BCHS seniors "turn the page" at graduation



Several significant historical events have occurred on May 29 over the years, especially the birth of the country’s 35th president, John F. Kennedy, back in 1917.

It also became a momentous day for the newest class to graduate from Brownstown Central High School.

“May 29, 2021, a true, important day in history,” senior Abigail Stuckwisch said on Saturday morning during her commencement address to the class. “For us, however, today is our graduation. All of our hard work, dedication and simple days as a high-schoolers are over.”

For the first time in two years, the school’s main gymnasium was packed with family, friends and loved ones to experience commencement. Last year’s graduation was held as drive-thru ceremony because of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

This year’s ceremony allowed for 100% capacity in the gymnasium, so many family and friends had the chance to experience the 108 graduates wrapping up their days as students.

After the students filed into the gymnasium to the traditional processional “Pomp and Circumstance,” senior Faith Harrison gave the class welcome.

She talked about the moments a high-schooler experiences before graduating, starting with the day they were born, learning to walk, going to preschool and elementary school and learning how to read and write.

Later in life, she said, children learn about math with letters in it, while in middle school, they learn about math with Greek letters in it. This brings the Class of 2021 to graduation.

“That has been about 18 years for most of us,” she said. “While high school has only been four of those 18 years, those times before then were preparing us for this moment.”

Harrison said she was proud of all of the graduates for making it to the end of their high school days before telling them they should be proud of themselves for the hard work that led them to graduation.

She said her class should make as many memories as they can this summer before they start moving away from each other.

Stuckwisch’s address followed Harrison’s welcoming words.

“There comes a day when you realize turning the page is the best feeling in the world because you realize there’s so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on,” she said.

Stuckwisch compared one reaching their fullest potential to the stock market, a subject all BCHS seniors learn about in economics class.

“In order to possibly make any money, you had to first invest your money in the market,” she said. “Although this is a big risk to take, you had to take it to experience the growth in your account.”

The average GPA for the class was 3.24, senior Katherine Benter said during her address.

She challenged her class to take a few days to look back at their lives and their times in school that they laughed, cried and, especially this year, smiled behind a face mask.

From there, she said they should look into the future.

“Now, face your fear, take the risk and get ready for hundreds of pages worth of new adventures, opportunities and life-changing experiences,” she said. “It’s time to turn the page."

After the addresses, the advanced choir sang “How Do We Say Goodbye?” by Mark Brymer.

Principal Joe Sheffer then presented the Class of 2021 before the diplomas were distributed to graduates by Superintendent Tim Taylor and Assistant Principal Mark DeHart.

Benter, who was the class president, led tassel ceremony.

The seniors with the band performed Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb” before Benter gave a farewell speech to end the ceremony.

She thanked Google, Quizlet and “whoever invented copy and paste” for helping her make it to the end of her schooling.

She named new experiences that graduates might experience in the near future, including living alone, living hundreds of miles away from home and having classes with twice as many students or much more than they ever had in high school.

But Benter encouraged her class to “live life like we always dreamed.”

“As we all look forward in our lives, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, stumble or fall,” she said. “Because sometimes, the greatest rewards come from being brave and facing things that scare us the most.”

Being “patient and perseverant through the tough times” was a piece of advice that Benter offered.

“Lord knows we had our fair practice with that one,” she said.

Before concluding her speech, Benter said to “always remember where you go, but never forget where you came from.”

The seniors tossed their caps after her speech and left the gymnasium as alumni.

After the ceremony, a senior parade wound its way around town with graduates waving and throwing candy out of their vehicles to cheering crowds

The BCHS Class of 2021 is the 58th class to graduate from Brownstown Central High School. They also are the 139th class to graduate since the first commencement at Brownstown High School in 1881.

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