‘Well seniors, it’s time to graduate’
Charles Holvoet ended his career at Baldwin High School along with the 113 graduates Saturday.
Holvoet, a retiring BHS English and debate teacher, delivered one final message at the commencement. He joked about why he was chosen as the keynote speaker.
"I thought why did they want me to speak at this graduation?" Holvoet said. "Maybe because of my boyish good looks? Yeah, I laughed at that one, too. Could it be because of my enthusiasm and sparkling personality? No, that's not it either. Maybe because I am cheap and I was going to be here anyway? There must be another reason I think. I finally decided that it must be because people want to hear what 39 years of teaching has taught me."
Holvoet gave the graduates five thoughts to take with them in the rest of their journey. They were his suggestions after four decades of teaching.
His five points were define yourself, buy a full-length mirror, don't bring a ladder to build a foundation, if you want to get rich don't work for the government and check your pulse.
He gave them one final message to wrap up his speech.
"Well seniors, it's time to graduate," Holvoet said. "This is the end. All of the talk is over and what needs to be done is done. It's time to go."
The BHS graduates enjoyed Holvoet's speech because he delivered a good message and it provided humor.
"He was absolutely amazing," said Mary Clippinger, the BHS graduating senior who introduced Holvoet. "I had him in class all four years, so I knew he would do well and he by far exceeded my expectations."
Senior class president Emily Krysztof also enjoyed Holvoet's address.
"I loved it," Krysztof said. "I was very impressed with his speech. He fulfilled his promise of making it entertaining."
Wesley Callahan and Josh Wood, both graduating seniors, represented the class with speeches Saturday. Krysztof and vice president Amanda Vander Tuig presented the class gift to Principal Shaun Moseman.
The 2007 seniors gave BHS an autumn blaze maple tree that will be planted near the sign that sits beside Douglas County Road 1055.
Clippinger said the commencement hasn't changed her, but she is looking forward to attending Bucknell University in the fall.
"I feel the same as I did before the graduation," Clippinger said. "I haven't changed since graduation one bit. I just have an extra piece of paper floating around my house."
Krysztof was a bit more excited about ending her high school career. She will be attending Pittsburg State University next year.
"It's nice to have some days off and not worry about too much," Krysztof said. "I'm getting more excited about the fall."