Graduation and Continuation Are Here!

The Class of 2024 Graduation Celebration will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 19 at Wolverine Country Stadium if the weather permits. The forecast is good so far, but if the weather is less than cooperative the ceremony will be moved into the main gym.

Families and other well-wishers are welcome to begin arriving when the doors open at 1:00 p.m. There is no cost of attendance and tickets are not required. Parking is free at Bayfield High School and the surrounding area, but visitors are cautioned to expect heavy traffic. No shuttles are available, so an early arrival is the best way to secure favorable parking.

Those individuals unable to attend in person can watch a live stream of the event that is being provided by BHS STEM teacher Brian McDonagh.

(Click HERE for the Livestream Broadcast.)

An anticipated 72 graduates will also be arriving by 1:00 p.m. to get lined up and spend a little more time together as a group before they are escorted out to the football field in preparation for the ceremony.  BHS staff will also be seated on the football field, while members of the school board will be joined on stage by Superintendent Leon Hanhardt and the Bayfield High School administrative team.

The BHS band will play Pomp & Circumstance and the National Anthem to officially kick off the celebration. 

“The commencement speaker is Dr. Jason Singh, a beloved Social Studies teacher at BHS,” BHS Principal Amy Miglinas reported, noting that there will also be speeches from Class of 2024 Valedictorian Brad Foutz and Salutatorian Lillyan "Charlee" O'Hair before the graduates are presented with their diplomas and proceed to the less formal gatherings held throughout the community.

“After the ceremony families and students tend to linger for pictures and conversations before scattering to a wide variety of graduation parties around Bayfield,” Miglinas said.

8th Grade Continuation

There will be some cleanup at the stadium following high school graduation, but the stage and seating will be left in place for the Bayfield Middle School 8th Grade Continuation Ceremony that will be held in the same location two days later.

BMS will bid farewell to their 8th graders on May 21st at 6:00 p.m. in a ceremony that bears some similarity to the sendoff given to their high school counterparts a couple of days earlier.

“It is a tradition-rich event that has been in place since long before I got here,” BMS Principal Marcia Hoerl said.

Hoerl will welcome visitors — the school prepares for as many as 300 — and BMS Assistant Principal/Athletic Director Laurel Slye will present awards for the Male and Female Athletes of the Year and another for the Student of the Year. 

The members of the 8th grade class chose their math teacher, Laura Hill, as their keynote speaker and she will join the other 8th grade teachers in assisting the school board with the presentation of each student’s Continuation Certificate.

“The student names are read by the grade level teachers, and they come up for their moment on stage,” Hoerl described. “It is very similar to what you might see at a high school graduation ceremony, and it is well attended. We don’t sell tickets or anything, but we definitely pack the house.”

There will be some notable differences from the high school graduation on Sunday. Some of the BMS students have asked to recognize Ms. Michelle “Mitch” Wennerstrom, a teacher who was lost in November, 2023, as part of their continuation celebration. The manner in which the students celebrate following the ceremony is different as well.

The high school graduates scatter following their event on Sunday, but the students who are moving on from BMS actually come back together for one more gathering as middle schoolers before they move on to fill the place of those departing graduates at BHS.

“After the ceremony, families say goodbye to their middle schooler for awhile, and the students come back over here and we provide them with a meal and a dance,” Hoerl explained. “It is really neat that we are at the high school for the ceremony, but then we come back here and say goodbye. I feel our role is to prepare our students for high school and beyond, and it does feel like the Continuation Ceremony signifies that because things do get more serious when you get to high school.”

When the celebration is over, the students will pick up the Continuation Posters that have been hanging in the hall through their last couple of weeks of school and say their final goodbyes to BMS.

“This has been a super cool 8th grade group. I feel like I really got to know them having them in 7th and 8th grade, and they are a very tight-knit, supportive group of students,” Hoerl said. “They’re just kind.”