Some might think the number 2013 is unlucky, but not the 571 Portage High School seniors that are graduates of the class of 2013.
These seniors have earned quite a few honors and awards in their four short years at PHS. Sixty percent of our seniors plan to attend a four-year university. Twenty percent plan to attend a two-year college or a technical college.
Six percent of our graduates are honorably joining the military. This is amazing and a direct result of the quality program we have in our JROTC Marine unit. Maj. John Johnston has had a great career at PHS and is retiring after 17 years as our lead instructor and more importantly, a very strong mentor and role model for so many PHS cadets. He has been a positive influence in our school and in our community, and he will be missed.
A total of 163 graduates will proudly march on graduation day with the distinction of earning an Academic Honors diploma, a Technical Honors diploma, or both. These students have worked hard for all four years and will proudly display their honor stoles and cords.
This past month during our Senior Awards Night, more than 70 seniors were awarded academic scholarships from our community which totals more than $200,000. I would personally like to thank everyone in our community who helped make this possible and especially, Robert Blaszkiewicz, who is the president of our local Dollars for Scholars Committee.
Our seniors are truly blessed to receive such continuous support from our community and the many corporations who sponsor these scholarships. We are all investing in our future and I can assure you our students will represent Portage well as they transition to the workforce.
Tyler Demko and Cody Spoolstra will speak at graduation as the class of 2013 co-valedictorians with an impressive GPA of 4.68 on a 4.0 scale. Tyler will be moving on to attend Indiana University to pursue a career in medicine, and Cody will attend Purdue and pursue a degree in biological and agricultural engineering. I have no doubt these two young men will achieve their dreams.
Collin Czilli will also be speaking as the president of the lucky class of 2013. Collin will be attending Indiana University Northwest to pursue a degree in Political Science.
There are so many outstanding students in this class with similar achievements and dreams of what is possible. This has been an extremely competitive class and a highly successful class. Our high school has truly benefited from the leadership of these seniors and our underclassmen will have big shoes to fill.
Graduation Day is a big day for all seniors. Which path they choose to continue down is one step away. Yes, we know they will encounter stumbles, but at least on this day let’s celebrate with them on what is possible and DREAM BIG!
Everyone at PHS and the entire community wishes the lucky class of 2013, Good luck!
This column solely represents the writer's opinion.