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Reflection and Anticipation as CHS Class of 2017 Celebrates Graduation

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Rackham Auditorium was packed for the occasion.

Jazz music echoed throughout Rackham Auditorium as family members and friends gathered for the graduation of the class of 2017 at Community High School (CHS) on Wed. June 6, 2017. At 7:00 p.m., teachers from CHS made their way down the aisle to their seats, followed by the graduating class.

On stage stood Deans Marci Tuzinsky and Karen Siegel and counselors John Boshoven and Brian Williams. The band, a combo from Community’s Jazz Program called Cold Tone Dreamery, finished up Pomp and Circumstance and sat down to watch.

The first

speaker of the night was Tuzinsky, who started the evening by congratulating the graduates on making it through high school. She spoke of accomplishments and goals attained, as well as looking forward.

“Our hope is that we’ve taught you how to learn and how to change and adapt to the world around you, while always remaining true to yourself,” Tuzinsky said. She expressed her feeling of prowess toward the seniors and how proud they should be of themselves.

“You get to define what success means,” Tuzinsky said.

Next, Dr. Jeanice Swift, Superintendent of Ann Arbor Public Schools, took the stage to deliver a few remarks about the graduating class and to officiate the presentation of the diplomas.

“It truly is a great day as we gather this evening to honor you—our Community High class of 2017. It is a celebration of each of you,” Swift said.

“You have absolutely everything it takes to find your place,” Swift said.

After Swift, there were several awards presented by Siegel to members of the graduating class. The first was The Jill Award presented to Patrick Wellman and Olivia Freeman for contributing in making CHS“a happier place.” The next award was The Community Resources Award and was given to Sadie Zinn for utilizing the CR program at CHS. Following, Noah Dworkin received the Nathan Lyndell Hall Memorial Scholarship. The next award presented was The Susanne Ruth Springer Award, which was received by Maggie Mihaylova for excellence in writing. The Judith Dewoskin Award was presented to Hannah Rubenstein for outstanding journalism and writing at CHS. The Dean Al Gallup Scholarship was presented to Joel Appel-Kraut for excellence in service to CHS. The last award, The Bruce Bartman Memorial Scholarship, also was presented to Rubenstein for “[exemplifying] the ideas of Community High School by being a full participant in our alternative program and by contributing to the betterment of the school community.”

Cold Tone Dreamery came back for a second time succeeding the presentation of awards to perform “Twin” by Christian Scott. Afterwards, Rubenstein read her poem, “Blurry Pictures,” to the audience.

The presentation of diplomas by forum followed the reading, starting with the Flores forum. Every graduate from each forum got to speak for 30 seconds, ranging from thank you’s to poems, to favorite memories at Community High School.

Phoebe Engel was the first graduate to speak. “I was like, ‘why am I going first?’” she said. “But I did it, and I wrote a script but I ended up not using that, and I’m just really excited but also sad, but also very nostalgic because of all the stories and all the pictures.Yeah. It’s really fun.”

The Haidu-Banks, J. Johnson, M. Johnson, Kiley, and Kulka forums walked the stage before members of Community Ensemble Theater performed “To Life” from “Fiddler on the Roof,” their most recent musical. The Levin, Mankad, McGraw, Morgan, Mosher, and Root forums were next, followed by a slideshow made by Dianne Dudley. The big screen displayed student baby photos and senior portraits, showing how much they had grown. Smiles spread on the crowd’s faces upon seeing the graduates when they were babies and toddlers making funny faces.

The Stapleton, Stern, Strassel, Thomas, and West forums were next to take the stage. Afterwards, Lucas Atkinsmith performed “Caprice #16” by Niccolo Paganini and Mihaylova read a poem she wrote titled “Our Brick Mother.” The last group of forums—Anderson, Coron, DeWoskin, and Dudley—received their diplomas.

The last musical piece, “Appassionata” by Beethoven, was performed by Gabe Kleer while a slideshow of seniors’ fine and performing arts was shown on the projector. Closing remarks were made by Tuzinsky, and the now-alumni made their way out of the auditorium.

Katy Stegemann, just after graduating, stood in the lobby and talked to friends before she left. “There’s so many people here. It’s insane,” she said. “I’m really emotional, but I’m great.”

The night ended with family members, teachers, and friends congratulating the new graduates on the steps outside the auditorium. The dressed-up group hugged, laughed, cried, and took pictures together to celebrate the milestone of graduating from high school. As the sky grew dark, the crowd dissipated until only the echoes of their laughter remained.

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A student voice.
Reflection and Anticipation as CHS Class of 2017 Celebrates Graduation