Spring Lake High School 2017 graduation, highest ranking class

Emma Dale • May 22, 2017 at 8:00 AM

SPRING LAKE TWP. — Spring Lake High School’s class of 2017 raised the bar for future graduates, setting records with the highest ranking class ever.

Two-hundred and twenty-eight students celebrated their commencement Sunday afternoon at Spring Lake High School’s gymnasium.

This year’s graduating class set records with 70 percent having a G.P.A. higher than 3.0. The class average G.P.A. was a 3.47, and students worked 5,000 volunteer hours and raised $13,000 for charity.

Principal Michael Gilchrist said this was “the most ever.”

Photos from Sunday’s graduation

Executive Student Council President Skyler Gilchrist began ceremonies with a speech she dedicated to her father, Principal Gilchrist. She referred to the show “Grey’s Anatomy” and the use of the phrase “your person,” someone who is always there. Gilchrist said her father was “her person.”

Gilchrist also thanked her classmates, teachers, and coaches for all they have done throughout the years in her time at Spring Lake.

“Be brave, live fearlessly, (and) rise up,” she said.

Gilchrist, who will be either attending Carthage College or Liberty University in the fall, admitted she would miss having the comfort of her dad with her, as well as being surrounded by the support of her friends and family.

She described senior year as the act of unity, where she said “everyone just became a family.”

Both Gilchrist and Grace Vandenbosch described graduation as bittersweet and said they would miss the people the most.

Senior Scholar Ashleigh Higgs spoke during the commencement and described what it was like living in a conservative community after coming out as homosexual. She said the world is changing and asked parents to “support kids changing with it.”

Cameron Gable, who will be attending the University of Michigan in the fall for engineering, described his class as a “great group of people.” He also stressed the relief that senior year brought, being near the end, and being able to began a new step in life.

Principal Gilchrist ended the ceremony wished the graduates the best of luck with their journey throughout the rest of life.

“Seniors, every decision you make will affect your life. Don’t take anything for granted,” he said.

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