Mackinac Island, MI– On May 12, 2016, OAI Executive Vice President, Stan Kennedy Sr., presented a keynote address to 74 graduating high school seniors from 10 Eastern Upper Peninsula(MI) school districts at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. These seniors received Academic Excellence Awards, based upon a combination of their ACT scores and grade point averages. Awards were presented by the Secondary Principals’ Association to each student, followed by an enjoyable Buffet Luncheon at the Grand Hotel.
Traditionally, the Keynote Speaker is selected by the Seconday Principals’ Association from former graduates of their school districts. Stan, Sr. graduated from Pickford Public Schools district in 1952 as class valedictorian. His keynote address message focused on the mindset and attitudes he found most valuable in transitioning from a small rural high school, senior class of 29 graduates, to a large university of 26,000 students; and entering the technologically-challenging world of nuclear weapons, missiles and satellite systems—highlighting some of his rewarding moments in these STEM career fields.
A most interesting side note; nearly 25 percent of these graduating seniors announced plans to pursue studies in STEM-related and medical career fields. STEM has always been a priority for Stan,Sr and the entire OAI staff; we feel it is incumbent upon all of us to keep students interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics so they can continue to understand the changing world around them and help drive innovation.