ALMONT — For the time being, Almont High School’s traditional commencement ceremonies have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Class of 2020 was originally due to receive their diplomas on May 31 at The Bells Event Center, formerly Almont Elementary School. This year’s graduates represent the last group of students to have attended classes at the elementary school before it closed.
Instead, seniors will don their caps and gowns and individually receive their diplomas in a tent outside of the high school this week, through Sunday.
A production company will assemble photos from the diploma presentations along with speeches and music. The video compilation will be available for viewing Sunday, May 31 at 5 p.m.
Almont High School honors all their graduates and gives special recognition to the Top Ten students who’ve excelled academically in their high school careers.
Valedictorian Jacob Hausmann is the son of Hans and Traci Hausmann of Almont Township.
Jacob will graduate from Almont High School with a GPA of 4.375 and has received the Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum Academic Awards. He is recognized as an AP Scholar with Honors and was the recipient of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Good Citizens Award. He was selected for the BWAC Academic All-Conference Team and received WXYZ-TV’s “Brightest and Best” award. Jacob has been a member of the Student Council for three years, the National Honor Society for two years, where he participated in the school recycling program, and he competed on the Mathlete’s Team for three years.
Jacob was a four-year starter on the Varsity Football team. He was the team captain for the past two years and led the team to its first-ever state championship competition at Ford Field. Jacob was awarded First-Team All-State Linebacker, All-Conference Defensive MVP and MHSFCA First-Team Individual Academic All-State. In addition, he was a captain for two years on the JV Baseball team, played one year of Varsity Baseball, was a member of the Powerlifting team for two years, and was a captain for one year on the Varsity Wrestling team.
Jacob plans to attend the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor for mechanical engineering.
Salutatorian Patrick Harry is the son of Allan and Ellen Harry of Almont.
Patrick has attained a 4.3196 GPA and has earned the Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum Academic Awards. Patrick has been a member of the Almont High School Marching and Concert bands for four years, leading the trumpet players as section leader his senior year.
He was selected for the BWAC Academic All-Conference Team and for the WNEM TV 5 “Mid-Michigan’s Best & Brightest” award. Patrick has participated on the Robotics Team 4961 for three years, the Mathlete’s Team for two years, and has been a part of the Boy Scouts since 5th grade, where he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.
In the fall, he will be attending the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and plans to major in computer science.
Alexis Meeker is the daughter of Jason and Mary Meeker of Brown City.
Alexis carries a GPA of 4.2988, has earned the Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum Academic Awards, was selected for the BWAC Academic All-Conference Team, and received the WNEM TV-5 Mid-Michigan’s “Best and Brightest” award.
Alexis was enrolled in the Pre-Engineering program offered through the University of Michigan-Flint and the Lapeer County Education & Technology Center during her senior year.
She played on the Golf team for all four years. She has been a member of both the Almont Marching and Concert bands as a flute player for four years and was the section leader her senior year. In addition, she was a two-year member of both the Mathletes and Robotics teams and an active member of the National Honor Society for two years, where she held the position of Vice-President her senior year and co-organized two American Red Cross blood drives.
As a three-year member of Rachel’s Challenge, Alexis assisted with obtaining a grant for the Rachel’s Challenge Legacy Program and served on the leadership team for two years.
Alexis will be attending the University of Michigan-Flint in the fall and plans to major in mechanical engineering with minors in mathematics and biology.
Lauren McFarlane is the daughter of George and Nina McFarlane of Almont Township.
In addition to earning the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum Academic awards, Lauren has accumulated a 4.2987 GPA at Almont High School, giving her a ranking of 4th in her class. She was also selected for the BWAC Academic All-Conference Team. As part of her senior year studies, Lauren was dual enrolled in the Medical Careers Acceleration Program (MCAP) offered through the University of Michigan-Flint and the Lapeer County Education & Technology Center.
Lauren participated in the Almont Marching and Concert band for four years and served as percussion section leader and center snare in the 2019-2020 school year. She was a member of the National Honor Society (NHS) for two years, serving as secretary for the 2019-2020 school year. In her junior year, Lauren led the NHS Elder Outreach Committee hosting Bingo events, distributing holiday treats, and providing various other services to the residents of the Stonegate Rehabilitation Center in Lapeer.
In the fall, Lauren plans to pursue pre-medical studies in biology at Ferris State University.
Curtis Ouillette is the son of Thomas Ouillette and Jackie Calka of Almont.
While at Almont High School he has achieved a GPA of 4.1596 earning him the Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum Academic Awards. Curtis’ core academic education is very important to him, however being a member of the Almont Concert and Marching band for three years, playing the euphonium, has kept Curtis balanced with diverse life skills needed for his future. Curtis has spent time volunteering at a local hospital helping with patient care and at local cider mills.
Curtis plans on attending Michigan State University in the fall of 2020 to study political policy.
Gabe Bourdeau is the son of Martin and Gynnae Bourdeau of Dryden.
Throughout his time at Almont High School Gabe was awarded Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum Awards for academic excellence and will graduate with a 4.1392 GPA. He was also selected for the BWAC Academic All-Conference Team. Gabe played JV Baseball for two seasons, JV Basketball for one year, and Varsity Basketball for three seasons where he was team captain for two years. He also received First Team All-BWAC honors as well as team MVP for Varsity Basketball this year. Additionally, he performed on the Mathlete’s Team for two years placing in the top three in every competition except one and winning an individual first place. Gabe was also a four-year member of the Almont Marching and Concert band, serving as saxophone section leader his senior year.
Gabe has chosen to attend Alma College in the fall where he will study accounting and finance as well as continue to play basketball.
Katrina Kline is the daughter of Ryan and Chris Kline of Almont Township.
She graduates 7th in her class with a GPA of 4.0833. Katrina has been awarded the Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum Academic medals, the Certificate of Outstanding Artistic Creativity through the Mahindra Education Development Commission for the Arts, and was selected as a Scholar-Athlete for the BWAC Academic All-Conference Team. She co-wrote a grant through the Four County Community Foundation for the Save-A-Life Tour Assembly and co-wrote another grant through the Lapeer County Community Foundation to bring the Rachel’s Challenge Legacy Program to Almont.
Athletically, she was the MVP of her cross country team for two years and was a three-year qualifier for the Cross Country State Finals. Katrina was the Tri-City Times Athlete of the Week in 2018, a member of the Tri-City Times All-Area Girls Cross Country Squad for four years, and a member of the Tri-City Times All-Area Girls Second Track Team for the 3200m relay, 800m run, and 1600m relay. She participated in Equestrian and Varsity Basketball for one year, JV Basketball for two years, Varsity Track for three years, Cross Country for four years, National Honors Society for two years, and Rachel’s Challenge for four years. During this time, Katrina was the captain of her Cross Country and Track team. She was also on the leadership team for Rachel’s Challenge for three years, serving as President for two years. Additionally, she was a four-year member of the Almont Band program and served as the clarinet section leader for one year. During her senior year, Katrina was dual enrolled in the Medical Careers Acceleration Program (MCAP) offered through the University of Michigan-Flint and the Lapeer County Education & Technology Center.
Next year, Katrina will be running cross country and track for Rochester University, in Rochester Hills, with a major in nursing. After completing her degree at Rochester, she plans on transferring to Oakland University to work on her doctorate and become a nurse anesthetist.
Lyle Eichsteadt is the son of Chris and Virginie Eichsteadt of Almont Township.
While attending Almont High School, Lyle participated in Varsity Track for two years and Varsity Soccer for four years. He achieved a place in the top ten of his class every year in high school while also taking part in volunteer activities through the National Honor Society to better improve his community.
He has worked at multiple Red Cross Blood Drives at the High School for the last two years and he was a member of the Orchard Primary (OP) Recycling Crew assisting the OP special education students with the weekly collection and transporting of recyclable materials.
He has achieved a cumulative GPA of 4.0769 and has earned the Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum Academic awards.
Looking forward, Lyle plans to attend Oakland University this fall to pursue a degree in business.
Jamie McKelvey is the daughter of Steve McKelvey and Paula Campeau of Almont.
Jamie has received the Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum Academic awards and will graduate with a 4.0698 GPA. She was a member of the Varsity Dance team and the Almont Marching and Concert Band for four years, the Varsity Track team for three years, the National Honor Society (NHS) for two years, the Drama Club for multiple years, and the Mathletes team for two years. In her senior year she served as the Dance Team Captain, Drumline section leader in band, and the NHS President. As a member of the NHS, Jamie co-organized two Red Cross blood drives and spearheaded a Christmas drive for local families in need. During her senior year, Jamie was dual enrolled in the Pre-Engineering program offered through the University of Michigan-Flint and the Lapeer County Education & Technology Center.
Jamie plans to attend Saginaw Valley State University in the fall to pursue a degree in engineering technology management.
Gavin Dempz is the son of Mark and Janet Dempz of Allenton.
During his time in high school, Gavin has succeeded both in and out of the classroom in multiple ways. He has accumulated a GPA of 4.0492 through numerous AP and college level courses, placing him 10th in the Class of 2020 and earning him the Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum Academic Awards.
During his senior year, Gavin was enrolled in the Pre-Engineering program offered through the University of Michigan-Flint and the Lapeer County Education & Technology Center. Along with his in-class success, Gavin has also participated in several sports and extra-curricular activities. He has been a Varsity Wrestler and Team Captain for four years, accumulating 118 wins throughout his high school career, played Varsity Baseball since his sophomore year, where he was a part of the 2018 district championship team, and has played Varsity Football for two years. As part of the football leadership team in 2019, he was able to aid this year’s Almont Raiders BWAC, District, and Regional championship team on their journey to the football State Finals at Ford Field.
To compliment his sporting success, Gavin has been a member of the National Honor Society for two years and a member of the Almont Raider Marching Band for four years, leading the band as Drum Major for three years.
In the fall, Gavin will be attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University pursuing a degree in aerospace engineering.
Editor’s note: Many thanks to Joyce Burkland, Almont High School secretary, for compiling the Top Ten feature.