AFTER PRINCIPAL Marty Mix asked the Class of 2018 to turn their tassles to the left, closer to their heart, the Onaway graduates celebrated. With confetti flying through the air, 52 new Onaway High School alumni were announced. (Photo by Angie Asam)
by Angie Asam
The gymnasium was packed with family and friends. The chairs were set. The Onaway High School Class of 2018 marched in and officially became alumni Sunday afternoon after a graduation ceremony that featured smiles, laughs, cheers and a few tears.
“As I look around today something specific stands out. It’s community, it’s family and it’s success, all three are three of the best words I could use to describe this years senior class. This group truly is the face of our community, you have made us all very proud. You are a true family, you always come together to support each other. Through it all you have succeeded and you proved that success by making it here today,” said principal Marty Mix who opened the ceremony.
Mix also touched on the effects family, staff, coaches, teachers and entire community had on the success of the students. “As I sat back and reflected on many of the great memories I have with this group it’s culminated with sports’ highlights, personal accomplishments, academic power and a pocket full of scholarship money that set an all-time high for Onaway High School. So trying to find the right message to match this group wasn’t easy,” said Mix.
Mix then shared some advice, reminding the students to be kind, make a difference, appreciate what you have and appreciate the things that you don’t have.
“From early on when I was lucky enough to walk through the lunchroom and help you open your milks, when I was able to teach some of you how to tie a tie, coached nearly half of you or even lucky enough to be around for many of the great memories in your lives like say the day you were brought into this world. I simply say thank you. I am blessed to be here, I am beyond blessed to have the opportunity to work with you kids. God bless each and every one of you and God bless you upstairs looking down on us our sweet Lexi in heaven,” said an emotional Mix.
Although it was a celebratory day, it was also an emotional day as the Class of 2018 remembered Alexia “Lexi” Lei LaHaie, who passed away in a car accident in November 2017. Her parents Danielle and Ryan LaHaie accepted her diploma, and her cap and gown hung on her chair with her classmates.
Superintendent Rod Fullerton welcomed everyone to the ceremony and reminded the students to row their own boats, make their own path in life and never lose sight of who they are.
Student speeches followed from honor student Sabrina Goddard, salutatorian Kaitlyn Boettger and valedictorian Carmen Sellke. Each student thanked a great deal of people for helping them along the way. And all touched on a few great memories throughout high school, including sophomore year when their own Carlee Jo Selke was crowned homecoming queen. They also talked about sports’ memories and how the class grew along the way.
After diplomas were handed out and many photos were taken the class enjoyed a slideshow, showcasing many of the great memories they had formed along the way before they were asked to turn their tassels to left “closer to their heart” according to Mix and the gymnasium erupted in celebration.