July 13, 2024 Donate

Chelsea, Chelsea Education, Community, Education, Featured Educaiton

Chelsea High School Class of 2024: A Memorable One

This year’s Chelsea graduates are leaving the high school a better place. From starting their high school lives dealing with COVID-19 restrictions and Zoom classrooms to ending it before a full house of family and friends at Jerry Niehaus Stadium, the 2024 graduates are a special and unique class.

Held on Sunday, June 2, the commencement ceremony for the class of 210 graduates saw them receiving their diplomas and the recognition they all deserved after four years of hard work. Dr. Nicholas Angel, Chelsea High School Principal, introduced them.

Angel, who said he was also middle school principal for many of these students, used the analogy of the growth of a tree in talking about the students’ journeys. He listed the class’s many successes and achievements, from the classroom to the athletic field to the Personal Finance Team and Girls Water Polo to Music, Theater, Robotics and Boys Basketball, and many more in between.

He said they are leaving the high school a better place.

“Your successes are our successes. This is why today is so special,” Angel said. “Today isn’t simply a graduation, it’s a celebration for the town of Chelsea, for your families, and most importantly, for you. Your class embodies the spirit of our community and trust me when I say that we are so proud of you.”

CSD Superintendent Michael Kapolka spoke next. He started with the end in mind when he declared the class of 2024 to be graduates of CHS. In giving them one piece of advice, Kapolka challenged the graduates to start with the end in mind when thinking about where they want to go in life. He said having a clear vision and setting the goals for this is helpful when taking on the next stages in life.

Two graduates, who were selected by their peers, spoke next with Mitchell Brown going first.

Brown is attending the University of Virginia next fall. His talk cited different memories, including one of the first in school when they were asked what they wanted to be when they grow up. He said he understands the importance of this question, but over time he started to look at this question in a new way.

He said it may be more important to say, who do you want to be rather than what do you want to be. Noting that experiences, lessons and little moments can matter just as much as test scores and accomplishments, Brown urged his fellow graduates to let their identities shine through and strive to be kind, driven, creative, confident and determined individuals.

Cheslea grad Mitchell Brown speaking at the commencement. photo by Lonnie Huhman

“So I ask the graduates before me again today,” he said. “Who do you want to be? Because now is the time for us to make that a reality. So congratulations to the class of 2024, and I look forward to who we all become.”

Thomas Olaveson was the second student speaker. He’s attending the University of Michigan in the fall. He began his talk by thanking everyone who helped them get to this point. He cited the times during COVID and how they were helped by their parents, teachers and district administrators as they transitioned through those challenges.

In thinking about the class’s successes, he said what makes them special is their versatility and well-roundedness. He said they’ve had successes in so many different areas, but he emphasized it was the everyday moments that made them special.

“It’s the foundational skills that we’ve acquired over the years in the Chelsea School District that makes us who we are today,” he said. “As I said before it’s not just equations and variables, but it’s being able to hold a conversation with adults and reflect on your past experiences and use these to succeed in your future life. These are the skills that the Chelsea School District does a great job in cultivating in their students and the skills this class excels in.”

Chelsea grads cheered on by family and friends. photo by Lonnie Huhman