PHOTO STORY: Bobcats host honors assembly for graduating seniors

NILES – Family members and loved ones sat on the risers on one side of the Brandywine Middle/High School gymnasium on Tuesday morning facing a podium flocked by potted palm plants. The 2020-2021 Honors Assembly for Brandywine High School was hosted to honor graduating seniors with scholarships, awards and distinctions earned throughout their senior years.

Educators and community leaders sat behind one side of the podium, and students sat on the other, spaced out and masked. As the adults took to the podium, each had awards and scholarships to designate to students as seniors approach their graduation date.

Awards of drama, band and vocal music were given, alongside scholarships from the Niles Scream Park and Michigan Gateway Community Foundation. Career and technical education awards were also among those given.

“It’s an absolute honor to be here today to present several scholarships to graduating seniors of Brandywine High School,” said Michael Rowland, president of the Michigan Gateway Community Foundation before presenting the foundation’s scholarships.

He acknowledged some of the unique struggles the class of 2021 has navigated.

“In particular are the struggles that they’ve had over the last couple of years with COVID-19, but when I look at the young men and women such as those I see here today, they all give us a lasting hope for our future,” Rowland said. “The scholarships I award today represent an opportunity to pursue their post-secondary education but also serve as a reminder of all of the hard work that they’ve put in to get to this point. While not every student may receive a scholarship today, I hope they all recognize the bright futures ahead of every single one of them.”

Former Brandywine Community Schools superintendent John Jarpe took to the podium to award student recognition awards, the highest-grade point average awards, announced the top 10 seniors of the 2021 graduating class and awarded the Alpha Beta award.

Meagan Platz was announced as the class’s salutatorian, and students Morgan Horvath, Megan Wieger and Ann Youngs were also announced as the class’s valedictorians.

“The amount of scholarship money handed out this morning, the amount I have totaled at this point is $290,808. In this very stressful time, that’s remarkable,” Jarpe said. “I’m so impressed with all of the students in Brandywine, as I’ve only been back here assisting and helping for a week and a half. But today, I just feel so proud of these students and you as parents and family deserve a huge hand.”

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