REED CITY — It was a perfect evening for Reed City High School’s graduation ceremony to be held outdoors Friday, and the Class of 2011 marched to Pomp and Circumstance before a packed grandstand of family and friends.

Among this year’s graduates were two who graduated Summa Cum Laude, with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.9 or higher: Chelsea Goodman and Wade Dennis Wells.

Magna Cum Laude graduates (those with a GPA of 3.6-3.89) included Daniel Keegan Allen, Brianna Rose Cooper, Jessica Nicole Crysler, Tyler Alan Engstrom, Gabrielle Chloe Fasbender, Noah Aaron Fasbender, Kristin Alissa Forman, Elissa Ann Grove, Kelsey Mariah Jones, Joshua Charles Justin, Dillon Lee Lodholtz, Steven Dustin Ruppert, and Evan Louis Stieg, and Austin B. Wells.

An additional 25 students earned a GPA of 3.0-3.59, thus graduated Cum Laude as part of the Class of 2011.

First students to receive designation as Senior Scholars, “an advanced honor due to GPA & ACT scores,” were Miranda Kaylin Andrews, Michael Lee Buss, Molly Marie Golden, Brian William Michell, Nicolle Lynn Ostrander, Cali Amber Powers, Tyler Patrick Sundquist, and Scott Joseph Tilmann.

Selected as senior speakers were Chelsea Goodman and Nicolle Ostrander. Both young ladies shared the podium, as well as their thoughts and memories about their years at Reed City High School. In relating, they told of the times of fun, and offered inspiration. They brought the crowd near to tears at times, but often lead them right into laughter. They were introduced by their high school principal Thomas Antioho.

Wes Benzing, a graduate of Reed City High School who has built a nationwide computer business, among many other achievements, was presented the Distinguished Alumni Award by Tonya Harrison, assistant principal.

He shared his story of growing up poor in Hersey, his years in high school classes and sports, and asked how many knew that the president of Meijer’s is also a Reed City grad. Benzing reminded them, “Coyotes never quit,” stressing they do not quit in their classroom, their dreams, or their families.

He shared that about ten months into his computer business, “I underestimated everything. I had every utility turned off in that house. I owed everybody.” He concluded by telling the graduates, “Coyotes never quit. And now, Coyotes, remember my message and go out and conquer the world.”

Presentation of the Class of 2011 was by Steven Westhoff, superintendent of RCAPS. Daniel Boyer, II, president of the Reed City School Board, offered the congratulatory remarks.

The Class Roll was read by the principal, assistant principal, and senior class advisor Val Wells.

Class officers this year were president Alex Repo, vice president Wade Wells, secretary Amanda Bedker, and treasurer Kristin Forman.

The Class of 2011 marched out with the high school band playing the recessional, “My Wish,” and moved to the Victory Bell at the far end of the football field. As they rang it, they absolutely were swarmed by well-wishers, who congratulated these former high school students who are now Reed City High School graduates.