July 13, 2024 Donate

Saline

Saline Graduation Embraces Perseverance as Students Face the Future

By Trevor Sullivan

On June 2nd, Saline High School held its 156th commencement ceremony, celebrating the academic achievement and graduation of 439 students. 

After the introduction of students by Saline High School Principal Theresa Stager, “The Star-Spangled Banner” was performed by students Andrew Burns, Tirian Cooper, Isaiah Gifford, and Isaac Roughton. Directly afterward, the Saline High School Chamber Choir and Chamber Orchestra seniors collaborated to perform 2024’s two class songs: “I Lived” by OneRepublic and “Rivers and Roads” by The Head and the Heart. “Music has always been an important part of our Saline commencement ceremony,” says Principal Stager. 

Students then lined up to receive their diplomas, handed to them by Superintendent Stephen D. Laatsch and President of Saline Board of Education Michael McVey. Notably, their Advanced Placement Test pass rate was #1 in the state of Michigan.

Senior Class Officer Alayna Miller spoke about the shared experience of the first year of high school for the students: “Freshman year comes with its challenges and nerves. On top of that, we dealt with limitations we never saw coming. With all of these struggles, we banded together to keep some sort of normalcy.” After quoting Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell, she continued, speaking about overcoming failure: “You have to learn to erase your failure and strike on your non-successes harder than they hit you, ultimately leading you to accomplish your goal.”Saline students speaking at graduation

Her fellow Senior Class Officer Connor Mitzel talked about their sophomore year, and how the graduating class grew closer in dark times: “We learned community and toughness during our sophomore year, as returning to a new normal meant adjusting our learning processes. Although we had never experienced high school before COVID-19, we were determined to drive our educations back to the strong academic precedent set by former SHS students . . . All in all, sophomore year taught us not only the value of finding light in darkness but also how to embrace the darkness as part of life’s journey.”

Noah Leport, Senior Class Vice President, discussed the final two years of high school and the journeys that occupied them: “Junior year, often regarded as the most demanding year of high school, tested our resolve. We navigated the complexities of academics, the pressures of standardized testing, and began to consider the question of what lies beyond high school.Yet, despite these challenges, we discovered a strength we never knew we possessed . . . Senior year, with its promise of new beginnings and farewells, unfolded before us faster than we could’ve imagined. We faced the bittersweet reality of bidding farewell to the familiar halls, cherished friendships, and the comforting routine that defined our high school experience. As we continue to move forward in our lives, it is important to remember how lucky we are that we get to experience this amazing thing called life. 

The Senior Class President, Andrew Miller, finished the student speeches, considering what the future held for the graduates.  “As you go into the time ahead, you’re going to encounter barriers, but what matters is how you handle the parts of your life that don’t go as planned . . . High school didn’t tell our future exactly, but it will be a significant part of our stories.”

To wrap up the celebration, Principal Stager addressed the graduates, saying, “May the experiences, memories, and lessons learned carry with you as you move on in your lives.”