participated in career tech events, band, yearbook, forensics, choir, athletics, homecomings, snowgoings, theatre, robotics, internships, college visits, career fairs, districts, regionals, and states and somehow still found time to come to school and achieve academic success.”
According to school officials, “over 50 percent of this class is graduating with high academic honors,” including: 25 Honor Roll graduates (GPA of 3.0 to 3.499), 13 Cum Laude graduates (GPA of 3.5 to 3.699), eight Magna Cum Laude graduates (GPA of 3.7 to 3.899), and 14 Summa Cum Laude graduates (GPA of 3.9 or higher).
Boughner said the members of the Class of 2017 have a diverse set of career goals.
“We will have graduates in engineering, computer science, criminal justice, music, psychology, gaming and interior design, public relations, and I am excited to see some going into education. Whatever these students choose to do with their paths, I am convinced we are in good hands and we will continue to be proud of their achievements,” Boughner said.