Commencement ceremonies Sunday in Dowagiac, Cass

Published 8:00 am Friday, May 29, 2015

The area’s future generation of workers, growers and leaders will begin the next phases of their lives on Sunday.

High school seniors in Dowagiac and Cassopolis cap off their K-12 education that afternoon with the time-honored pomp and circumstance of commencement ceremonies.

Both Dowagiac Union High School and Ross Beatty Junior/Senior High School in Cassopolis will hold their graduation ceremonies at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Dowagiac’s ceremony will again take place on the home of the Dowagiac Chieftain Football team, Chris Taylor Alumni Field, located outside the high school on N. Paul Street. According to school officials, 120 high school seniors will receive their diploma on Sunday, along with 10 graduates of the district’s Pathfinders adult education program.

The two-hour program for Sunday’s commencement will follow that of previous years, with an introduction delivered by Superintendent Paul Hartsig, followed by remarks from Board of Education President Larry Schmidt. Salutatorian Kasey Smith will then deliver a speech her outgoing classmates, followed by Valedictorian Tristan Howard.

The administration has posted the following rules for visitors attending Sunday’s ceremony:

• All guests should sit in the designated bleachers/chairs during the ceremony. Special parking and seating arrangements for those who need accommodations are available. Reservations can be made by calling Ms. Reagan at 782-4429.

• During the commencement ceremonies, spectators will not be allowed to come inside the fenced area to take pictures. A professional photographer will take a picture of each graduate that will be mailed along with a copy of their final transcript.

• In the event of rain, the decision to relocate to the high School gymnasium

will be made by 11am Sunday. The announcement will be posted on the marquee in front of the high school as well on the district website,

The ceremony at Ross Beatty Junior/Senior High School will take place inside the school’s gymnasium, where 64 students will receive their diplomas, school officials say. The high school band will play music at the beginning and end of the ceremony.

The opening remarks will be made by student Kayley Gay; Valedictorian Tabatha Hart will then follow with a motivational speech for classmates; finally, student Jacob Roth will introduce the ceremony’s special guest speaker, former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer, who graduated from Cassopolis in 1959.