Graduation: The Andover High School Class of 2012
Students celebrate resolve, sense of community during commencement ceremony Sunday at the O'rena.
ROCHESTER—The journey that members of the Andover High School class of 2012 are about to embark on is full of unpredictible unknowns, but they are ready for it, according to Bloomfield Hills Schools Superintendent Rob Glass.
"The world needs what you have to offer," Glass urged at the tail end of his remarks before hundreds of students and several hundred more of their most ardent supporters at the O'rena Sunday.
He wasn't just saying it. Among the staggering numbers attached to the roughly 300-member senior class is a school-record 12 National Merit Scholarship finalists; 18,517 hours of collective community service performed; and a combined $6 million in collegiate scholarships.
Despite their measurable achievements, the students' focus Sunday was on something less tangible, but just as critically important: community.
"Looking back on our time as Barons, I can think of one thing we all have a sene of pride in is the community we’ve created at Andover," said Kyra Weeks during her remarks as Oustanding Female Senior. The Harvard-bound National Achievement Scholarship winner wasn't just referring to pep rallies or travelling to support Baron teams excelling in the playoffs. When tragedy struck in March 2011 with the death of classmate Peter Catcho to an undetected heart defect, the students rallied around each other and empowered the community to try and prevent it from repeating.
The students immediately coordinated a candlelight vigil, planned a successful heart-screening event that served more than 500 youths, and raised more than $10,000 for the American Heart Association with a walk/run in Catcho's honor.
"Each of us were changed, shaken by his passing, but our class refused to be defeated," Weeks said.
Joining Weeks on the stage was Outstanding Male Senior Joseph Abrash, who said that big decisions in life shouldn't overshadow the smaller ones made daily. that in totality have a big impact.
Combined Andover choirs performed Paul Simon’s “Bridge Over Troubled Waters.”
Miss the ceremony? It will be broadcast online at BHSTV.bloomfield.org. Programming schedule was not available Sunday.
Were you there and have a great pic or two you'd like to share with the community? Just upload directly to this story by clicking the 'upload photo' button' above, or post them in the Pics and Clips neighborhood gallery.