420 seniors graduate in 2016 commencement ceremony

Alexis VanSingel, News Editor

What Happened?

Last night, family and friends came out to the 140th graduation ceremony for the class of 2016. 420 seniors walked across the stage to receive diplomas commencing their high school career.

The Scene

The event held a melancholy and exciting atmosphere. The blue and gold bleachers were filled with around 5,000 people, holding flowers and balloons to give to their graduates. Mothers teared up at the sight of their children walking across the stage while younger siblings and cousins lined the fence, peeking through the holes to see the seniors.

The Program

The night started out with a National Anthem Performance by the band, followed by an introduction of guests by Principal Tracy Wilson. Heartfelt addresses were given by Superintendent Ingall and Valedictorian Issa El-amir, both speaking about their first years at Grand Haven. Next up, Distinguished Academic leaders were recognized and called up to the stage. Senior Class President Brock Boterenbrood, Student Senate President Hannah Kenny, and Senior Class Speaker Emily Stringham enlightened students with lessons learned from the past and wisdom for the future. Finally came the Presentation of Class and Diplomas, where seniors walked across the stage with proud smiles across their faces. The event ended with a message from Wilson and the Symbolic Changing of the Tassel. The class of 2016 threw their caps into the air in celebration of their accomplishment.

They Said It

“The process of learning lasts a lifetime. Nobody’s ever done learning. Let’s strive to learn as much as we possibly can in the life we are given.” -Senior Class Speaker Emily Stringham giving a last piece of advice to her class

“The compassion that you have shown one another during personal crisis has helped define your character and will make you forever stronger. Through all of your experiences, you have been an incredible role model. Be proud to tell people that you’re from Grand Haven.” -Principal Tracy Wilson on the deaths the class of 2016 has faced during their high school career

“As you go forward, know that you’ll always have Grand Haven behind you. As the saying goes, we’ve got your back.” -Superintendent Andrew Ingall on Grand Haven’s lasting support for alumni