Utica Academy of International Studies graduates  from the Class of 2019 toss their caps into the air during their June 6 graduation ceremony at Henry Ford II High School in Sterling Heights.

Utica Academy of International Studies graduates from the Class of 2019 toss their caps into the air during their June 6 graduation ceremony at Henry Ford II High School in Sterling Heights.

Photo by Brandy Baker


UCS grads, staff reflect on Class of ’19’s ‘family’ attitude

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published June 7, 2019

Advertisement

STERLING HEIGHTS/UTICA — For Utica High School graduate Nicole Coleman, the end of the school year brings memories of walking through the halls and a last chance to regularly see the people who have been like family to her.

“I definitely remember being with all my friends for the last time and seeing all my favorite teachers,” she said. “We’re all going our separate ways, and it’s just very sad.”  

Coleman, 18, is among the  estimated 2,279 students who recently graduated from the Utica Community Schools district’s high schools and other programs, according to district spokesman Tim McAvoy.

According to district statistics, Eisenhower High School will bid farewell to 638 graduates, Stevenson High School will send off 565, Henry Ford II High School will graduate 425, and Utica High School will graduate 422. In addition, the Adult Education and Utica Alternative Learning Center programs will graduate 132 students, and 97 seniors from the Utica Academy for International Studies will be moving on to the next phase of life.

McAvoy said the UCS Board of Education honored 715 academic scholars from among the four big high schools and the UAIS who had at least an overall 3.67 grade-point average. An estimated 324 students earned Advanced Placement scholar distinctions. Around 179 students earned Seal of Global Language awards for world language proficiency.

According to UCS, 271 students earned valedictorian distinction for earning a 4.0 GPA or higher, and the district named 12 salutatorians. UCS also credited its grads for earning over $30 million in scholarship aid.

Stevenson Principal Steven Pfannes said that over 335 of his school’s graduates are leaving with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Collectively, they earned about $8 million in scholarships, he said.

Pfannes described how the Class of 2019 often behaved like a family, frequently doing things to bring different organizations and student groups together.

“For example, at the start of the school year, for the first time they brought the band, the cheerleaders, the football team and the dance team, and they all did a big picnic all together and played games together,” he said.

“We never had that before. They really created a family atmosphere. They started going to each other’s events. It really brought things together, and that was from the leadership of this year’s senior class.”

Coleman, 18, said she will always remember becoming homecoming queen this school year. She said she plans to attend Wayne State University for a double major in fashion merchandising and advertising/marketing.

She described what she’ll miss most about the Class of 2019.

“We like to play around a lot. We like to keep each other happy and laughing,” she said. “Our friends just have good vibes, positive vibes, and that helps us get through high school.”

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

Advertisement