The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Twenty students graduate from Wakefield-Marenisco


May 26, 2018

P.J. Glisson/Daily Globe photo

DELIVERING THE main address at Wakefield-Marenisco's graduation on Friday evening is Jennifer Wallner, CPA, of Marquette and formerly of Wakefield. Also seated on the dais are, from left, valedictorian Melissa Wanink, head teacher Mark Lane, superintendent Catherine Shamion, head teacher Brandon Makela, and board of education president Bradley Dalbec.

WAKEFIELD - Twenty students graduated from the Wakefield-Marenisco High School Friday night, and dreams were the theme of the related ceremony in the school gym.

The students' class motto was "Chase your dreams, but always know the road that'll lead you home again," a line by country music star Tim McGraw.

While offering her welcome to the full house, superintendent Catherine Shamion suggested to graduates, "Take the first step toward your dreams tonight."

She added, however, that "we'll be here waiting" whenever those same graduates need support or "a good kick."

This was Shamion's ninth and last graduation at the school, as she will retire at the end of this school year.

At the request of Bradley Dalbec, president of the Wakefield-Marenisco board of education, the audience gave Shamion a rousing round of applause.

Melissa Wanink, class president and valedictorian, also thanked Shamion for "her years of dedication" and her regular attendance at school games.

Wanink asked continuing students not to "wish your time in high school away."

Her advice was to "move forward" while also realizing that part of life is out of our control. "Make a difference," she said, adding, "Give back" and "Slow down."

Jennifer Wallner, CPA, of Marquette was the guest speaker. She was a 2002 graduate of Wakefield High School and received her accounting degree from Northern Michigan University.

Wallner said when she graduated from high school 16 years ago, "I was going to leave Wakefield - never look back."

She said she was tired of small-town life and dreamed of various big cities. Instead, she remained in Marquette and became a wife and mother.

Wallner and her husband, Andrew Wallner, now are managing partners in Grandchamp, McBride, Wallner, Wallner and Prophet, CPAs, PC.

Wallner assured Friday night's graduates, "Your plan can and will change, and that is OK."

She added, "I let life happen and let my plan stray a little off course," and concluded what mattered most was to do "what was right for me and who I wanted to be."

Following Wallner's speech was a musical selection by the junior / senior high school band titled "This is Me" and led by school music director Isaac Boehnlein.

Shamion also recognized the board of education, faculty, Wanink, salutatorian Craig Sorensen Jr., and all graduates.

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