Graduation Ceremony


Onekama graduates its class of 2014

Posted by Eric Sagonowsky, May 18th, 2014
Manistee News Advocate

ONEKAMA — At an afternoon ceremony on Sunday, Onekama Consolidated Schools graduated 38 students and welcomed them into the Portager alumni family.

The 115th commencement began with words from superintendent Kevin Hughes, who told the students to try their best every day in their future endeavors.

“You never know when it is going to be your last day,” he said. “Give your best effort every day in everything you do and you will be successful.”

With plans ranging from joining the workforce or the armed forces to attending college in Europe or in the United States, the students demonstrated a range of interests and desires. 

The class motto “Hakuna Matata” was picked from the “Lion King” movie and translates to “no worries,” showing the healthy enthusiasm the group brought to school every day. Countries from around the world were represented in the class of 38 students, such as: Czech Republic, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Norway, China, Italy and South Korea.

Sunday’s valedictorian address was given by Brittany Trombley, daughter of Angela Plouff and Eric Harris, who carried a perfect 4.0 grade point average in school. Trombley participated for three years in the National Honor Society, student council and theatre/drama productions. She also spent one year cheerleading and in track.

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“When you see someone every day, you don’t think much about missing them tomorrow, because you’re used to seeing their face all the time,” she said. “Sadly, this could be the last time we will see each other all together and then all we will have left is our memories. Over the years, we have grown incredibly close, and I’m sure that most of us have been best friends with everyone at one point or another.”

Trombley told her fellow classmates that senior year has been the best because the class has grown as a family, and that she will miss class activities such as bonfires and making a Harlem Shake video.

“We will make different choices and have to face the world in different ways than we did before,” she said. “We go out and strive for bigger goals, and yet, we will never forget where we came from.”

Giving the salutatory address was Carlos Rivera, who is the son of Sandra Mendoza and Carlos Rivera. He graduated with a 3.943 grade point average, and on Sunday told his fellow classmates that his time at Onekama High School has been unforgettable.

“This day is one we need to mark down and never forget, it’s the day we take a large leap to the next chapters of our lives,” Rivera said. “It’s a day that seemed an eternity way back in elementary school. And now, it’s here.”

Rivera also thanked the faculty at Onekama, saying the staff “helped us learn various and vital skills and values that we need to be students and successful people.”

Trombley closed by congratulating the graduating class and saying “this is what we’ve been waiting for.”

Carlos Rivera provided the salutatory address telling the audience that his high school experience has been unforgettable

Valedictorian Brittany Trombley said that her class has grown as a family over the last year
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Simon Malm provided musical inspiration.



Additional Graduation Photos:



Principal Hagen, Superintendent Hughes and the School Board greeted each Graduate


The always popular slide show featured the graduates at various points in their career.  The slide show 
was created by Lauren Merriman and Nisha Collins.


The Onekama Band, under the direction of Mrs. Joseph, played as the graduates entered and exited.

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Barbara Eldridge,
May 28, 2014, 11:13 AM
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