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Graduation: The Andover High School Class of 2012

Students celebrate resolve, sense of community during commencement ceremony Sunday at the O'rena.

ROCHESTER—The journey that members of the class of 2012 are about to embark on is full of unpredictible unknowns, but they are ready for it, according to Bloomfield Hills Schools Superintendent Rob Glass.

"The world needs what you have to offer," Glass urged at the tail end of his remarks before hundreds of students and several hundred more of their most ardent supporters at the O'rena Sunday.

He wasn't just saying it. Among the staggering numbers attached to the roughly 300-member senior class is a school-record 12 National Merit Scholarship finalists; 18,517 hours of collective community service performed; and a combined $6 million in collegiate scholarships.

Despite their measurable achievements, the students' focus Sunday was on something less tangible, but just as critically important: community.

"Looking back on our time as Barons, I can think of one thing we all have a sene of pride in is the community we’ve created at Andover," said Kyra Weeks during her remarks as Oustanding Female Senior. The Harvard-bound National Achievement Scholarship winner wasn't just referring to pep rallies or travelling to support Baron teams excelling in the playoffs. When tragedy struck in March 2011 with the death of classmate Peter Catcho to an undetected heart defect, the students rallied around each other and empowered the community to try and prevent it from repeating.

The students immediately coordinated a , planned a , and raised more than $10,000 for the American Heart Association .

"Each of us were changed, shaken by his passing, but our class refused to be defeated," Weeks said.

Joining Weeks on the stage was Outstanding Male Senior Joseph Abrash, who said that big decisions in life shouldn't overshadow the smaller ones made daily. that in totality have a big impact.

Combined Andover choirs performed Paul Simon’s “Bridge Over Troubled Waters.”

Miss the ceremony? It will be broadcast online at BHSTV.bloomfield.org. Programming schedule was not available Sunday.

Were you there and have a great pic or two you'd like to share with the community? Just upload directly to this story by clicking the 'upload photo' button' above, or post them in the Pics and Clips neighborhood gallery.

Linda P June 18, 2012 at 02:29 AM
When someone throws trash on my lawn or let's their dog poop and leaves it there....I pick it up and clean it because its my home and I take pride in it....I don't say, it's someone else's fault and leave it there.
Linda P June 18, 2012 at 02:34 AM
You don't understand the point, it's not necessarily about who put it there.....the school is our students home during the day.....and they should take pride in ensuring it stays presentable and respectable ...irregardless of how it got that way. It's about leadership and responsibility not pointing fingers.
Neal Charness June 18, 2012 at 03:25 AM
If it's correct that there was a soccer match Mr. Arch probably has a good point--the soccer families that attend games in our area often display little or no consideration for others.
Kris Andonian June 18, 2012 at 04:10 AM
You are certainly right when you say that I don't understand your point. Let's see, somebody left trash on the grounds over the weekend when our kids weren't even there and it's their fault that they didn't hustle over on Sunday to clean up any potential mess that others may have left behind? Did you happen to take notice in the story of the community service hours completed by the Class of 2012? By my rough estimate, that amount is about double the number of hours required for graduation. So they went well above and beyond what was required. I have tried very hard to teach my own children to pick up their own trash and place it in the proper receptacles so that others don't have to follow behind them with trash bags. When I'm out walking my dog and it poops on your lawn I pick it up. What I don't do is ring your doorbell and harangue your children for not having been out there waiting for my dog to walk by and leave something so that they could clean it up. I don't know what it is that you have against these students, but I know a lot of Andover students who I consider to be kind, respectful, hard-working, and on and on. Of course nobody is perfect. But I find your insistence on discrediting this group to be offensive.
J Arch June 18, 2012 at 10:42 AM
No Linda, that was not your point. You took the opportunity with a positive article about student accomplishment and used it to disparage those kids on their special day. It was mean-spirited and inappropriate. If you truly wanted to bring up a serious discussion about accountability for trash on the school grounds, you could have done so as a fresh topic. Then we could have talked about the fact that there were 25 kindergarten soccer matches at Andover the day before consisting of 500 players and another 500 to 750 parents and siblings or 1250 people attending with their requisite snacks and beverages, as happens every Saturday morning from mid-April thru early June. We could have further discussed where the responsibility lies for the trash generated by those folks. But instead, you chose to deliver a back-handed compliment to the graduates. J. Wagner

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