When New Buffalo Area Schools Superintendent Mark Westerburg first arrived at New Buffalo, the New Buffalo High School Class of 2016 was just embarking on their middle school careers.
“You were sixth-graders when I got here seven years ago,” said Westerburg at their graduation ceremony, which took place in the high school gym Sunday, June 5.
Westerburg, who will be leaving the school district in a few weeks for a superintendent position at the Willits School District in Willits, California, and was chosen as this year’s guest speaker, recounted how much the class has accomplished since they first entered through the doors of the conjoined middle/high school building.
“They interact, they know how to behave, they take care of each other, they support each other,” he said. “These are fine examples of young adults, and they’re going out to set their course.”
Westerburg said the entire class, which numbers 60 students, has completed 700 college credits. In addition, their average ACT score is a 24, and their combined GPA is a 3.2. They will be attending Ohio and Alaska, as well as “every other college in Michigan,” including the Upper Peninsula.
This year, there were 21 Senior Scholars. They are: Lillian Arp, Calla Beers, Leonard Artz, Marques Artz, David Armstrong, Emily Lord, Mariah Scissom, Hana Bradbury, Nina Gropp, Daniel Balich, Ashley Yuan, Tori McHugh, Ylana Padgett, Nicholas Bowen, Hannah Dryden, Jenna Brickheimer, Leah Walters, Rebekah Folino, Rachael Kellerstrass, China Bendiner and Masun McGreehan.
Most importantly, Westerburg said the class has never given up in reaching their goals.
“The important thing is, you persevered,” he said. “You did what you had to do to get here.”
Members of the class of 2016 are: Kenneth Adams III, Zachary Andre, David Armstrong, Lillian Arp, Leonard Artz, Mariah Artz, Marques Artz, Daniel Balich, Anna Bardusk, Maria Baughman, Calla Beers, China Bendiner, Benjamin Borucki, Nicholas Bowen, Hana Bradbury, Jenna Brickheimer, Lauren Cawley, Jordin Drewes, Hannah Dryden, Xochitl Eudave, Cameron Evans, Samantha Farmer, Rebekah Folino, Rylee Fournier, Hunter Geisler, Miranda Geisler, William Geisler, Shelby Goldman, Brendan Grilec, Nina Gropp, Cameron Hoch, Jarek Hotwagner, Noe Huizar, Rachael Kellerstrass, Theodore Kissman, Qiana Lomax, Cody Looney, Emily Lord, Monica Lowery, Travis Maddux, Tyler Maddux, Jared Maniscalco, Rebecca Manolovits, Masun Mc-Greehan, Tori McHugh, Destiny Mitchell, Eve O’Halloran, Avery Owens, Ylana Padgett, Ashley Penny, Brian Rettig, Isaiah Ripley, Mariah Scissom, Eric Selby, Christian Smith, Summer Stark, Leah Walters, Amber Weers, Collin White, Megan Wilkinson, Chelsea Williams, Len Williams and Ashley Yuan.