Students in the Cassopolis Class of 2014 toss their hats in the air in celebration of their completed commencement ceremony. (Leader photo/SCOTT NOVAK)
Students in the Cassopolis Class of 2014 toss their hats in the air in celebration of their completed commencement ceremony. (Leader photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

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Hats off to the Cassopolis Class of 2014

Published 8:46am Monday, June 2, 2014

A class of approximately 80 and three GED recipients took part in the 135th annual commencement ceremony as Ross Beatty Jr./Sr. High School before a packed gymnasium Sunday afternoon.

With temperatures soaring to near 90 outside, the cool and comfortable gymnasium was full of proud parents, relatives and friends of the Class of 2014.

Tyeisha Fuller welcomed the graduates and well-wishers before Thomas Bosler got up to give the reflective speech.

Bosler talked about his favorite memories, which included all the drama of third grade relationships and how he has collected items throughout the years because he can be “forgetful.”

“Things like t-shirts, hats and small trinkets, but the trinkets we can hold as a class can be slightly more obscure,” he said. “Most notably is one trinket that sadly is no longer with us. Whenever I tell this story it never fails to get loud gasps. As many of you know one teacher always has his mug with him. His (Pittsburgh) Steelers mug, but back in junior high he lost that mug.

“It was a day like any other. The mug was sitting on my desk and I was talking to my neighbor. I swiveled in my chair bump the mug and the Steelers go crashing to the floor. The room gasps as Mr. (Spencer) Mourning, who was standing in the hall, runs into the room looks dead in my eyes and says ‘you broke my cup.’ He repeats himself, ‘you broke my cup.’ His face is red my face is red and he turns and walks out of the room. The class looks at me and we all have no clue what will happen next. The office staff walks out and asks what happens. I turn to them and say ‘I broke his cup. ’ They gasp and run and hide back in the office. I stood frozen in fear. Finally, now I am going to fix that mistake. Mr. Mourning I have brought with me a mug, not the exact same, but still something to remember me and that awful day.”

Cameron Hayden and Emily Waldschmidt delivered the motivational speeches.

Hayden’s speech had plenty of rhythm and rhyme as he spoke of taking off to great places.

“We’re off and away,” he said. “The past has led us here, to where we will celebrate as graduates of Ross Beatty High School on this, June 1, 2014. While we know the past has molded us, we look to the future as we will walk through these doors to a new beginning. Our nerves are nearly uncontainable as we anticipate our future. What does it hold? How will we get there? What will it be like?

“We have brains in our heads. We have feet in our shoes. We can steer ourselves in any direction we choose. We’re on our own. We know what we know. And we are the only person who’ll decide where we go. We’ll be on our way up. We’ll be seeing great sights. We’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.”

Waldschmidt decided not to open her speech with a quote or with an inspirational story.

Instead, she decided that wasn’t the best piece of advice she would offer her classmates.

“Because years from now as you reflect on graduation you will most likely not remember a quote that I say or a story that I tell,” she said. “As we are all about to begin our lives and become adults from here we will all go our separate ways and pursue our own dreams. Some of us will go to college, some will go to trade school, some will enter the military and some will enter the work force. And although we are about to begin our journeys, some of us may still not be sure what we want to do yet and that there is nothing wrong with that because we will all find where we belong. We have plenty of time to find our place in this world. But I feel that we have an advantage as graduates of Ross Beatty High School.”

Jennifer Stickle announced alumni speaker Doris Simmons of the Class of 1999.

Prior to the awarding of diplomas, it was announced that the Class of 2014 has received more than $890,000 in scholarships.

Cassopolis Public School Superintendent Tracy Hertsel then certified to Cassopolis Board of Education President Scott Ward and the rest of the board that seniors had successfully completed the requirements for graduation.

Stuart Ayers offered up some closing remarks before the Class of 2014 proceeded out the gymnasium door to greet their family and friends.


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