Baldwin High School marks Graduation Day with festive ceremonies

LAKE COUNTY — To the traditional strains of “Pomp and Circumstance,” and accompanied by cheers and applause from family and friends, 21 proud Baldwin High School scholars filed into the gymnasium last Friday evening to accept their hard-earned “sheep-skins.”

The annual Baldwin High School commencement exercises were held June 3. The mood was decidedly festive.

The graduates looked nervously dignified in their handsome blue and gold caps and gowns - obviously aware that this special occasion marked a significant milestone in their lives.

After the singing of the National Anthem, BHS principal Dan Bauer welcomed the Class of 2011 with an exhortation that they “... dream big, work hard, realize their potential, and go ‘out there’ and make it happen.”

The Class of 2011 salutatorian was Adriana Lovett, and the valedictorian was Geraldine Tucker.

The keynote speaker for the ceremonial evening was Timothy J. Hill Jr. – a 1991 BHS alumnus who has made his career in finance and international relations as well as Eastern studies and Japanese.

Offering his congratulations, Hill said that he was glad, excited, and honored to address the graduates, reminding them that they were on the verge of a new beginning. Expressing gratitude for the help and guidance he had received himself from Baldwin’s faculty, Hill thanked several individual teachers for their “...motivation and support.”

Stressing the importance of not letting disappointments get the better of them, Hill urged the assembled students to “...dare to be different; to follow up your ambitions and pursue your goals.” He also emphasized the importance of sticking to high ideals, trusting in God, and making use of three important “keys” to open doors - communication, collaboration and nurturing relations.

Departing from the usual format, Hill took a few moments to include a few comments in fluent Japanese. The graduates could hardly fail to notice that if one of their own could go this far in life, learn so many interesting and unusual things, and have so many exciting experiences, they could as well.

Hill underscored this point by reminding the Class of 2011 that just as in the world of banking and economics, there are financial options that give us “... the right but not the obligation to do something, so too in life all are presented with similar options. We can therefore let opportunities pass by — or take advantage of them.”

Concluding his remarks with the reminder that parents, teachers and well-wishers were sending them on their journey, Hill said enthusiastically, “I wish you all the best.”

Another highlight of the festivities was the presentation of a slide show, featuring pictures of the Class of 2011 both as children and as they are now. The collage was entertaining and cute, and the audience got a kick out of seeing the grads as stars of the show.

The ceremony reached its climax with the presentation of diplomas, followed by a recessional “The March of the Nobles” performed by the Baldwin HS band under the direction of Brian Parent.

This was an evening that the students will never forget.

Members of the BHS Class of 2011 include Brandon Ora Avery, Jordan Lee Carmona, Joseph Lee Carmona, TJ Collins, Charles Frederick Corey, Malia Dawn Dekle, Duane Sam Dilts, Skylar Marie Graham, Ashley L. Armstrong-Gilleran, Nicholas Frederick Greene, Adriana Michelle Lovett (National Honor Society member), Jacob Arden Lehmann-Wandell, Mary Michelle Gabrielle Miles, Mariah Dawn Perez, Tifani Ann Perfitt, Cortney Anne Richards, Christopher Jay Roberts, Geraldine La-Dana Tucker, Jeremiah Nicholas Turner, Andrew Joseph Walker, and Sade Sherry Eloise Williams.