PHOTO STORY: Edwardsburg graduates Class of 2024

Published 12:08 pm Monday, June 3, 2024

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EDWARDSBURG — 182 students made the transition from students to alumni Sunday afternoon at Leo Hoffman Field in Edwardsburg.

Edwardsburg High School celebrated its Class of 2024 with a graduation ceremony at 2 p.m. Sunday. The event featured performances from the high school band and choir, and speeches from top graduates. 

The first student speaker on the stage was Salutation Dane Bailey. He thanked the district and encouraged his classmates to follow their dreams.

“I want to wish those of you who lack confidence in yourself to stand tall and be proud of who you are. No matter what lies ahead, we can all strive to be better versions of ourselves in all aspects of life. Find joy in doing what you love and remember that it is never too late to try new things. Try to live every day with a smile on your face and with that, I would like to say thank you to Edwardsburg Public Schools for taking part in shaping me into who I am today.”

Bailey’s speech was followed by addresses from each of the Class of 2024’s three valedictorians – Brenna Farmer, Haley Smith and Leah Stern.

Farmer thanked the families and teachers for supporting the graduating class every step of the way.

“In addition to the connections we have made with classmates, as we look back on our journey, it is impossible to not acknowledge the support we have received from our families and teachers. They are the pillars that have always supported us, guiding us through the challenges and cheering us on through our successes. On behalf of the class of 2024, I would like to take a moment to thank them. As we go out and pursue our future plans and careers, remember the importance of your friends, classmates, teachers and valued family members and cherish the support they gave you along the way.”

Smith was the next valedictorian and thanked her family, classmates, teachers and staff for a memorable high school experience and expressed her appreciation for “the small moments.”

“I’d like to thank everyone who I’ve encountered along with those who have become lifelong friends and those who have made an impact on my life. Otherwise, as we find ourselves on the brink of new and thrilling adventures, it is important to embrace the present and the small moments that are constantly shaping our lives. It is easy to get caught up in the anticipation of what’s next but in doing so we overlook and sometimes miss out on the now. Be excited for the future, but don’t forget to appreciate the time it takes to get there. Congratulations, Class of 2024, I enjoyed each and every small moment we shared together.”

The final valedictorian to the stage was Stern, who wished her classmates luck with their future plans and closed her speech with a quote from recording artist Taylor Swift’s 2022 New York University commencement speech.

“As the greatest poet and musician Taylor Swift once said, ‘the scary news is you’re on your own now but the cool news is, you’re on your own now.’ So hold on to all the memories, both old and new because they’ll hold on to you. Thank you and congratulations class of 2024.”

After valedictorian speeches, Markel congratulated the graduates and thanked those in attendance before distributing diplomas and allowing the Class of 2024 to toss their caps in the air in celebration.