OSCODA – Shades of blue and white filled the Oscoda High School (OHS) gymnasium on Sunday, June 9, for the OHS Commencement ceremony of 64 graduates with six being foreign exchange students.
Students entered the gymnasium with the playing of “Pomp and Circumstance” from the OHS Band directed by Karen Lopez. A presentation of colors from the American Legion Post 274 Color guard followed. As well as, the singing of the national anthem from members of the OHS music department.
Oscoda Area Schools (OAS) Superintendent Scott Moore kicked off the introductions by welcoming graduates, family members, administrators, teachers and board members to the special day. Oscoda Rotary Club President and OAS Board Secretary Mary Reitler followed Moore with the inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award inductions. Four alumni were honored including David K. Vaughan, Ph.D, Kenneth B. Gum, MD, Bill Burdett and Beau Kilmer, Ph.D. Each gave the soon-to-be graduates a bit of advice and much thanks for their awards.
The ceremony continued with commencement speaker Jennifer McDougall who supplied the students with advice and literature snippets to help them in their next chapter of life. The OHS Choir took the spotlight singing “It’s so hard to say goodbye” and seniors of the OHS band followed with “Stand by me”. OHS Principal Terry Allison honored scholarship and award recipients by asking them to stand and receive recognition.
Before being presented with their diplomas, five speeches were given. Valedictorian Ethan Raybourn, Donald Ellis IV, Emma Kane, Abigail Thompson and Salutatorian Timothy Hanson all gave a speech addressing their class. Some told small anecdotes of their time at OHS while others took the time to crack a few jokes.
Raucous applause followed as each student was called one by one to receive their diplomas and shake hands with members of the Board of Education. A final speech was given by National Honor Society President Cody Evans thanking the class for the memories and encouraging them to give of themselves as they go into their next chapter of life.
Allison wrapped up the ceremony asking the students to rise, move their tassels and toss their caps in the air.