UCS grads finish with memories, accolades

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published June 12, 2018

 Graduates from the Utica Academy for International Studies toss their hats in the air at the end of the graduation ceremony June 5 at Henry Ford II High School in Sterling Heights.

Graduates from the Utica Academy for International Studies toss their hats in the air at the end of the graduation ceremony June 5 at Henry Ford II High School in Sterling Heights.

Photo by Sean Work

 Valedictorian speaker Gabriel Consiglio gives the commencement addr ess to the Utica Academy for International Studies’ graduating class June 5 at Henry Ford II High School in Sterling Heights.

Valedictorian speaker Gabriel Consiglio gives the commencement addr ess to the Utica Academy for International Studies’ graduating class June 5 at Henry Ford II High School in Sterling Heights.

Photo by Sean Work

For Laura Kozlowski, graduating from Henry Ford II High School is about more than just getting the diploma needed to attend the University of Toledo and pursue a possible career in business or marketing.

Kozlowski, 17, from Sterling Heights, described how graduation day caps off years of experiences at the school, such as the time she presented a fashion merchandising promotional project at a DECA national tournament and her time as president of the Key Club.

And then there are the people she’ll miss.

“I think I’ll miss the teachers that were there, and the people that helped me find what I like to do, and the people I met through the sports that I played and the clubs that I was in,” Kozlowski said. “I think it’ll just be nice to be with the rest of our class for one last time.”

The four main Utica Community Schools high schools held their graduation ceremonies June 9. The Utica Academy for International Studies held its ceremony earlier that week.

According to UCS spokesman Tim McAvoy, the district was set to graduate 2,264 students this year. Among the four main high schools, Eisenhower has 613 graduates, Stevenson has 524, Henry Ford II has 498 and Utica has 406. The Adult Education and Utica Alternative Learning Center has 130 graduates, and the Utica Academy for International Studies has 93.

The graduating class boasts 243 valedictorians and 10 salutatorians. It also has 644 Academic Scholars among the four high schools and UAIS, which are students who have at least a 3.67 grade point average.

“Graduates earned over $30 million in scholarships,” McAvoy said in an emailed statement. “Members of the class were accepted to more than 200 different colleges and universities across Michigan and the nation.”

McAvoy said almost 200 students from the graduating class qualified for a Seal of Global Language, which goes to students who are proficient in English and another world language.

Jared McEvoy, principal of Eisenhower High School, said this is his first graduating senior class as a high school principal.

“This senior class, in particular, is a group of leaders. They are all students who are very driven, very motivated,” he said. “And they have done some phenomenal things in the building this year.”

McEvoy said Eisenhower grads collected millions of dollars in scholarship aid for athletics and academics. He said 10 graduating seniors are members of Macomb County’s All-Academic Team, and five students in the county’s top 20 are Eisenhower Eagles. Eisenhower has three National Merit Finalists, he added.

The school’s students also set new fundraising records for the Marine Toys 4 Tots Foundation, he said.

“They set the bar for future classes,” McEvoy said. “They’re just an incredible group of young men and women. They’ve done a lot for the community, both in and out of the classroom.”

Find out more about Utica Community Schools by visiting www.uticak12.org or by calling (586) 797-1000.