The Class of 2022 says ‘thank you’

MARQUETTE — As the Class of 2022 graduates high school, they have countless people to thank for helping them reach this milestone.

To share these messages of thanks and gratitude, The Mining Journal embarked on a project this spring to interview and film members of the Class of 2022 to find out who and what they are grateful for at the end of their high school journeys.

These messages of gratitude and thanks are voiced by the graduating seniors in a collection of eight videos — one for each of the participating schools’ graduating class — that are now available.

“We have an impressive group of seniors graduating in the Class of 2022,” Journal Publisher Ann Troutman said. “It was enlightening and heartwarming to hear what they were thankful for as they approached graduation. Their families and schools should be so proud of their accomplishments.”

The videos — which include messages that run the gamut from heartwarming, to humorous, to inspirational — showcase hundreds of young people from the area who are graduating this spring.

“We are proud to highlight the voices of the area’s graduating seniors in these videos,” Journal Managing Editor Bud Sargent said. “It’s a great way to salute their accomplishments and wish them the best going forward.”

The videos take a naturalistic approach to documenting the student’s messages, meaning that the goal was to realistically portray students as they were on a given day at school — rather than in a studio — with much of the filming completed in the classrooms, libraries and hallways of their schools, largely with natural light and sound.

Some students use the videos to thank their friends or family members. Others say they are grateful for teachers, coaches and school employees who helped them throughout their high school journey. Some thank their pets, some say they are grateful for their communities, some say they are grateful to themselves for graduating after facing challenging remote learning circumstances amid the pandemic.

While each student and message is unique, the Class of 2022 graduates are united by their resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges, as the COVID-19 pandemic changed the face of learning forever when it hit in spring 2020, when these students were just sophomores in high school.

Overall, the video project aims to honor these graduates while creating a historical record of these Upper Peninsula students who finished high school amid the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic.

Participating area high schools

High schools throughout Marquette, Alger and Luce counties were contacted to request participation in the graduate thank you videos by the Journal. A total of eight schools agreed to participate. Seven of the eight participating high schools’ videos are now available online. Marquette Senior High School’s video will be available online next week. Readers are encouraged to watch the Journal’s print edition, website and YouTube channel next week for information on the release of MSHS video.

The participating schools are:

Gwinn High School

Ishpeming High School

Marquette Alternative High School

Marquette Senior High School

Munising High School

Newberry High School

Republic-Michigamme Schools

Superior Central Schools

Each graduating student who was in attendance on the scheduled filming date was given an opportunity to participate in the video. Students who participated appear in alphabetical order by last name in the videos. All graduates from each school are listed in the final credit roll for the video to honor the students who were not able to participate. Copies of the videos will be delivered to participating schools on USB flash drives.


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