Casperson speaks from Lansing to North Star Academy grads

High school graduation season is still in progress in the U.P. Oddly enough for a Wednesday, one local school held its commencement this afternoon with a special guest patched in from Lansing in a video conference.

State Senator Tom Casperson of Escanaba couldn’t make it to the ceremony at Marquette Township’s North Star Academy in person. But when he visited the school several weeks ago, he got to meet all 11 members of the senior class and agreed to serve as their keynote speaker at graduation.

“We actually wanted to have Senator Casperson here (more than once before),” North Star Academy superintendent Karen Anderson said. “Other years, we’ve invited him. They never seemed to get through the budget process (early enough to allow him to) get here, to free him up, so we decided to go interactive via the Internet.”

Casperson knew when he was 11 years old that he wanted to work in his father’s logging business right out of high school. For that reason, he said he didn’t take his own education as seriously as he probably should have.

“He has an idea (of what the graduating seniors are like),” Anderson said. “He’s met them personally and we had some time together. North Star is just non-traditional, so you wouldn’t see two graduation ceremonies the same at any time.”

Casperson asked the students to challenge themselves in life and to not allow society to dictate what they can and can’t do. He said he couldn’t have imagined when he was young that public service would be such a large part of his future.