Trent Moskwinski, co-valedictorian, lists students, staff and family who helped him throughout his schooling. (Leader photo/AMBROSIA NELDON)
Trent Moskwinski, co-valedictorian, lists students, staff and family who helped him throughout his schooling. (Leader photo/AMBROSIA NELDON)

Archived Story

Brandywine High School graduates celebrate past achievements, prepare for new challenges

Published 8:58am Monday, June 2, 2014

Student speakers at Brandywine’s commencement ceremony ended their high school years in true 2014 style.

“So, I have to give this speech,” began co-valedictorian Jacob Wright. “But first, let me take a selfie.”

And so, from the podium, Wright pulled out his cell phone, turned around, and took a photo with all 85 of his classmates.

And then, in a more serious tone, he continued.

“Today is the last day you will have the comfort and safety of these hallways. Today is the beginning of self-reliance. The next few years will be a turning point in our lives,” Wright said to his classmates.

Wright, like many of his classmates, attended Brandywine his entire grade school career.

“We’ve been through a lot in the last four years, even though it may feel like four months. I have great memories with many of you, from little league baseball at Fireman’s Park, to running down the hill for our last football game,” he said. “And even still, we will continue to encounter all the things this world has to offer. In our lifetime, we may face wars or famine. We may even face a robot invasion in 2036.”

Co-valedictorian Trent Moskwinski matched Wright’s demeanor, delivering a serious message between jokes to lighten the mood.

“As we move on after high school, some of us will be going to college. Mommy and Daddy and especially your teachers aren’t going to be there to wake you up in the morning. You have to be responsible enough to get out of bed, even if it means going to that 8 a.m. class. Nobody is going to make you go to work.

“Ultimately graduating today means we have to take on the next chapter of our lives, and we’ve just finished one of the easiest chapters. Life is going to get harder before it gets easier,” Moskwinski said. “But it’s important to remember, life is not about how hard you get hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and still keep going.”

Wright and Moskwinski took time to thank their parents and teachers, friends and mentors, and then Moskwinski rattled off a list of cohorts who paid him a dollar to be mentioned in his speech.

Salutatorian Sarah DeRosa thanked her family and friends for all of their hard work through the years, crediting them with her own successes.

“Although some may feel this is the end of an era, I consider it a milestone myself and my peers should be proud of for years to come,” she said.

The Class of 2014 was also addressed by Lake Michigan College President Bob Harrison. Students in this year’s graduating class were among the first to reap the benefits of Lake Michigan College’s Brandywine campus.

“Do you control your destiny, or are you going to let others control your success,” he asked the graduates. “This is an exciting time for you. Remember commencement is not the end. It is only the beginning.”

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