483 Graduates Receive Diplomas at Pioneer’s 55th Commencement Ceremony
Pioneer High School awarded diplomas to the 483 members of the class of 2023 on Friday, May 26 at the George Gervin GameAbove Center at Eastern Michigan University.
At Pioneer’s 55Commencement Ceremony Class Principal Kevin Hudson thanked the students for their challenging time at the school, highlighting they have been in person, on screen, and everywhere in between. “You have been instrumental in helping Pioneer become the place where student voice and student advocacy are encouraged and embraced,” Hudson said. “You’ve been strengthened by adversity, you’ve overcome, and in turn made Pioneer Stronger.”
Math teacher Ryan Hansen gave the keynote address and used the words of Sylvester the Cat to highlight that the graduates are about to embark on a journey and they likely don’t know where they will end up. He said his teaching career took more twists and turns than he expected before bringing him to Pioneer. “Yet I wouldn’t trade those previous experiences or the memories for one second,” Hansen said. “My career in education didn’t exactly play out as I had envisioned, but ultimately it did all work out. Very likely better in fact than if I had been able to write my own script. I got what I needed even when I didn’t know what I needed.
Natalie Walsh gave an overview of the class of 2023’s experience at Pioneer in the student keynote address. She talked about arriving at the school trying to map out getting to class and lockers, the longest “summer break” ever caused by COVID, their junior year back in person, but only being able to see eyes, and then finally a senior year that went by quickly. Walsh said the class of 2023 is walking towards new futures and challenges full of perseverance. “I believe that if we were able to make it through these last 4 years, the next 30 should be a breeze. This is an outstanding class of students,” Walsh said.
For the first time at a Pioneer Commencement Ceremony there was also a Senior Call to Action. Rhys Burman called on his classmates to step outside of their comfort zone. He asked the class of 2023 to reflect on all of the times they have taken a risk throughout their high school experience and learn to not just live, but thrive in this changing environment.
For more photos, go to the AAPS Facebook Page. You can watch the complete CTN Broadcast of the Commencement Ceremony here.