Beaver Island Lighthouse School Fall 2011 Graduation
Lance Flees and Alicia Rikli shouldn't have any problem remembering the names of all the members of their high school graduating class. That's because the two of them made up the entire Fall of 2011 graduating class from the Beaver Island Lighthouse School.
Flees and Rikli, along with 22 other students who received certificates for completing a semester at the school, were recognized at a special completion/graduation ceremony.
"I'm happy, I'm excited, I'm sad, just because I'm not allowed to go back," said Flees.
"We all become one tight family," said Ken Roehling, the Lighthouse School education coordinator. "Whenever I see a student graduate from our facility, it's as if one of my own children have graduated."
While the event marked the end of high school for Flees and Rikli, and the end of a semester for the other students, they were reminded it doesn't mean the end of their education.
"Keep learning, don't ever stop," said Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District Superintendent Mike Hill, to the graduates and other students.
Before they received their diplomas and certificates of completion, many of the students also received special recognition for what they accomplished at the school.
The special recognition included the awarding of the 10-10-10 Scholarship to Rikli. The presentation was made via video by the scholarship founders who live in Chicago.
Along with the recognition, the graduates were also given an opportunity to talk about what the Beaver Island Lighthouse School means to them.
"My first day on the island I loved it and I've loved it ever since," said Rikli. "They were really caring and they showed me you can accomplish anything you want."
"With help from my family and the Beaver Island Lighthouse School staff, I was able to do it all," said Flees. "That's the reason why I'm here today."