ALPENA -One by one students of ACES Academy's 2013 graduating class received their diplomas and congratulations from the Alpena Public Schools Board of Education and the school's staff. The auditorium at Alpena High School was packed with family, many of whom shed a tear or two of joy from the accomplishment of their loved one.
After opening remarks from Principal Justin Gluesing, student commencement speaker Miranda Kaplan talked about her experience at the school and about the bond that was formed between the student body and the staff. She told her classmates that no matter what they decide to do after high school, they should follow their dreams and never give up.
"This is the first of many chapters moving forward and this is only the beginning," Kaplan said. "It is time for us to spread our wings and make our mark on the earth. Don't let fear stop your life dreams. This world will not judge you by how many times you fall down, but by how many times you pick yourself back up again."
News Photo by Steve Schulwitz
Alpena Exchange Club member Tony Suszek presents the Accepting the Challenge of Excellence Award to Alyssa Ludwig during ACES Academy graduation ceremony on Wednesday. The award is given to the student who overcame unique challenges to earn their diploma. This year, 45 seniors received their diplomas and another 27 their GED.
This is the 17th graduating class from ACES Academy and there were 45 graduates and another 27 who received their GED. Vicki Denstaedt addressed the class and compared the journey they have taken in school to that of a Navy ship being moored at dock preparing for a long voyage. She told the students that while the boat is in dock it was loaded with food, supplies and everything needed for the trip. In comparison their time at the school did the same for them. It provided them with the tools and knowledge to take with them on the next period in their lives.
"You were getting ready for deployment and you are now the captain of your own lives from here on out," Denstaedt said. "I'm not here to tell you that the seas are going too soft and sailing will be smooth. There will be some shaky times. Your ship is ready to sail. Hold on tight as you look forward, as and see your dreams ahead of you. The ocean is there, you' re all set and don't lose sight of the horizon in front of you and God bless you all."
After receiving their diplomas the graduates flipped their tassels and made their way out of the auditorium and into the future.
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review ... at www.thealpenanews.com