2012 Edwardsburg graduates toss their mortarboards in celebration Sunday.

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Edwardsburg graduates 185

Published 5:33pm Sunday, June 3, 2012

EDWARDSBURG — We’re all called to serve some purpose, but life is unpredictable and leads into uncharted territory teeming with opportunity.

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton could have been talking to Edwardsburg’s Commencement Sunday about his own life after leaving St. Joseph High School 41 years ago with the Class of 1971.

Upton, a member of Congress since 1987, attained a journalism degree from the University of Michigan expecting to become a sports writer — not a politician representing 750,000 southwest Michigan citizens from almost 100 communities in Washington.

The chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee said he was not surprised to hear from Supt. Sherman Ostrander that the 185-member Edwardsburg High School Class of 2012 enjoyed the highest graduation rate of any public school in southwest Michigan because “I’ve always been impressed with the quality of you. This means a lot for your teachers because they’ve invested a lot of themselves in you. They’re so proud to see you mature. This is the foundation for the rest of your life. Now is when the real work begins.”

“It’s important to have goals and drive,” Upton said, “but also be prepared to be caught off guard. True success is not only determined by how you plan and what you do, but also to react to what life brings you and to rebuild yourself after defeats. The past is history, the future a mystery, today is the present because it’s a gift.”

Valedictorian and choir vocalist Ashton Sova, who will study computer science at Michigan State University with the goal of opening a music production studio, began second grade in Edwardsburg.

Sova reflected on Homecoming float-building for the closeness and support the 60-hour week instilled.

“Graduation isn’t the end for any of us, but the beginning of something much bigger. I’ve never found myself more inclined to like a group of people I’m forced to be around every single day. We’ve dealt with a lot of changes together growing up. Seriously, in this economy, the quickest way to triple the value of your car is to fill it with gas.”

Salutatorian Timothy “T.J.” Bond, a future band director attending Western Michigan University, spoke to three moral values — honesty, respect and always looking on the bright side of life. “The Golden Rule leads to gold.”

Senior Class President Leland Williamson led the turning of tassels.

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