The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Ontonagon graduation a time to look back, ahead


May 25, 2019

Jan Tucker / Daily Globe

Three Valedictorans and a salutatoran led the 2019 class of the Ontonagon Area High School into the gymnasium for graduation ceremonies Friday. Pictured from left are Rory LaBine, Noah Lukkari, Henry Menigoz and Abigail Ollila.

ONTONAGON - The graduation speaker for the 2019 Class at the Ontonagon Area High School, Keven Store, was in familiar terrain Friday night, noting that 30 years ago, to the day, he sat as a student and received his diploma from OAHS.

Store is the Executive Director of the Portage Health Foundation, and oversees and administers all aspects of a $67 million dollar charitable foundation that serves the Keweenaw Peninsula. He has been recognized by the Michigan Health Council for his work in developing significant strategies in health care and work force development.

Store challenged the 23 graduates as they go forward to "love themselves, respect themselves and forgive themselves."

He reminded graduates that no one has life all figured out but they must depend on themselves not someone else. "Love and respect yourselves and love and serve others."

He noted that they will make mistakes and when they do, take accountability for your choices and then " forgive yourself and allow yourself to go forward."

Store then did something no other graduation speaker has done at OAHS. He took a "selfie with the entire graduating class.

Three valedictorians, Henry Menigoz, Noah Lukkari and Rory LaBine, and salutatorian Abigail Ollila spoke to the large crowd of families and friends in the Ontonagon Gymnasium.

Menigoz noted that when the class began high school, he thought, "four years, that is forever man, I thought it would go on forever."

Lukkari and Ollila reminisced on the closeness of the class of 2019. LaBine reminded his classmates that "It's no time to be sad... I love you guys."

Superintendent Jim Bobula presented the class and members of the Board of Education handed out diplomas.

One member of the Board of Education, Julie Kolpack, was able to hand the diploma to her own daughter, Fahren.

The High School Band under the direction of Ben Mayer played the prelude to the graduation and the processional.

The evening also included a 2019 slide show of the class.


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