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OHS sends 312 grads into world



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This year’s Oxford Cup winners were Jacob Brubaker (left) and Kristine Bartz (center). Holding the actual 82-year-old trophy is OHS Principal Todd Dunckley. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
June 06, 2012 - The globe is no longer their campus – it's now just life.

A total of 312 graduates were sent forth to make way their way in the world Sunday as Oxford High School held its commencement ceremony at Oakland University's O'Rena.

Of those, an impressive 128 students graduated with some form of academic honors.

Thirty-one graduated Summa Cum Laude with grade point averages ranging from 3.85 to 4.0. Another 21 graduated Magna Cum Laude with GPA's ranging from 3.7 to 3.849. Graduating Cum Laude were 45 students with GPA's ranging from 3.5 to 3.698.

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A total of 28 students earned a GPA of 3.3 to 3.49, meaning their graduated with honors.

Graduating at the top of their class were Valedictorian Daniel Stockard (3.971) and Co-Salutatorians Marshall VerSteeg (3.985) and Gregory Rosenhauer (4.0).

Rounding out the Class of 2012's top 25 graduates were Brooklyn Allen, Kristine Bartz, Alexis Basinger, Samantha Black, Christopher Brooks, Sydney Estrada, Kyle Feeney, Chelsea Fritche, Emily Gilmore, Mark Hazelwood, Max Hill, Jacob Jaynes, Alex Juntti, Lindsey Lewis, Janice McCoy, Daniel McKenna, Samantha Schultz, Kala Seawright, Rocco Tenaglia, Shaun Wassell, Casey Wiebell and Cody Wiebell.

Graduates Jacob Brubaker and Kristine Bartz won the coveted Oxford Cup, the highest recognition an OHS graduate can receive.

"It means a lot to me," said Brubaker, whose parents are Doug and Liz. "One of the guys was telling me, 'Hey, you're a legend now.' I really wasn't expecting to get it."

"It shows that my hard work's paid off," said Bartz, who noted the cup is a symbol of how she's tried to conduct herself both in school and throughout the community. "Always be sincere, pursue your dreams and help out others while doing so."

Since 1930, the silver cup's been awarded annually at commencement to the graduating senior in the top 100 of his or her class who's "shown the best all-around development."

Selected by a vote of the junior and senior classes, along with OHS faculty, the winner must exhibit proficiency in scholarship, friendly social qualities, well-balanced physical development and superior school citizenship.

"Historically, this has been given to one recipient, but on occasion, there has been two recipients in a given year," noted Superintendent Dr. William Skilling.

Brubaker, who graduated with a GPA of 3.528, will be attending Rochester College this fall to study theater.

"I hoping to become an actor," he said. "That would be amazing. I would love to do that."

During his four years at OHS, Brubaker was an active part of the Oxford Theater Company (formerly known as the Drama Club) under the direction of teachers Debby Brown and Kathryn Blaszczyk.

"I think it's prepared me quite well (for an acting career)," Brubaker said. "It's given me a great foundation. It allowed me to find my passion – what I want to do for the rest of my life."

Brubaker called Brown and Blaszczyk "some of the greatest women I know."

"I wouldn't be where I am right now if it weren't for those two," he said.

Bartz, who's the daughter of Tom and Mary Anne Bartz, graduated with a GPA of 4.0 and plans to attend college to study engineering.

During her career at OHS, she was president of the National Honor Society and actively involved in the Spanish Club, Bully Busters and Link Leaders.

In her spare time, Bartz enjoys creating care packages to send to U.S. soldiers serving overseas.

"No matter what I do (in life), I'll continue helping our troops," she said.

Other finalists for the Oxford Cup included Emily Gilmore, Kyle Hartwick, Mark Hazelwood and Douglas Klimbal.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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