AAPS: Pioneer High School Graduation 2022

The George Gervin GameAbove Center at Eastern Michigan University was the setting Friday night for Pioneer High School’s 54th commencement ceremony. Diplomas were awarded to 558 graduates.

“Pioneer Class of 2022, you have shown remarkable strength and perseverance as you traversed your high school career amidst an historic global pandemic,” said Superintendent Jeanice Swift. “Pioneer Class of 2022, not even a pandemic could stop you. And tonight you arrive at this milestone achievement of high school graduation, joining a long and distinguished tradition as Pioneer High School, Ann Arbor Public Schools alumni.”

The student address was given by senior Skylar Fletcher (BELOW RIGHT), who spoke about the unique challenges they’ve faced since March of 2020.

“As we leave the safety of Pioneer, let’s continue to celebrate every person’s uniqueness and the beauty that comes from our diversity,” she said. “Let’s continue to recognize and strengthen our differences because we all benefit from a more diverse and inclusive and tolerant society where people feel accepted and valued. Class of 2022, whether you plan on attending a four-year college, community college, taking up a trade, joining the military, or taking a gap year, one thing is for sure. We will all have very different journeys. I challenge you to take everything you’ve learned from inside the walls of Pioneer, go forth into the world and make a meaningful impact in your community and in every community you touch. We cannot control how fast time flies, but we can control what we do and how we use that time.”

Lead CTE Automotive Instructor Kenneth Lewis II gave the keynote address, leaving students with points to ponder as they continue their journey through life.

He reminded them that people will leave their lives for various reasons and that it will always hurt.

“What’s left behind are the memories and the experiences that we had together,” he said. “We cannot dwell on the losses. We must live for the experiences and learn from the memories. Everyone we meet leaves a piece of themselves behind and it is up to us what we do with those pieces because they are the building blocks of who we are now, and who we will become. Choose wisely who you let in your circle, and don’t be afraid to distance yourself from those who bring you negativity.”

Awards were presented to the following students:

Horatio N. Chute Award: Benjamin Kalosa-Kenyon

Alice Porter Award: Elizabeth Webb

Mary Ellen Lewis Humanitarian Service Award: Estelleh “Cookie” Baugh

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Award: Skylar Fletcher and John Lamphere

Ray Pittman Outstanding Athlete Award-  Alex Farmer and Sarah Forsyth